I’m a widow in my 80s. I want to keep my life vital and joy filled. Do you have any suggestions on how I can do this?
Still Raring to Go
Dear Raring to Go,
I love your attitude! A good example of someone who has remained vital and, we assume, joy-filled is 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. She recently revealed her rules for staying vital to author Bryan Kozlowski for his book, Long Live the Queen: 23 Rules for Living from Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch. Consider which of the Queen’s rules applies to you as you strive to continue to live a vital life.
Here are a few of the twenty-three rules. They are in no particular order:
- Stick to a schedule. From her early days as queen, Elizabeth has followed a strict daily regiment that ends with writing in her journal.
- Learn to dial down negative mind chatter. Sweetening your self–talk creates a type of psychological armor. Positive self–talk is particularly important when you live alone (as I assume you do).
- Play. Elizabeth takes time nearly every day to play as she did as a child, specifically with horses. This keeps her brain youthful and her body flexible. Are you engaging in a fun activity every day? If not, what might you try?
- Serve others. The patron of hundreds of charities, the queen believes that giving herself to good causes also helps put her own worries in perspective.
- Sustain your faith. As a regular church attender and person who prays daily, Elizabeth believes that whatever worries the world throws at her, there is “a higher throne on which to lay them.”
- Be open to change. The queen has never stopped learning and adapting. She says, “The way we embrace change defines our future.” Are you open to change in this fast-paced world?
- Have a sense of purpose. Studies show that having a cause helps immunity and reduces one’s risk of Alzheimer’s. Your cause may not be as large as the queen’s (her country) but choose one that makes a difference to you.
- Recharge your willpower. Elizabeth shows a great deal of restraint and self-control in her daily life. However limitless this may seem, she takes time to recharge her willpower battery. Tea anyone?
I hope some of these strategies will resonate with you, and you can live out your later years as the vibrant person you aspire to be.