Are you ever surprised when you notice your wrinkles? Do you wonder why you feel so much younger than you look? For me, I imagine that if I consistently used moisturizer and all the recommended beauty aids, I'd be happier with the view in my mirror. If consistency isn't your strong suit either, how about trying these 7 ways to FEEL young after 50.
1) Make a list of all the things you say, think, and do that many others your age don't do. For me, that would include requesting and dancing to Mony Mony Wednesday at the West Seattle Senior Center. I truly felt as young as I did when I danced to rock and roll in the '60's. My salt and pepper hair didn't disqualify me at all from being full of life.
When there are summer concerts in the park, if there are no partners, or if I ask 3 or 4 guys and no one joins me, I am content to dance to Mony Mony, Pretty Woman, or Louie Louie by myself. Maybe your youthful behaviors include mini skirts, bikinis, nudist resorts, traveling all over on your own, spending hours on Facebook, and reading erotica, or many other activities you feel totally at home with. Every time you notice another thing you do that's usually associated with younger women or men, add it to your list so you see (and celebrate) that you're still young at heart.
2) Go to events you are curious about. Keep your mind and heart open. Recently a friend and I went to a gay bar in my neighborhood for a bingo night. We felt very comfortable, even with a transgender dance and song before the game. We felt no discomfort as straight women. I love new experiences!
Meetup.com groups are another avenue for interacting with new people. I've gone to book discussions, philosophy debates, travel groups, etc. If you want to explore ANY topic, you can start a meetup group or a listserv. I have a listserv I invite you to. You can subscribe with a blank email to moreahs-musings-subscribe@yahoogroups. I share emails on philosophy, science, health, relationships, humor, Nature and unusual and appealing links that I just have to share. I must admit it's fun to send controversial perspectives out as well. I believe staying curious, open and nonjudgmental is an ideal way to stay young.
3) Try new foods, new restaurants, new tastes and sounds and sights. If you've been curious about Thai or Vietnamese or Ethiopian or a dozen other countries' foods, make a habit of trying a new taste at least every second or third time you eat out. Or go to an ethnic grocery store and pick meat or produce or canned or packaged food you haven't tasted before. (Only once did I find the can of food unpalatable.) When there are annual celebrations of different nationalities, check out their music and food. And it can be very enjoyable to talk to them about their customs and traditions.
4) If you don't have a habit of exercising 2-5 times a week sign up at a local gym for 1 month. If you try out yoga, tai chi, aerobics, swimming and other classes and workout machines, you could get "hooked" and do a great favor to your health by becoming an ongoing member. If you already walk/exercise regularly, add some spice by walking in different parks or neighborhoods. Encourage your non-exercising friends to join you. Making a difference in others' lives often helps us to feel more vital.
5) Explore creative outlets for your mind and body. Take a painting class. Join a writers' group or a book discussion group. Try out for a part in a play. How about ice or roller skating? Cross country skiing? Board games—check them out at Goodwill if you have qualms about the price of new games. My favorite is Dirty Minds. There are 3 clues that sound suggestive, but the answer is not—it may be a bug, a lamp, a wagon, etc. And it's good exercise for the brain to come up with the answers.
6) Go to animated and old favorite movies, such as Finding Nemo, Frozen, Lion King, etc. Seeing entertainment from a child's eyes is a sure way to identify with young people's delights. And watch your own childhood and teen favorites. The Sound of Music? The Wizard of Oz? John Wayne movies? Saturday Night Live episodes? They're free at the library and reasonable in other venues.
7) Wear bright colors or stylish clothes or skin-hugging jeans or colorful scarves—whatever gives you a lift and makes you feel young. Wear shoes that look great with your clothes. When you go for a walk or to the gym, wear what looks good on you that is also comfortable. Take a couple hours at a new or used clothes store to try on a few outfits. Buy one that says "I look and feel good!" Then make time to gather a bouquet that lights you up, a piece of fruit, and plenty of time to meditate or rest or just take it easy. Ah, yes!
I'd love to offer a complimentary 30-minute coaching call to anyone who'd like to explore any concerns or goals that came up as you read this. Any topic is fair game. I welcome your comments. I'm firstname.lastname@example.org 206-938-8385
More self improvement advice on YourTango: