33526730 sIt’s the one thing we all share: aging.

From the moment we’re born, we start growing older. At first, it’s fun. We get more freedom. More independence. More confidence. But that quickly changes to more responsibility. More stress. More gray hair.

For many people, it’s not until they watch their parent’s mortality that they feel their own. Seeing Mom suffer from dementia or Dad go through chemo is frightening. How are you supposed to embrace the aging process when this is what could lie ahead?

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), no one knows what the future has in store. All we can do is live today and embrace the many abilities we do have. If you can get out of bed with the freedom to walk, talk and see, we’d say that you have a lot to be thankful for.

Here are five ways to embrace the aging process with your head held high.

  1. Stay Active

It’s been awhile since you chased the kids around. It’s probably been awhile since you chased the grandkids around! But making excuses for not being active isn’t going to get you anywhere.

As our bodies age, it becomes more important to stay physically active. Whether it’s walking with a friend in the mornings, participating in a yoga class or doing light stretching, make time for exercise. It’s good for both your mental and physical health.

  1. Get Plenty of Rest

You need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sometimes, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, so talk to your doctor if you feel that you’re struggling to get enough rest. Your body needs this time to relax, restore and repair itself.

  1. Stimulate Your Mind

New activities can keep the mind young, so don’t hesitate to try out new things like knitting, painting or scrapbooking. If you’ve had interests before but didn’t have the time to invest in them, now is the time to do so. Being active in different activities allows you to meet new people, which can also keep you younger.

  1. Have Fun and Laugh

Whether it’s spending time with the grandkids or enjoying a coffee break with your friends, give yourself time to have fun. If you’ve ever had a bad day and someone made you laugh, it made you feel better, right? Laughing is a wonderful way to get out of a bad mood and feeling more positive toward life.

  1. Fill Your Plate with Colors

The days of eating your meals standing up are gone. You now have the time to prepare healthy meals. It’s easy to get in the rut of not cooking because it’s only you, but look at this as an advantage. There is no one not to like your food, except you of course.

Fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies, as well as some whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Your body needs vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to stay healthy and energized.

Aging is not all bad. In fact, many people say their best days are when the kids are gone! The more you embrace the aging process and what’s in store, the more you will find things to appreciate!