For this last day of 2018, I offer you a recap of my posts for this year to make it a little easier to refer back to or share a favorite one, or for a little refresher for everything we have discussed this year.
February 5—What Does Aging Look Like?
Sixty percent of what most folks believe about seniors is based on ingrained, negative age stereotypes. Unfortunately, these beliefs influence how we age. We can reverse that downward trend by re-choosing every moment of our lives. Instead of thinking old, worn out, senile, unproductive; think wise, resilient, empowered, experienced, accepting…
February 12 –Draining Our Memory Banks
Multi-tasking is for the young, if indeed it ever worked for us then. Multi-tasking in our middle to later years raises the release of stress hormones in our bodies, which negatively impacts our level of brain function. This post outlines four strategies to re-choose how we spend our time so that we can boost rather than drain our brain power.
February 19 – Stress and Memory
Lowering stress levels should be your number one priority. An overabundance of stress messes with your mind, and as you enter middle age, your body doesn’t have the same reserves it once had to preserve brain function.
February 26 –Slowing Down Our Clocks
Stress increases levels of cortisol, which at high levels is toxic to the brain. Regular exercise not only reverses the damage but also improves brain and memory function.
March 5 – Move It and Improve It
Exercise! Doing so regularly improves sleep, brings down insulin levels, and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
March 12 – More is Better
Change up your exercise routines and shoot for 4 different types of physical activity per week to reach optimum brain and body health.
March 19 –Shake Your Booty
Put on your dancing shoes at least once a week to maintain and even boost the long- term health of your brain.
March 26 –The Rhythm of the Drums
Music, when combined with aerobic exercise provides the most thorough mind and body work out we know at this moment.
April 2 – Seniors Don’t Have Sex*
It’s time to erase the outdated prejudices and laughable beliefs of the systematic stereotyping called “ageism” and become models of what getting older really looks like—fabulous from here.
April 9 –Explaining Gerontology
Gerontology blends the biological, social, and psychological sciences of aging with humanistic studies of relationships, spirituality, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors of older people.
April 16 – Why I Became a Gerontologist
My goals of empowering, educating, and energizing women to be the best version of themselves evolved from my lifelong fascination of science and my quest to discover more about the process of aging for others and myself where so few available resources existed.
April 23 – Jo Ann Jenkins Rocks!
Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP has written Disrupt Aging, a go-to reference for aging vibrantly.
April 30 – Are You Out of Balance?
Keeping your balance throughout your life is an empowering –and do-able goal.
May 7 –The Magic of Music
Moving to jazz, classical, or instrumental –sorry, not rock and roll—enhances your ability to regain and strengthen your balance.
May 14 – I Hear Music
One to three hours of listening to music per week, especially classical, boosts the brain’s capacity to change, adapt, and even grow. In other words, Beethoven and Bach keep your brain young!
May 21 –Play It Again, Sam
Learning to play an instrument increases cognitive performance and improves quality of life. It might also help you sleep better.
May 28 –Make Love and Music
Playing and/or listening to music engage all quadrants of the brain, resulting in higher memory and verbal retrieval. And, these benefits can last for decades!
June 4 – An Attitude of Gratitude
The power of gratitude to enrich every aspect of our lives can be personally quantified in the Gratitude Questionnaire-Six Item Form (GQ6) listed here.
June 11—Raising Your Gratitude Quotient
Embracing gratitude makes people physically, socially, and psychologically healthier. Grateful people feel less stress, less anxiety, greater life satisfaction, and better sleep—especially in combination with the Gratitude Meditation.
June 18 –The Gifts and Glue of Gratitude
Gratitude, the gift you give yourself, is the heart connection to others that helps you focus on what’s going right in your life. Keeping a gratitude journal makes you mindful of your many blessings.
June 25 –Radical Gratitude
Saying “Thank you” for everything may sound daunting but this expanded use of the Gratitude Meditation brings peaceful thoughts and a greater appreciation of your blessed life, even on those days not seemingly joyful.
July 2 –Up Your Happiness Quotient
Even when facing life’s toughest hurdles, being thankful for the smallest of gifts relieves stress and depression. Dr. Seligman’s powerful tool, “The Gratitude Visit” can help you.
July 9 –Losing Our Armor
After menopause, our hormonal bulletproof armor of younger days vaporizes and we become exposed and unprotected from life’s hardships. Upping our gratitude quotient is the best defense against those stressful times.
July 16 –We’re Out of Control
Much of our stress lies in the fear that life won’t be as we had hoped or planned, and so we decide, consciously or unconsciously, we can’t be happy. Learning how to reboot and gain control of our lives lowers stress and allows us to feel better about those things that aren’t going perfectly.
July 23 — Meditation 101
Practicing meditation, which creates a pause in the circus of life, is a powerful tool in combating life’s more trying times.
July 30 –The Goods On Meditation
Chronic stress speeds up cognitive decline and all degenerative aspects of aging. Studies show practicing mindful meditation can reverse age-related brain degeneration.
September 3 –What Does It Mean To Live Vibrantly?
To age vibrantly we need to cast off outdated notions about aging and focus on the mind and spirit, as well as the body.
September 10 –The Physical Aspects of Being Vibrant
Recognizing, adapting to, and being content with our present abilities—we’re not 25 any more—are key ingredients to living our current lives to the fullest.
September 17 –Keeping Our Mental Momentum
Setting goals—some of them challenging—being resilient, and accepting ourselves as we are, ensures the active life most adults envision. Regular exercise tops the list for aiding in memory retention.
September 24 – Our Vibrant Hearts
Keeping a positive attitude that allows us to let go of regrets, and practicing some form of spirituality promotes a higher level of emotional well being. Social connections and involvement lead to a more vibrant and longer life.
October 4- The Doctor Is In With Answers
Claudia Harsh, MD, an expert in the field of women’s medicine, answers questions about the connection between menopause and breast cancer.
October 8—Weighing In On Breast Cancer Preventions
Maintaining a healthy weight and making sound life choices can lower the risk of getting breast cancer.
October 15 –Belly Up To The Bar… Or Not
Two glasses of wine a day may lead to a greater chance of contracting breast cancer, especially in women with a family history of the disease. The good news? Exercise lowers the odds!
October 22 –Prevention On Our Plates
Regular, focused exercise is the number one breast cancer risk reducer, but making friends with vegetables and cutting back on red meat and processed foods come in second and third.
October 29 –More Answers From Dr. Claudia Harsh
Once again Dr. Harsh offers thoughtful answers to some of the most pressing questions women have regarding breast cancer.
Making social connections, and especially visiting a senior who is living in a care facility are the most successful ways to change negative feelings of loss and despair to positive feelings of happiness and contentment.
November 12 –Lift Your Spirits and Your Skirt this Season
Winter depression is real! To combat it, get involved—volunteer, mentor a young person, join a group, and find an opportunity to dance the night away!
November 19 – Seeing the Best In Everyone
Playing nice, even with the most tedious guest at the table, will up your happiness quotient. Listen to an elder’s memories of past holiday celebrations and make some new memories of your own by playing with the children, or just holding someone’s hand. Be present to be happy.
November 26 – Spread A Little Gratitude All Year Long
Rabbi Rami Shapiro has a great way to “Pay It Forward.” He responds to as many charitable requests his holiday budget allows. Then he finds opportunities in the months ahead to donate to the remaining legitimate charities. Giving throughout the year extends that great feeling you get when you give money to folks who need it.
December 3-Tapping Into A Better Brain
The latest research cites dancing as one of the outstanding ways to lay down new tracks in our aging brains and grow new brain cells along with sleeker muscles. I’m a work in progress but my personal experience with tap class has enriched my life.
December 10-Make it Fun!
Our attitudes are everything. We can’t go back to when we were younger, so now the way to feel as good as we can, be as sharp as we are able to be, and look as vibrant as possible, is to invest time, and some money, into taking care of ourselves. New research hot from the field points to fun as the secret sauce for living a long mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy life.
December 17-Sugar Land
Knowing I was eating too much sugar, I decided to drop it from my diet for the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. The resulting weight loss was beneficial, but more importantly, I was free of the sugar pull, free from wanting sweet things. That was empowering, very empowering, a sensation I continue to relish.
December 24—With Age Comes Wisdom
In this season of celebration, the underlying message of so many religions—Practice Kindness — has never been more critical. Growing older, gaining wisdom, means understanding that being right is often never as important as being kind.
I wish you a Happy, and even healthier, New Year, and more opportunities to… Be Vibrant!