There is a profound benefit to learning how to love yourself as you age. It helps improve your overall well-being and happiness.
Do you feel deeply fulfilled?
Experiencing consistent fulfillment after age 50 is both an art and a science.
Though everyone wants to love themselves as they age, not everyone finds it easy.
Issues such as shaky self-esteem, insecurity, and loss of daily passion can come into play when you get older.
However, you’re never too old to learn how to love yourself – whether you are just past 50 or well into senior years.
How Do I Take Good Care of Myself Over 50?
It’s normal to sometimes feel insecure about your appearance and vitality as you age.
What follows are proven tips on how to love yourself no matter where you are in life – including strategies for avoiding the falsehoods of aging.
Finally, I reveal specific tips to help you experience a robust improvement in your physical and mental health.
Stacking Small Self-Care Habits
Self-care is like having a health plan for your body and mind, broken down into manageable steps.
Sure, it can be hard to find time for self-care in your busy life, but the main benefit of self-care is that it ultimately energizes you to do more of the things you want to do.
It’s a self-perpetuating loop:
- The more small self-care habits you stack, the more energy you have.
- And the more energy you have, the more self-care habits you feel motivated to stack.
Once you get the momentum going, it becomes much easier. Getting started is the hardest part for most people.
The Emotional Layer of Loving Yourself
The human being with whom you’ll spend the most time during your lifespan is: you.
Given the fact that you will be with yourself every single second of every single day for the rest of your lifetime, what would it be like if you were kinder to yourself?
In what ways might your life improve if you were – genuinely and enthusiastically – your own best friend?
It’s a good thing to find a lifemate with whom you can walk through life. Someone who helps you thrive.
I’m all for it!
However, what matters, even more, is that you routinely talk to yourself with the patience and positive regard that you would talk to anyone you cared deeply about.
How to Love Yourself As You Age? Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Self-care after 50 is something you can prioritize, and the benefits are worth it.
There are many ways you can take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
Emotional self-care means clear communication with others about your thoughts and feelings – so that others don’t always have to guess what you’re experiencing on the inside.
Comparison is a common human instinct.
We see others and want to know where we stand in relation to them.
This desire for comparison stems from the belief that if we compare ourselves favorably with others, our lives will seem better than they are.
This is especially true in middle age when most of us are at least somewhat self-conscious about getting older.
In reality, comparing yourself to others can cause unnecessary feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.
Comparison creates unrealistic expectations for yourself because you assume that someone else’s life must be perfect (even though we all have flaws).
And even if you do feel good about being better than someone else in some way, your happiness will only last until you’re faced with another person who seems more successful or attractive.
Grow Your Support System the Way You Would Grow a Garden
It’s a wise idea to make time for friends and family regularly:
- Having a support system is an integral part of wellness.
- Whether it’s family, friends, or colleagues, the people you surround yourself with can impact your overall well-being.
Relying on others to be there for you when times get tough will help you cope with stress. And being there for other people – provided you have healthy boundaries established – can deepen and enrich your life.
There is an old saying: “Never take advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with.”
This is the miracle of reciprocity.
When building up your support system, be mindful of who brings positive energy into your life.
Surround yourself with people willing to share in good times and bad, as opposed to those who make light of serious matters or ignore problems entirely.
Be discerning about the people whose advice and opinions matter most; after all, they might not know what’s best for their own lives, much less yours. With this approach in mind, choose wisely.
The Physical Layer of Self-Care
The physical part of self-care is essential. Here are some tips:
- Reduce your overall percentage of body fat if you need to. Being overweight can raise your risk for heart disease and other severe health conditions.
- Keep your bones and muscles strong with regular workouts.
- Eat more vegetables. It’s vital to get the micronutrients found within vegetables into your body. As you get older, the risks associated with specific diseases increase when nutrient deficiencies are present.
- Be proactive against stress. Though stress affects each person a bit differently, it has been linked generally to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
- Get regular checkups. Checking blood markers from your lab work with your medical doctor is essential to staying healthy – it gives your doctor an opportunity to see what’s working well and also to diagnose or prevent illnesses before they become serious problems.
- You probably don’t smoke, but if so, please quit. Your medical insurance might even cover a brief residential program to help the quitting “stick.” You already know that smoking can damage your lungs; however, smoking can also increase the risk of cancer in almost all of the body’s organs – including the bladder – and contribute to heart disease by damaging blood vessels and causing plaque buildup.
- Take walks (whether short or long) each week and stretch afterward.
- Eat healthier foods (those foods that help with maintaining a healthy weight).
- Do resistance training at least once each week.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Get enough sleep each night (at least 7 hours; more if you’re an athlete).
- Remember to stay active outside the gym – fresh air and sunshine are underrated.
How to Love Yourself As You Age? Know Which Foods to Avoid After 50
After age 50, you can improve your health by avoiding foods that have trans fat and added sugars.
It can benefit your health and appearance to avoid alcohol and limit your caffeine intake. Here are some examples of foods to avoid:
- Sugary drinks include soda, fruit juice with added sugar, and sweet tea. If you’re looking for a sweeter alternative to water, try adding fresh fruit or cucumbers.
- Processed foods such as frozen meals, chips, and instant noodles. As you get older, you’ll want to steer clear of processed meats like bacon or sausages.
- Fried foods like chicken fingers, french fries, and doughnuts are not the best choices after age 50 because they contain trans fats. This type of fat increases LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while lowering HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
How to Love Yourself As You Age? Workout Within Your Personal Limits
A personal trainer can help you assess your current fitness level and establish realistic goals. To be effective, these goals should be specific and measurable. They should also be achievable but not too easy. They should be relevant to you. They should be time-bound, with an end date.
Breaking a larger goal into smaller steps can make it seem less overwhelming.
If your schedule is packed, don’t aim to work out six times a week; if you don’t like running, don’t sign up for a marathon; if you have back problems, don’t go straight for the plyometric exercises.
It might be tempting to push yourself harder than usual when starting a new plan—but pushing yourself too hard increases your risk of injury or burnout later on.
You Can Turn Your Health Around Over 50
It’s definitely possible to turn your health around at 50. If you’ve been neglecting your health for a while, it might be a little daunting to think about taking control of it now. But if you make changes a little at a time, you’ll find that bit by bit, day by day, week by week, and month by month, the changes start adding up – and eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.
Know that There is Beauty in Your Humanity and in the Wisdom You Have Acquired
You might think, “How can I love myself as I age? I am old now.” But the truth is, you are still beautiful. You have much to offer in this world – you just need to learn how to love yourself as you age.
First, know that you play a role in the experience of humanity on earth.
Your wrinkles and gray hair make you who you are. They are a natural manifestation of life being lived.
Your wrinkles help tell the story of all the fantastic things that have happened in your life, and those gray hairs show off the wisdom you’ve acquired.
How to Love Yourself As You Age? Start Your Day with a Self-Compliment
If you’re starting to notice some fine lines, you’re not alone. Every person has to deal with changes in the mirror at some point.
Some people have a difficult time accepting the aging process and can’t help but think of themselves as less beautiful than they were in their youth.
But, from the greater perspective of the universe, this is an absurd illusion.
You are infinitely more than the superficial aspects of your culture. You are a soul having a human experience whose very existence is having a daily impact – be it big or small.
Start by complimenting yourself out loud every day:
- You might be surprised at the difference it makes when you tell yourself how potent you are every morning.
- Stand in front of a mirror with a wide Superman stance – hands on hips, posture tall, chin up.
- Take up space unabashedly.
- Stand with confidence and humor and say to yourself, “you are beautiful, and that is a fact” or “you are strong and capable, and that is a fact.”
How to Love Yourself As You Age? Shower Others and Yourself with Kindness and Patience
One of the most important things we can do as human beings are to treat others with kindness and patience.
Whether we are interacting with our friends, family members, colleagues, or strangers, it is beneficial to others, ourselves, and the world at large if we approach others with an open mind and a generous heart.
This means seeing one another not only as members of the same species but also as fellow humans capable of growth and change.
Treat people kindly not only because it’s the right thing to do but also because it will help you to love yourself as you age.
When you live your life being honest with yourself about yourself – and accepting yourself fully for all your vigor and weaknesses – you create a solid foundation for mental well-being that will last long into your later years.
You don’t have to be proud of your faults, but you don’t have to be ashamed of them. Simply strive consistently to become a better person.
Being patient with others is key to building a healthy sense of self-worth. Living with compassion is the same as living purposefully – because when you choose to be compassionate, your existence serves a positive purpose in the world.
How to Love Yourself As You Age? Groom Your Body Like It’s a Sacred Vessel
Pampering yourself is an effective way to boost your mood and recharge your energy.
Whether you enjoy taking a relaxing bubble bath or getting a massage, there are limitless ways to treat yourself to some much-deserved self-care.
Though you might, in the future, regret spending money on external things such as cars and hotels, you are less likely to regret spending money on your enrichment, such as books, courses, or therapy.
It’s never too late to start feeling good about how you look. Whether you’re 16 or 60, there are always ways to improve your appearance and feel more confident in your skin. Be sure to cleanse, moisturize, and protect your skin every day. When you focus on taking care of yourself, you’ll exude more confidence no matter your age.
At the heart of self-care is simply a dedication to prioritizing your well-being.
This can take many forms, from taking time for yourself to engage in activities that bring you joy, eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise, and spending time with supportive people who lift you up and make you feel valued.
Next Step: Avoid These Falsehoods About Aging Gracefully
Aging gracefully means receiving the bounty of life’s autumn and winter seasons. As you know, not everyone makes it this far. Many humans die in the spring and summer seasons of life, so to be able to experience all four of life’s seasons is an astounding gift upon which not everyone is bestowed.
There are some falsehoods – unconscious beliefs – about aging gracefully that are best dispelled.
Falsehood: You Have To Be Rich To Age Gracefully
Yes, cosmetic surgery can take off a few years in your appearance – but even it has limits. As remarkable as surgeries are, the procedures tend to give everyone a similar face.
You don’t have to be rich to age gracefully. Four of the most effective ways to age gracefully are avoiding inflammatory foods, going for long walks, sleeping deeply, and thinking positively. None of those four things require money.
Falsehood: Aging is Something to Fear and Avoid at All Costs
We’ve all heard it: aging is something to fear or avoid.
That’s just not true.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons why aging can be scary. We’re losing our friends and family members to death; we’re beginning to experience a loss of joint mobility that make us feel more vulnerable than we used to be.
But these things are part of life.
Instead of running from them, we can accept them.
Life was meant to have seasons, and the autumn and winter seasons are opportunities to integrate what one has learned, to release our grip on the memory of past transgressions (made by either ourselves or others), and to leave a positive legacy through either kindness or creative actions.
Falsehood: You Will Automatically Feel Old Once You Hit a Specific Age
Contrary to what some young people might imagine, there is no specific age at which everyone feels old.
You can be 70 years old but feel 30 on the inside and momentarily forget that you’re a mature human until you glance at your reflection while passing a mirror. (That’s a common occurrence. Ask anyone who is 70.)
But some things do feel differently as you age. Your perspective evolves.
For example, you realize that some things in life are out of your control. It’s hard work trying to make sense of everything around us every day, so, over time, you learn to surrender a bit more and not worry about things you can ultimately do nothing about.
Falsehood: It’s All Downhill from Here (the Worst Myth)
Just because you’ve hit a certain age doesn’t mean that the rest of your life is predetermined. You still have free will and the ability to create your destiny.
There will be more moments ahead of you when you experience feelings of joy or fulfillment.
You will feel more comfortable in your own skin.
You will have more realizations. You will make more decisions. You will feel poignancy and gratitude and will feel more deeply yourself than you ever have before.
Being Of Service to Others Gives You Meaning
Being of service to others will probably give you a profound sense of meaning.
Volunteering is an effective way to interact socially while helping your local community, and it’s more enjoyable than you might imagine.
By dedicating yourself to a cause you care about, you’re not only improving the lives of those around you – but you’re also bettering your own life in many ways:
- Volunteering keeps you mentally and physically effective.
- Volunteering can help you make new friends and expand your network of contacts.
- Volunteering combats depression by encouraging social interaction and physical activity, which are essential for mental health.
- Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life.
In addition to its social aspect, volunteering gives you a sense of purpose, increasing your overall happiness and reducing stress levels. You’ll be contributing to something bigger than yourself while getting the opportunity to develop new talents or pursue old passions in a positive environment.
Final Thoughts on Learning to Love Yourself As an Older Person
When you love and accept yourself, you are able to build a strong sense of self-worth and confidence, which can help you to better navigate life’s challenges and obstacles.
This self-love can also lead to more fulfilling relationships, as you are less likely to seek validation and acceptance from others, and are instead able to give and receive love in a more authentic way.
Additionally, self-love can improve your physical and mental health; it reduces anxiety and helps you to make healthier choices.
Overall, loving yourself is an important step towards living a deeply meaningful life.
You cannot expect others to see the best parts of you if you don’t believe in them yourself, so developing positive thoughts and behaviors will help reinforce your value as an individual.
With these twin approaches of self-care and self-love, you can create the foundation for a truly satisfied, fulfilling life that is well worth living.
Take care of yourself, appreciate all you have, celebrate your life, and love who you are. When you do, it’s amazing how the other aspects of your life will seem to fall effortlessly into place.
Additional Sources on How to Love Yourself as You Age:
Medical Myths about Aging: Is Deterioration Inevitable? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/medical-myths-all-about-aging
10 Common Misconceptions About Aging – https://www.agingcare.com/articles/myths-about-aging-179212.htm
Truth Behind Age-Old Myths – https://www.rush.edu/news/truth-behind-age-old-myths
Self-Pampering Act as a Buffer Against Depression [Research Study] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6904847/
Why Compliments Make Us Feel Good – https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/why-compliments-make-us-feel-so-good-how-get-better-ncna1062546
Maintaining Self-Rated Health Through Social Comparison in Old Age – https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/62/5/P277/570905