What I love about my next #ActiveApril guest, is her ability to always find the positive. Even when life knocks her down, Leslie Roberts Clingan from Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After, has the ability to take it all in her stride with a beautiful smile and inner strength that I admire. I knew that Leslie, would be perfect to write about Feeling Alive After 50 and today she shares her 5 tips with us so we can all Get Active & Feel Alive. Don’t forget to connect with Leslie through her prompts at the end of her article.
5 tips for Feeling Alive After 50
So honored to have been asked by my Australian ‘cousin’ Sue to share some of the things I do to feel alive. I retired early and reluctantly at the age of 55. After floundering around for close to a year, and recuperating from cervical spine surgery, I began taking steps to feel alive again. Here are some of the things I started doing and continue to do today to live it up.
1.Learning something new, trying something outside your comfort zone.
I write a monthly post about ways I stretch myself. Sometimes my activities can be very simple like enjoying a restaurant lunch by myself, trying on and buying some super skinny jeans. Other times, I push myself giant leaps beyond my comfort zone – attending a One Sisterhood women’s event at my church without knowing anyone there.
Either way, though, I am always glad I tried something new. Picking up a $1 jigsaw puzzle at the dollar store to work while watching TV at night. Learning a foreign language, even if you never really speak it formally, can be a great way to stretch your mind. Taking up a craft or revisiting a hobby you once loved but had little time for. For more information, click here.
It’s so important to S T R E T C H ourselves.
As in raising your heart rate. Not boxing up your belongings and changing addresses! I may grumble all the way to the gym but I always leave with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. With my heart pumping and my muscles letting me know they are still there…if just a little bit sore! But your movement can come in many forms: dancing, walking, skipping, swimming, swinging, hiking – are some of my favorite ways to move. Learn more here about how raising your heart rate can help you to thrive and feel alive.
3. Dressing everyday
Dressing everyday. And I don’t mean sweat pants and an old tee. Putting on something pretty. Putting on something that makes you feel pretty, too, can change your mindset. Fixing up is an important form of self-care. Treat yourself to a new top, some inexpensive costume jewelry, a scarf. Accessories can breathe new life to favorite oldies but goodies hanging in your closet. A new shade of lipstick.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look put together and fashionable. When I retired, I stumbled across the Get Your Pretty On capsule wardrobe challenges and they became a huge reason why I got up and got dressed in the morning rather than hanging out in my housecoat all day!! Learn more about them, here. Just recently, I bought these lacy ankle-high hose and felt so feminine wearing them with my heels and booties. Little things! Find out more about the importance of getting dressed every day, here and here.
4. Getting fresh air and sunshine
Incorporating exercise with fresh air and sunshine is especially beneficial. El Paso aka The Sun City boasts about 300 days of sunshine a year. It would be difficult for me to live somewhere else because I have grown so accustomed to sunny days.
This winter, though, I began incorporating the use of Total Body Enhancement machine when I visit the gym. Weight loss and better-looking skin are just some of the benefits touted by this light therapy treatment. I haven’t used it enough to notice a big difference in either area yet but I do feel mentally and emotionally uplifted after a session of light therapy. And after being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. For more information, visit here.
5. Listening to music
I don’t do this enough but when I do, it makes me feel alive from the top of my head to the tip of my twinkle toes. My PC (Prince Charming – Paul Clingan) often listen to music on road trips. He has a wonderful singing voice (me, not so much) and can sing about anything. We crank up the oldies but goodies from our younger years and sing along.
On a recent trip to Washington state, we had a rental car with Sirius radio. What fun! You can select stations that play music from certain decades or certain artists or certain genres. As each song started, we would share where we were when the song became popular and guess what year it was released. My youngest daughter gave me a record player for my birthday a few years ago. What a fabulous gift! I play my favorite LPs while cleaning the house, ironing, crafting.
Music just has a way of lifting my spirits…and making me want to dance!! They have live music at my mother’s senior living facility several times a month. Music just makes you feel alive. Read more about the benefits, here.
I know I promised to share only 5 tips for feeling alive but I am wordy!! So allow me a bonus.
Do something for someone else.
Sometimes taking the focus off yourself can help you feel alive and connected to the wide world.
- Find a way to be around young people…working with the youth at church, volunteering your talents at a school.
- Get a pet or volunteer at your local animal shelter.
- Purchase an inexpensive aquarium, even a fish bowl. And a fish! We have adopted 2 kitties.
Being responsible for something or someone other than yourself can inspire a sense of purpose.
Even a little gardening can make you feel alive. My 92 year-old mom has orchids. I can’t grow them to save my soul but she has a masterful green thumb. They don’t require much attention but bring beauty to her world. I am trying to grow succulents at my house. The less attention they get, the better! Ha!
Pay it forward. Help someone less fortunate than you.
In what felt like the blink of an eye, I have gone from full-time wife to my sweet husband, hands-on mom to my two beautiful daughters and elementary school librarian to a retired, empty nester with lots of time on my hands. Join me on my journey to rediscover who I am. Always glad to make new friends with whom to share this new adventure.