Be Happy and Present
November 1, 2021
One of the great things about getting older is gaining perspective on life and situations. As Meryl Streep once said, “don’t waste so much time worrying about your skin or your weight. Develop what you do, what you put your hands on in the world.” As the days turn colder and we prepare for Thanksgiving, try to practice presence, gratitude and ultimately happiness in the small and big things in life that provide joy.How to be Present
Although the past and the future are both significant, it is all the more important during the holidays to be present in the here and now:
- Keep your eyes and your heart open to others.
- Try to respect each other’s opinions even when they are different.
- Listen and hear what others are saying.
- Gaze at your environment and take in the beauty.
Staying connected can create feelings of happiness and also help one stay present. A 2011 Gallup Poll showed that older adults spending extra hours being social each day correlated with additional feelings of happiness and enjoyment, and fewer feelings of stress and worry. So, make time for socializing on a regular basis! At Pisgah Valley our independent living residents plan a Thanksgiving social each year. They post a sign-up sheet to indicate who is bringing what dish and have a great time as a community. Rich memories can be created around family and friends’ get-togethers; after all some friends and family only see each other during this time of the year. Make the best of every interaction and move in to the New Year with feelings of love and togetherness.Pace don’t race
The roads are busy this time of the year and stores are about to be bustling with shoppers but your mind doesn’t have to. Try to stick to performing the necessities for the holidays and don’t get your plate too full (no pun intended.) You know what you can and can’t handle so help yourself out and take your time doing the things you know you can do well and do them really well. Remember the quote from Meryl and what you want to put your hands on in the world.Make time for reflection
Whether you reflect by praying, journaling, gazing at the views from outside or meditating, keep doing it on a consistent basis. Each day try to intentionally set aside time to reflect on the moment in which you are living, your gratitude for that life and for those you choose to surround yourself with. Not everyday is perfect so when stress creeps in and life is less than favorable, there are always the small things that lift us up. You can always find one thing to reflect on that made the day a little better.Serve others
One of the best ways to feel graciousness and be in the moment is to help someone else. It can be as simple as opening the door for someone or it can be in the form of volunteering your time. No matter the avenue you take to help someone, you will truly be rewarded wholeheartedly in that moment. This month Pisgah Valley is giving back by collecting food for MANNA food bank. You can place goods in various areas around campus such as the Community Center, Villa, Manor and Wellness Center.
Life can be crazy and chaotic but you have the power to avoid that. Research has shown that when older people are genuinely happy and present, they are healthier. Focus on being yourself, take your time completing tasks and thoughts, reflect on the day and special moments, and help each other out. Make the rest of this year and the next one memorable, intimate and unforgettable.