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Ageless Aging - December 2013
December 04, 2013
Welcome to your December newsletter. Almost the end of this year. Amazing! .
Before getting into this month's content, I want to offer a clarification. Last month when I said it was the most important issue I ever wrote, I was referring to the information about Melatonin as preventive of the plaque that is typical of Alzheimer's.....NOT my request about your use of the shopping page! Your cognitive health is far more important than my economics!
OK .That said I'd like to continue with a 'quality of life' suggestion for the end of this year. My hope is that you will find this intriguing enough to try it.
A gratitude journalDo consider starting a 'gratitude journal'....even if you are busy at this time of year. In fact if you are busy, you may need REALLY need this.
First, get a pad or a notebook...or you can even use the backs of envelopes if you wish. Now every night take 3 - 5 minutes to write down somethings from your day for which you are grateful.
It can be something as simple as the fact that you had enough to eat....or that your remembered to call a friend...or that someone trusted you enough to share a concern or ask a favor. I do not know what it will be for you. For me, some days I am just glad I made it through!
But write 3 things down. Do this every single night. At the end of the week read through your whole list. Then start a new list. At the end of the second week read through the whole 2 weeks of lists. (You may find that the SAME things keep showing up.) At the end of a month....having read through the whole month's lists, put them aside. Start a new list for your next month. .
Why do this? One of the great gifts in life is a 'grateful heart' and elders who cultivate such are not only happier themselves BUT they are a pleasure to be around. If you do this activity of keeping a Gratitude Journal each day for a year, I think that you will find yourself happier....even transformed. You will have developed a 'grateful heart'. And that is a real accomplishment! .
Now I did not invent this idea...it is a classic in human development. It is built upon the psychological principle that what we think about on a regular basis shapes and transforms us. I hope you will give this a try. (I just started mine.) If you do it and want to share something of your experience, feel free to email me. I am really interested. (Just hit REPLY to this newsletter and I shall get your post.)
It only take a few minutes - and yet, keeping a gratitude journal is said to make a real difference in how you feel AND how much you will grow as an Elder.
Remember when you have companyIf you want to communicate well with others, do remember that for children: who they ARE is who they hope to be....so taking their dreams, plans, fantasies seriously is very important.
For adults, who they are is what they are NOW. (That is why losing a job or being ill can be so hard on an adult. They live in the now and measure themselves by that.)
For elders, who we are is all we have been - not just what we are now. One of the great difficulties in dealing with adults is that they apply their adult sensibility to us. It is important to find ways of bringing our self concept to the fore.
Example: If an elder is going to be in a hospital or needs time in assisted care, it is worth putting together a collage of pictures from the past that give an idea of the elders self concept - here is not only an old person but also a skier, a dancer, a piano player etc. This is important. For adults, what they see is what 'counts' but for older persons, what you see is only 25% of the story. We ARE all we have been...and that is important.
A few years ago I had some major surgery and had to spend a couple weeks in 'assisted care'. I quickly learned that I was appalled and the staff a bit dismayed that I found it difficult to be treated as old woman. I bristled at being called 'sweetie' and 'honey' or being talked to as if I were 5 years old. So I began telling staff about myself - telling stories that would define myself. It helped. But I know that if I ever have to spend time in such a facility again - or have a relative or friend so confined, I shall put together a collage of pictures that define us and hang it over the bed. .
Oh, and if you are caring for an elder it will help a great deal if you appeal to their own self concept. Remember they are NOT just what you see before you....they are ALL they have been as well as what they are now. Calling upon that self concept may offer solutions to what seem to be a potential problem.
Welcome 2014That's it for this month....this year. Thanks for reading. If you have questions you want me to research ....or if you suggestions for me to consider, KNOW THAT I AM GLAD TO GET THEM.
Be well, be happy - enjoy something special each day. Next issue comes in 2014. I hope.
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