Graceful: “Characterized by elegance or beauty of form, manner, movement, or speech; elegant.”
Aging: “Cause to grow or seem old.”
To “age gracefully” by textbook definition is to grow old in an elegant manner. The million dollar question is: How do I do that? The answer to this question varies from person to person based upon what an individual feels is important when growing older. After speaking to a multitude of people of various ages, I realized it also depends on the age of whom you’re asking.
I found that the younger the person, the more minuscule the details they’ll tell you about in regards to aging. As you grow older, the small, individual wrinkles fall to the wayside when you’re focused on the bigger picture. “To be as healthy and happy as possible” is a good start to a having successfully aging mindset.
I sat down with one of the most gracefully aged individuals I know, Lauren Monahan. Lauren is the Coordinator of Frank R. Strang Senior Center, a colleague of Senior Financial Group’s in the senior community. The first day I met Lauren, I was blown away by her sensational personality, humor, and beauty. She is 62-years-young as of last Sunday (her special day was filled with glitter and leopard print), and I was fortunate enough to sit down with her to talk about her tricks on aging gracefully.
- What do you think of when you hear the phrase “aging gracefully”? What does that mean to you personally?
Not going by the number. Forget the number, how do you feel? It means not living worried about wrinkles and pains. I honestly forget how old I am, I feel 35! A lot of people think that just because they’re older based on the number means they have to stay home all day, get perms and wear house dresses. It’s about how old you think you are.
- How are ways you think you have preserved your youthfulness?
1.Exercise 2. Skincare 3. Sleep 4. Eat well (In no particular order. Everyday goals.)
I own about every cream known to man. Skin is one of the biggest aging factors. It’s very important to take good care of your skin. It’s one of the things on my list to do daily. However, she tells us she didn’t start using skin care creams until she was about 45. I think one of my biggest secrets is sleep. I get 9 hours of sleep every night, from about 8:00 pm – 4: 00 am. That’s a huge factor in my level of energy as well, which plays into the amount of exercise/activity I do. You have got to move your body some way or another. Being social (a part of her daily activities at Strang Senior Center) also comes into play to affect her level of activity, as well as social health and happiness.
- Have any advice you would give to young adults on how to age gracefully?
Stop being influenced by the media, celebrities, etc. Be yourself, naturally, instead of being influenced by what you think you SHOULD look like.
- I know we’ve touched on daily goals already… do you have any annual goals?
I make New Year’s resolutions every year that I stick to. Like this year: To visit family at least 3 times. Simple goals like that. “Being able to enjoy family for as long as possible” was something almost everyone I spoke to mentioned as one of their aging goals. Lauren also has been a long time pageant participant, so she basis some of her goals on individual pageant activities.
Thank you, Lauren, for letting us in on your aging secrets!
We’d love to hear from our readers about more secrets to aging gracefully! Comment below to share your thoughts.