How to Look After Yourself, After You’ve Looked After Everyone Else
For the past month and a half boomers and seniors of all ages have been looking after others: family members, friends, acquaintances, household duties and yes, even our pets. Now it’s time to take care of ourselves and do something meaningful with what time we have left in the month of February. My gosh, the year is almost 20% over, and it seems we just concluded the holidays. YIKES!
My BoomerGuy and I scheduled all of our dreaded doctor appointments this week. It’s definitely a full week, but when Saturday rolls around we can celebrate the small things—all of that is behind us. What better time to begin taking care of ourselves than first thing out the gate in the new year. We start meeting our Medicare deductibles with both our medications and physicians. And if you’re anything like us, you’ve gotten a little soft post holidays and we need that appointment with the doctor to kick us in the fanny and get us back on track for optimal health.
If you haven’t done so already, pick up the phone or go online and schedule those appointments. Some may be once a year, and others may be periodic depending on your specific needs. It’s that righter step in the right direction to taking care of yourself and being kind to you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you schedule the maintenance of your car over what you might need in the way of medical advice. I used to do that, or even worse, I would schedule care for friends and family over my needs. No longer do I put myself on the back shelf for my own health and wellness needs, nor should you.
We’re at the age when we seem to have a new ache or pain that we didn’t have last year, or last week for that matter. With new projects, it’s amazing how they shift around when you haven’t used that particular muscle for a while, or you feel winded because you’re getting back in the game with walking, bicycling, tennis, pickle ball, or just celebrating with friends. Your doc will tell you to get started, keep it up and continually stretch your limits to maintain your good health. Hey, you know what, you don’t need a doctor to tell you that, I’m telling you that!
A great way to move the needle is to get outside and begin some of those early spring projects. We’re doing outdoor clean up after the winter months, and planting perennials in flower beds and filling pots with new succulents. Even now, you can get by doing that here in southern California. When nighttime rolls around, we gladly sit back and have a cocktail and rub Blue Emu cream on those overworked arms and abs. You want to know the great thing, inasmuch as we might be hurting a bit, we feel wonderful for having pushed those limits, not to mention we have something to show for it. Small accomplishments add up to magical wonderment.
Here are several ideas for being kind to yourself.
- Get those physician appointments scheduled, just to make certain the ol’ body and mind are where they should be.
- Listen to your favorite “oldie” station with all the doo-whop music you can handle.
- Go to the movies, either with a family member, friend, or, OK, even by yourself. And have some popcorn, but share it to save on the calories.
- Take a drive at dawn or dusk and relish in the beauty of Mother Nature, then go visit a friend or grand child.
- Fix your favorite cocktail, one that you haven’t made for a while because it’s too much work.
- Prepare dinner for a significant other, with a couple of candles and good conversation.
- Put away all your tech gadgets for a full day and read a newspaper.
- Go to the library or Barnes and Noble and pick up a good book or magazine—one into which you can get lost.
- Start exercising, even if it’s baby steps.
- Clean out a cupboard today, another tomorrow, and another the next day. Go through the whole house, but take your time, it’s not a horserace.
- Volunteer for something–the rewards are enormous.
- Make your bed in the morning, then look at it throughout the day and marvel how good it looks.
- OK, go wash the car and vacuum it out, but do it yourself and don’t pay the exorbitant fees for the all-inclusive car wash and tire shine.
- Plant a few new annuals or perennials, and make sure to water them thoroughly. Get a new plant for your kitchen table.
- Try out a new restaurant.
- Order take out, bring it home and watch a good movie.
- Touch up painting some of the chipped or dull surfaces that you’ve been looking at for months.
- Say hi to a stranger.
- Set a tee time with friends (not family). You’ll enjoy it more.
- Don’t wear your watch for a full day, unless of course you have a critical appointment.
- Eat a cashew, or make my favorite rosemary baked cashews. An Ina Garten recipe. Yum. Yum.
- Break out your camera and take some memorable photos.
I’m feeling better already, and I know you will also. Stay inspired by being kind to yourself.
By the way, don’t forget the diet! More to follow on this, and you’re going to love it.
Your BoomerGal signing off for now.
“Keep your vitality. A life without health is like a river without water”