5 tips to enrich your mid-life28 November 2019
5 tips to enrich your mid-life
Be true to yourself. You have gained wisdom through life experiences so don’t feel the need to look or act younger than your years. The paradox is that you stay youthful by truly accepting the age you are now, by being comfortable in your skin and feeling gratitude for the life you have lived. Get in touch with your Values and make sure you are living in alignment with them. And if for example one of your Values is Caring, remember self-care is equally important to caring for others.
Think creatively. Self-awareness is the first step to making choices. Using mindful reflection is just one way to raise self-awareness and a great exercise is daily journalling. Set aside time daily to practice, even five or ten minutes will do. You can write about anything and everything. It can be something that happened in the past, something that’s happening now, or might happen in the future. You could write a letter to your younger, or older self. No-one is going to read it or judge you, so just see what emerges on the paper. Keep your focus of attention on the present. When you have finished, pause momentarily and reflect on what you have written.
Stay optimistic. Optimism in mid-life is different to the optimism of youth which can be fanciful and romanticised wishful thinking. Being optimistic later gives you a hopeful perspective and it encourages openness to alternatives. Having a childlike curiosity helps your mind to stay open too and will enrich your future life experiences. Children live in the present moment totally engrossed in their play or learning activities, and without the hindrance of thinking about the the past or future.
Being optimistic later is about having a realistic point of view that is supported by resilience.
Be bold, take risks. Exercise your positive mental muscle along with your bodily muscles. It takes more energy to be positive so eating healthily, and exercising in whatever ways you enjoy, will keep your positivity topped up. Now is not the time to settle for just accepting things, or sliding into being too comfortable. Taking some calculated risks and stepping outside your comfort zone will be exhilerating and you will feel the benefits in your renewed positive outlook.
Give something back. Research shows that by the time we reach mid-life we get as much fulfillment from giving back as we gained from achievement in earlier years. It is arguably why so many people choose to do voluntary work that they enjoy and feel worthwhile. No longer is the only option to carry on with our career or retire which means we can use our time more creatively. Continuing to work part-time or supplementing income in a completely different sphere, or doing voluntary work. Or a combination. All can be more rewarding, and help us to feel in control of the time we give to working. Feeling in control and doing what make us feel good has the bonus of boosting optimism levels too.