woman smelling pink flowers

Slow Your Roll, Enjoying the Little Things in Life

woman smelling pink flowers

One of the best – and easiest – ways we can support our own mental and emotional well-being is by remembering to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. This isn’t a virtue that is often supported in our culture, which often touts the benefits of “life in the fast lane” or “going for broke.” But it’s still important – and even more so as we grow older.

The little things in life are what we will cherish when we look back on our lives and enjoy fond memories. This could be the joy of time spent with close friends or loved ones, the first moments in a child’s or grandchild’s life, or even a lazy afternoon spent with a good novel. Or it could be enjoying the cycles of the seasons and the beauty of nature. It could be doing a simple kindness for a friend, or receiving one in turn.

Without slowing down to appreciate these small things, what is the rest of life made of? It winds up being nothing more than the daily grind of work, the various disappointments we all face, and the occasional crisis that comes out of nowhere. Between these events are the little things in life. And while individually they may seem insignificant, when they are added up, they’re really what make up the vast majority of what makes us happy in life. While we tend to think of life in terms of years, it’s really composed of the small moments that take place every day. Many of these can be forgettable on their own, but together they provide the richness that results in a life lived well.

So whenever you have a moment, appreciate it. Take time to see the little things that make your life richer, and try to be thankful for them when you can. If you find that you haven’t taken the time to slow down and step out of the daily grind in a while, do yourself a favor and take a quiet moment to spend with loved ones, friends, or just by yourself.

senior woman sleeping bed

Sleep Tips: A Good Night’s Rest is Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

senior woman sleeping bed

Your overall mood and energy levels during the day are highly influenced by the kind of sleep you’re getting at night. Unfortunately, many older adults report difficulties sleeping through the night, and as a result they have lower energy during the day. There are a number of things you can do to make sure you are getting the kind of natural, productive sleep you need to stay mentally focused and emotionally balanced and have a great day.

Maintain a regular schedule. Your body is on a circadian rhythm – the natural cycle between sleep and wakefulness. Only by maintaining a regular schedule can you avoid throwing it out of balance. Keep a regular bedtime, and get up at the same time every day. If you lost sleep at night, make up for it with an afternoon nap.

Increase daily light exposure. Getting enough natural light exposure is important for your body’s ability to maintain its circadian rhythm. Spend more time outside during the day. Avoid wearing sunglasses when possible. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to let as much light into your home as possible.

Decrease light exposure at night. In our modern age, we are exposed to more sources of unnatural light than at any other time in human history – and this can have a negative impact on our ability to get enough sleep. Turn off the TV and computer at least an hour before going to bed, and turn off overhead bulbs in favor of softer light from lamps. Avoid reading from backlit devices in favor of ones with darker screens.

Make the bedroom a refuge for sleeping. Use heavy light-blocking curtains to make sure it is as dark as possible and reduce outside noise. Use white noise to cancel out any noise that does filter in, such as a fan or soothing, soft music. Keep your bedroom slightly cool and well-ventilated, as this will also help improve sleep.