New Year, New Mindset: Embracing the Art of Positive Aging

New Year, New Mindset

New Year, New Mindset: Embracing the Art of Positive Aging

The earth has taken another turn around the sun and that means that yes, we will soon be another year older. What better time than now for a little inspiration about the meaning of empowered aging? 

It’s not like it used to be. Today, the ages of 60, 70, 80 or 90 are not a signal to slow down but, on the contrary, are an invitation to embrace the years ahead with positivity, purpose, and active participation.  

After all, we are all familiar with those ever-moving goalposts: 60 is the new 40, 70 the new 50 and so on — which means you may have many decades ahead of you with greater vitality than the generations before.  

The question needs to be asked. : How will you spend them? There’s nothing more empowering than being intentional about how we want to spend our bonus years.  

Choosing a positive approach to aging is not only pragmatic but it’s also inspiring. Living wide awake is recognizing the wealth of experience and wisdom you have accumulated over the years and channeling that energy into a fulfilling and purposeful life. And yes, this can look completely different than anything you’ve done before. Or, it can be much the same – but please be sure you are choosing it and not letting unconscious routines choose for you. 

Here’s how you can actively participate in shaping a positive aging experience: 

Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Knowledge is power. We bet when you read that you thought to yourself, “Obviously…” But the first step is to learn what it even means to have a healthy lifestyle. It’s not dieting, that’s for sure. It’s about moving, being social, having a positive mindset and yes, of course eating a healthy diet is a given.  

At The Woodlands, we have a wonderful dining program that is generous with healthy options, including a salad bar that is worthy of a meal all of its own. Plus, our newly built 13,000 sq. ft. fitness club with indoor pool, workout room, and wide variety of scheduled classes, makes it easy to show up for your daily, or at least regular, workout.   

Cultivate Social Connections

Foster meaningful relationships with family, friends, and community. How do you get started? First, bite the bullet and write or call your old friends. No old friends in the area? You can make new friends. At The Woodlands, you’ll find a community of active, lifelong learners who are excited to explore alongside you, whether golfing at the Furman University Golf Course, taking nature excursions along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, or lunching and shopping at Travelers Rest. Here, there are more things to do than time to do them. While living socially is simply more fun than living in isolation, the wellness value social networking has on one’s health is very clear: Nearly 150 studies have documented that people with an active social life have a 50% less chance of premature death than those who are not socially active. It also staves off cognitive decline, depression, and much more. 

Pursue Lifelong Learning

Thanks to neuroplasticity, your brain can keep stretching with new connections! Stay curious and engaged by pursuing new interests and skills. Whether it’s learning a new language, taking up a hobby, or enrolling in classes, continuous learning keeps the mind sharp and adds richness to your life. The university right next door has one of the largest Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) programs in the nation, with more than 50 classes every year. Plus, The Woodlands hosts its own robust lecture series, as well as numerous clubs, outings, meeting and volunteer groups, discussion panels and much more. There are also planned classes and music events you can attend here, and plenty more in Greenville and at Furman University.  

Travel and Explore

The world is full of wonders waiting to be explored. Traveling, whether near or far, opens up new perspectives and experiences. It’s never too late to embark on adventures and create lasting memories. Remember that important social network we mentioned earlier? One great way to travel is to build a new social network of other people who love to travel and look forward to sharing their adventures with you. One huge advantage to living in the Upstate is the nearby mountains and the city of Greenville is a cultural hub.   

Cultivate a Positive Mindset

Approach life with optimism and resilience. Challenges are a natural part of the journey, but maintaining a positive mindset allows you to navigate them with grace and strength. That also means taking a positive approach to aging and developing some empowering metaphors for the years ahead. You’ll REALLY want to avoid that negative self-talk such as “I am over the hill” and replace it with something like,  “Aging is part of life and I plan on doing it the best I can.”  

Yes, age is just a number. So taking a pragmatic approach to positive aging means you can both prepare for the “what ifs” of aging while at the same time live to your full tilt and live your life wide awake and thriving.  

The years ahead offer a canvas on which you can paint the vibrant picture of your best life as you envision it. By taking an active, positive approach to aging, you’re not only investing in your own well-being and health span, but living as an inspiration to those around you. However, choosing an age-positive environment with an active social network and supportive amenities and service does make a difference.  

Join us for a tour and see how The Woodlands can be part of your five-year plan. Carpe diem!