As a society, we tend to focus on the future. We have a nasty habit of planning and scheduling every moment of our lives. Whether it’s a detailed ten-year plan or a promise to ourselves to be retired by 55, Boomers are usually busy making plans for the future. Though it’s important to have a plan, and hold ourselves accountable for such, it’s even more important to make sure we’re not missing out on all the good stuff and all the great people around us. Here’s some tips and tricks to staying mindful in the later years of life, and ensuring no day goes to waste.
1. Ditch the day planner
Before you go ahead and toss your calendar out the window, let me explain myself- there’s no need to schedule absolutely every moment of your life. Of course there are dates that need to be written down and scheduled for; dentist appointments, anniversaries and dinners with family are all great ideas to jot down, but that being said, there is entirely no need to have every hour of your week accounted for ahead of time. Life is best enjoyed with frequent intervals of spontaneity. When we’re too busy planning for the future, we’re destined to miss out on all the potential opportunities the present has in store.
2. Don’t worry, be happy
Of course it’s a lot easier to say something than to actually do it. As much as I’m sure we’d all love to be happy all the time, it’s impossible. We all have our ups and our downs- it’s an inescapable aspect of life. But when we make a promise to ourselves to try and stay happy and positive it can do wonders for how we actually feel. If we’re constantly absorbed in what the future can hold, we add a lot of unnecessary burden to our already stressful lives and the lives of our families. This stress, at times crippling and all consuming, has a direct correlation to our likeliness to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia in later years.
3. Step away from the screen
Whether a computer, TV, phone, fridge or watch (really what doesn’t have a screen on it now a days), take a few minutes and enjoy some time void of technology. Instead, gather up your parents, children, grandchildren, spouse or whoever else is closest to you, and make a commitment to spend time together, perhaps share an experience or a story. As we age, it’s important to not only try new things, but to reward ourselves with the things we enjoy the most, but don’t always get the chance to do. These random acts help to keep our minds sharp and our bodies feeling young.
By making a commitment to live in the now, we help to eliminate unhealthy stress and live happier, more productive lives with the people most important to us. When we trap ourselves in an all consuming schedule, we’re missing out on a lot of prospective memories.