Thank you to Melanie Coeshott – the founder of Age Life Balance for guest blogging! It is so exciting to have you share your expertise!
Melanie is a British blogger whose aims to live a long, purposeful, satisfying and prosperous life and tries to inspire and empower others to do the same. She takes a holistic look at various topics contributing to successful ageing and generally living well. Her post on “Embracing Change” has been adapted slightly to share with you here.
Embrace Change to Stay Youthful
Like many people, I tend to be a creature of habit in some respects of my life. This can be useful – it can make life more predictable, comfortable and efficient – in particular when developing and keeping good habits. It can arguably make dropping bad habits harder. As many of us get older, we can become more stuck in our ways and even begin to fear change.
Like the change of season we’re currently observing, I’ve also been through a number of changes recently. Few are life changing in isolation, however they can all stack up and contribute to a feeling of overwhelm. Although change can feel odd (or even uncomfortable) at first, this is actually how we learn and grow as our brains map new neurological pathways.
9 RECENT CHANGES
Now that March is here, it definitely feels much more spring-like. The days are getting noticeably longer in the mornings & evenings, and green shoots are visible in places. I tend to feel the cold more than some people, so I’ll be keeping my boots and gloves for a while longer, but I’ll start to replace my winter coat with a lighter jacket.
Luckily, I love the different seasons, with spring being a particular favourite of mine. I love seeing evidence of new life all around me.
I wrote a few months back about my corrective eye surgery. I’m pleased to say that I’ve recently been discharged by the clinic. I love the freedom this has brought me and feeling of being able to see first thing in the morning! I’m oddly tempted to ‘take my lenses out’ in the evening when my eyes feel a little tired, but this probably isn’t that surprising after over 25 years of contact lens use. I’m getting accustomed to using my eyes differently (I have monovision – my right eye for distance and my left for reading), although this could take a little longer for my eyes & brain to become fully use to it.
While my eyes were recovering, I had to avoid exercise for approximately a month to prevent any complications with my eyes or the lens implants. No running! No swimming! No yoga! Fortunately, I was aware of this in advance and already accepted my interim lifestyle change. I love exercising, but what a small price to pay for having new eyes. Luckily, I also love walking and I managed to get in a 30 min stomp most days (my steps sky rocketed!).
I recently worked out that I’ve been driving for 26 years (no, I can’t believe it either)! I’ve always driven a manual car, bar one daunting experience with a US hire car many years ago. I’ve recently changed cars and my new car is (gasp) an automatic. What’s more, I hadn’t even tested it before buying it! Admittedly, I felt pretty nervous the first time I drove it and gingerly circled my quiet village with no passengers for my first voyage. I was amazed how quickly I adapted to this new style of driving, and I now love it!
On a similar vein, I’ve recently got a new laptop. My old one was becoming pretty unreliable, which was problematic as I relied heavily on it for my blog, coaching work and studies, as well as helping me to organise my personal & family life. After consultation and deliberation with my IT advisor (husband), I decided to go for a Mac. I’ve used an iPhone and iPad for several years, but I’ve only ever used Windows-based computers. Furthermore, I’d trialled a Mac a few years back, but couldn’t really get to grips with it. Anyway, this time around, I’d decided that the Mac suited my needs better, so I thought I’d just go for it. There may have been some tantalising comment about me ‘fearing change’ that may have also swayed my decision.
Jumping straight in and figuring things out for myself has proved to be a good strategy. I’m several weeks in and there are a couple of things I’ve not yet figured out, but I’ll get there.
For the year or so, I’ve worn hardly any black following my style journey. What still surprises me is that I willingly wear different colours and styles that I wouldn’t have previously dared to consider. I’m not saying I always feel 100% happy with the way I look (I am female after all) but I certainly feel more in control of it. Compliments also help, so I’m trying to get better at receiving these and giving them out!
I generally eat a healthy, balanced diet. However, lately there’ve been a few scenarios where I’ve simply had to go with the flow and eat much less healthily than I’d like to to fit with others around me. This translates to more processed food and less veg. At the end of the day, on ad hoc occasions, I know this won’t poison or harm me too much. And in one scenario, it probably also helped to mitigate a hangover too.
I’ve also been experimenting a little with different breakfast options to regulate my energy levels. And I’m typically hungry well before lunchtime. I’m a big porridge fan, but sometimes other things are good too – toast with marmite, protein shakes, muesli and yoghurt, scrambled egg and even breakfast burritos. Yummy!
My husband and I attended a charity event last weekend. We’ve attended a number of events together over the years including army functions and work parties, but we’ve always been surrounded by people at least one of us knows. This time, we turned up having practically no idea who else would be there. Gulp! Ultimately, there were some familiar faces and we made a couple of new acquaintances, too. I even got to meet a few ‘FB friends’, who I’d not actually met before! We ate, drank, danced and had some well-deserved fun. We enjoyed it so much, we’ve booked in for another event somewhere else in a couple of months.
I’m generally an early bird and have never required that much sleep – I average around 6-7 hours per night. But even I struggle more in the winter mornings as the sun rises later and I feel a greater need to hibernate. I typically get up at 6am, but I’m currently experimenting between 5.30am and 6.30am depending on what I need to do in the morning. This seems to be working OK for me right now, but I’m looking forward to lighter mornings again soon!
Although changes to our daily lives and habits can feel odd (or even uncomfortable) at first, this is actually how we learn and grow, as our brains map new neurological pathways. I actually believe that consciously injecting a little change into our lives can keep us from growing stale and to help us become more resilient for other changes that are outside our control.
From now on I’ll challenge myself to do something new or different each week to keep me growing, and so I don’t get too stuck in my ways.
Melanie invites you to visit her website www.agelifebalance.com for more interesting and inspiring articles on living well for today and the longer term. Also check out and ‘like’ the Age Life Balance Facebook page for additional posts.
Thank you Melanie!