Getting older is not for sissy's right? We have all heard this at one time or another but how many of us follow this advice?
I live in a retirement community where a majority of the conversations hinge around everyone's aches and pains which we all have and how life used to be which I learned long ago though it's nice to reminisce, it does not accomplish anything but harbor depression for many who choose to live in the past.
Getting older is not the time to start getting soft on yourself or even worse living in self-pity, no, its time that we pick ourselves up off the ground and inject some strength not only in our bodies but our minds more importantly.
In life, we are either growing or dying and for many retirees, we seem to think now is the time to coast and roll over and play dead, this leads to nothing but a life of melancholy and for some, all loss of hope for a happier and fulfilling life.
Now is the time to spend some time with yourself and turn off all other distractions around you and look for a new challenge to undertake and, to take a hard look at all those pre-conceived limitations you have hauled around with you that really are not true at all.
Those same limitations that lead us to believe living a life of safety and security was the way to go, right? We had to make sure we arrived safely at death I guess.
Once retired, its time to work on your mental toughness because that is what will get you through the tough times and as humans we all will go through these times at one time or another.
Mental toughness has different meanings for many people. I use it in my daily mental practice to make sure I do the things that need to be done whether I feel like it or not.
It's about" doing today what others won't so tomorrow you can do what others cant"!
Having the mental toughness to get out of bed early each morning to follow a morning exercise routine is something for instance I do and have done so for years. I am not bragging as much as I am saying, once you get into the groove of why you are doing it and see and feel the effects it has on your life, it's not so hard to follow through.
To follow through on a promise you made to yourself like starting an exercise program and eating cleaner and healthier and seeing it through to the end, that is just one instance of mental toughness right there!
In life, it has been said by a more astute philosopher than myself that " if you are hard on yourself life is easy, but if you are easy on yourself life is hard" I find this to be 100 percent accurate.
the topic of mental toughness is popular these days and is something we all can learn if we take it one small bite at a time. Its needed more than ever by seniors today who feel the weight of the world caving in on them and there is nowhere to turn.
Don't think you can or will change your mindset in one day it will not happen, however, you can start by doing something, some sort of challenge for instance then making sure you stick to it until the end if there is one.
Mental toughness is about improving yourself each and every day in some way whether its mental or physical.
It's about facing challenges with a can-do attitude rather than being defeated mentally before you even start by allowing those old negative self-talking tapes to control your mindset.
It's about doing the small things that will set you apart from everyone else but more importantly, it will improve your life to help you live a productive and higher quality of life after 65.
It's about not complaining to anyone who will hear your story because guess what I found out, no one gives a damn! Really, they will hear you out but they got their own dragons to slay. Going to someone else for the answer to your problems will not help you.
Being mentally tough you will know what we all should have known for years, that the answer to our problems lies within us!
Only you will know ultimately what is right for you.
Being mentally tough means standing up to the daily challenges in life and not looking for someone to bail you out of yet another self-inflicted crisis, but you taking charge of your own life for a change and making things happen and solving your dilemma.
Its never too late to take control of your life through right thinking strategies and having a never give up attitude no matter if it's your health or financial picture right now.
With the right mental approach, you will understand that nothing is permanent and that all things shall pass but only if you stand tall, look your challenges in the eye and never back down and give in to defeat.
Life, as we age, does not mean you will not sit back and roller coast through your last remaining years on this earth, it should mean that you will work on developing the self-discipline to make your dreams and goals a reality and have the grit to see it through to the end.
Retirement is not the end, it should be the beginning of a new life and only you have the key to start the ignition to a more determined and energetic you that cannot be defeated, you will prevail if you set your mind to it.
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT