How to Live and Love Better as We Age
What if we could live and love better as we age? Nicole Christina shows you how to stop fighting the aging process, and learn how to age with ZEST.
My podcast guest, Nicole Christina, LCSW, has become on expert on how to live and love better as we age. She has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 25 years. She’s a podcaster, blogger and teacher, and her online course, Zestful Aging; Simple and Sustainable Habits to Increase Health and Longevity, is based on the Harvard Study of Adult Development–the longest study on aging to date. Her podcast, Zestful Aging, focuses on the triumphs and challenges of aging.
Check out highlights below for episode #315: Simple and Sustainable Habits to Increase Health and Longevity.
How to Live and Love Better as We Age
How did you get interested in aging?
I realized my [psychotherapy] clients were aging right along with me. There are a lot of teachers in my practice who are looking at retirement in their 50s and 60s. They’re asking, “What’s next? Children are launched, and I feel lost in the woods without a map.”
My son is going to college in the fall. My life is changing, too.
I’ve focused in my practice on difficult issues, like eating disorders. I wanted something fresh. My tech person said one day, I should start a podcast. And I thought, “Why one day? Why not now?” It’s been a pleasure for me!
What do you wish women knew about aging?
There’s a world of opportunity as we age that’s mind-blowing. You need a little Chutzpah (nerve), though, and do not buy into that nobody will love you if you don’t have dyed hair or young skin.
I am so inspired by the older women I’ve met who are resilient and have gotten through some really dark times, and they’re doing things that are beautiful, adding value to the world. Wow! That’s so much more interesting than whether you have crow’s feet or not.
Many women over 50 don’t want to date someone with a pot belly or a bald head. I call these Kardashian values. Fast forward to when your health is failing. I would hope he’s tender and caring and loving. If you’re trading ‘no pot belly’ for kind and caring, that’s not going to serve you.
How can we live and love better as we age?
Research shows your attitude can make a 7 1/2 year difference on your life. Our cells are all taking to each other. It’s all connected. If you’re envisioning it’s going to be bleak, that’s what you’re going to end up with. What are you saying to yourself about aging?
In the States, older wisdom is not revered. Watch what we tell ourselves about age. Are we being ageist toward ourselves?
The person I really love is Ashton Applewhite. She has a book called, This Chair Rocks. She has called out literature, movies, and commercials that discriminate against aging.
What is the most important aspect of aging well?
The most important thing in aging well is your social connections. There has to be a sense of belonging, because we are mammals. We need connection, to feel part of the tribe. Loneliness has the same health concern as smoking.
Ask yourself, “Where will you get your dose of social interaction?” It can be a brief conversation with your neighbor, mail carrier, or checkout person in the grocery store. These little connecting contacts feed us at the level we’re meant to be fed.
I get a lot of my filling up at the swimming hole with my dog. It’s in a park, and there are people there swimming their dogs. We shoot the breeze, and it’s sweet.
(Check out another surprise fun place to meet seniors at 29:36)
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