Life after 50 can be both daunting and exciting. If you have kids, they may have already flown the nest. If you’re still active with your career, you may be looking towards retirement. Time may seem to have slowed down compared to your 30s and 40s. You may also notice lots of changes in your body and your health that can be disheartening.
But it’s worthwhile to remember that getting to grow old is an absolute gift. While reaching this milestone can feel intimidating, there are a lot of things to look forward to as well. The 50s are often a natural transition period where many reflect on what they really want to lead a truly fulfilled life. It’s actually a great time to explore opportunities you were hesitant to pursue in the past!
So, instead of facing this new stage in life with reluctance, here are 10 tips to raise happiness past your 50s, 60s and beyond!
1. Explore the outdoors
Public health restrictions due to the pandemic may have inhibited our ability to move around, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our surroundings. Being outdoors allows us to practice these guidelines safely. Also, thanks to the miracle of medical treatments, we’re finally able to move with a bit more freedom. So, get ready to stretch those legs!
Exploring the outdoors doesn’t mean going on a long hike right away. You can start small, with a short walk around your neighborhood or the park. You may even bike on that trail that you’ve been putting off for years.
Take this time to reconnect with nature. Studies have shown that basking in natural surroundings has benefits for your mind and body. It brings us positive emotions and reduces stress in the process.
2. Try your hand at cooking
Everyone’s got their own unique taste, especially when it comes to food. Remember that casserole that changed your life? Maybe you can make it on your own and even improve on it.
Explore your sense of taste, imagining new worlds through rediscovered flavors, redefined or altogether new. Perhaps you have inherited recipes that you haven’t tried preparing yourself? Share your discoveries with your friends and family; nothing brings people together like a delicious home-cooked meal.
3. Rock your own style
The fashion industry may cater to a younger market, but that doesn’t have to stop you from discovering your own style. Gone are the days of being too conscious about your look.
Have fun with it! There’s a ton of textiles, fabrics and materials to mix and match and come up with a unique look that’s authentically you. Experiment and be creative. Create your own timeless look. Most of all, be fearless!
4. Explore your spirituality
Spiritual wellbeing has always been key to a full and content life. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a strong religious belief, as there are many ways to revitalize your spiritual health.
Spirituality means being more concerned with a connection with something bigger than ourselves rather than the physical. The Dalai Lama once said, “Many think that happiness can be found outside in material things, but actually happiness is something that comes from within.”
Connect with yourself through meditation or starting a daily gratitude practice to kickstart your spiritual journey.
5. Grow your own food
Have you ever considered growing your own food? Sustainability has become especially relevant these days and building a private little farm in the comfort of your home, no matter how big or small, can make a difference to how you consume food.
Dedicating a space to plant, nurture and harvest your own herbs and vegetables can be both fulfilling and gratifying. Not to mention you’ll be avoiding all the chemical pesticides that can be harmful to your health.
Watching your little plants bear fruit can be a satisfying achievement. This can also help you to be more conscious of what you eat, leading to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
6. Set up a personal blog
It can be intimidating to put your thoughts and experiences out there. It might feel like everything has been said, and that there’s nothing new to say. But it’s important to remember that no one sees the world through your eyes. You have your own perspective on life and if you look closely enough, there’s a ton of things to share. Especially now, after having experienced so much!
Start with the simple things: what happened to you today, what thoughts you had, what memories you fondly remember. Think about what you’ve learned and share your unique wisdom that’s sure to inspire others. You’d be surprised at how many people can relate and would love to share their own experiences with you.
7. Catch up on your reading
Still haven’t finished that book you started some years back? Now’s the time to finish it.
Reading engages us differently from our phones, TV and laptops. It’s a great way to stimulate our minds while entertaining us at the same time. It can also inspire us to try new things that would bring us joy.
You can set a goal for yourself and read a number of books for the year. It’s exciting to know that there’s a multitude of knowledge still waiting to be gained. Learning doesn’t have to stop at 50!
8. Rediscover love
Bring back that spark! Reaching your 50s doesn’t have to mean settling into a routine that has lost its fire. It’s a great time to be creative and romantic. If you have a spouse or partner, try going on a date, having a meaningful conversation, or doing this list together. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to rediscover your love for each other.
This doesn’t have to be exclusive to your spouse. Love is much more than a romantic partner - it’s everywhere! Figuring out what your heart truly desires can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. Take the time to do the simple things that bring you real joy, like watching your favorite movie. These little acts can be therapeutic and spark happiness.
9. Volunteer work
After dedicating years to building a life for yourself, whether it's a family, a career, a home…now what? If you had children, they may have moved out and the transition to retirement has just provided you with more free time. It’s a good opportunity to find a new reason to wake up every morning to greet the new day.
Giving back to the community helps build meaning and purpose. If you like to make a positive change in society, there’s tons of advocacies and movements to choose from. Find one that is close to your heart, and you can devote your time to. Getting involved in charitable activities helps boost your spiritual wellness while helping those in need.
10. Beautify yourself
Aging doesn’t have to mean just fading into obscurity. You can be just as confident and vibrant in your 50s as you were in your younger years, if not more so. There’s a saying that you’re only as old as you feel. It’s all a matter of perspective…and a little TLC for your skin doesn’t hurt either.
Time, sun, stress and genetics all take their toll on your physical wellbeing. As our body changes, so does its needs. Mature skin tends to be more prone to dryness and less able to retain a firm shape. So, it's always good to be mindful of what we put on our skin. Make sure to use products that contain clean, organic ingredients and are specially formulated for mature skin.
Life in your 50s and beyond is just filled with opportunity and new beginnings. There are no limitations to growing in wisdom, nurturing ourselves, and seeing things anew through the multitude of experiences our world has to offer. As Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect, once said, “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.”
What are your thoughts on these tips? Comment below to let us know!