Creativity Can Empower Your Second Half of Life

Creativity Can Empower Your Second Half of Life...

There are many ways to uncover and develop your creativity. The great thing is … it can help all aspects of your life. Every day we hear of amazing creative people who are active well into their seventies and eighties. One of the most famous was Grandma Moses (1860-1961), an American folk artist, who started her art career when she was 79 and continued well into her 90’s. People view her as remarkable because she started her art career so late in life. She is not unusual in terms of people who continue to their creative endeavors to the very end. George Burns (1896-1996), the American actor and author so many loved, started out in the days of vaudeville and acted well into his 80’s. Dame Agatha Christie (1890-1976), the detective novelist, wrote up until her death at age 86, her books selling over 100 million copies. In your own life, you probably have friends who are always trying some new creative endeavor, so it’s not just the famous who nurture this aspect of life. Many changes occur as we enter the older years, and they are often factors that can release aspects of creativity that have lain dormant. When families have been raised there is often more time to pursue creative activities. At some point, careers come to an end, and a person can pursue creative hobbies, or even start an encore (encore.org) career that enables them to use their creative talents. The brain is different in the later years, and many of the ways are amazing and wondrous. It is conceivably part of our evolution as mankind. So many are living to be so much older, not only in the United States, but all over the world....
Having a Purpose is Vital in the Second Half of Life

Having a Purpose is Vital in the Second Half of Life...

People have a desire to feel and know that their lives make a difference. In the second half of life, this desire becomes even more pronounced. At the first of each year, there is often a focus on having resolutions for the New Year. The majority of New Year’s resolutions quickly go by the wayside, often because they are not connected to something that has a deeper meaning, and that really connect to their purpose in life. Research has shown that having purpose helps you live longer, healthier, and happier, and even help brain functioning in the later years. Some people are aware from a young age what it is that they uniquely offer this world, and are able to pursue it throughout their lifetime. For others, this may begin to evolve in their thirties or forties, and may even become a deep longing in their career choices. In the second half of life we want to know we are effectively supportive to others in our lives. We have a deep desire to make sense of our lives. If this is something you want to gain clarity about, there are ways to explore this. The well-known developmental psychologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Erik Erikson described the eight stages of human development in his book Identity and the Life Cycle (1959). The last stages are ones that concern us in the second half of life. According to Erikson, in adulthood, if a person has adequately matured through the earlier stages, the seventh stage of development is that of either being ‘generative’ in one’s life or ‘stagnating’. Generative is the ability to be supportive of others. Often it can be of a younger family member and others of the younger generations. It...
Your Doctor Will Skype You Now

Your Doctor Will Skype You Now...

Your employer may soon let you have virtual medical visits, but should you? If you work for a big company, odds are you’ll soon be offered a new health benefit (if you haven’t been already): Telemedicine, sometimes called telehealth. It’s the ability to see a doctor on a video call or confer through text, email or by phone, rather than an in-person visit. The question is: Should you? I was floored to see in the National Business Group on Health’s Large Employers’ 2016 Health Plan Design Survey how much this benefit has grown lately and is expected to balloon. Soaring Growth for Telehealth In last year’s survey, 48 percent of employers made telehealth options available to employees in states where it was legal (more on that last part shortly), up from 28 percent the year before. But a stunning 74 percent of employers will offer telehealth in 2016, according to the new survey of 140 employers — mostly with 10,000 employees or more. Often, the firms contract out with telemedicine firms such as Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, MDLive, NowClinic and American Well. “Small and medium-sized employers are offering telemedicine, too,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “What you’re seeing is employers continuing to look for ways to engage employees and move to a consumer-centric model.” If employers expect employees to ask questions as medical consumers, Marcotte added, they need to offer more consumer services. “Telehealth neatly fits into that,” he said. And these days, “consumers are starting to ask for it,” said Jon Linkous, president of the American Telemedicine Association. “Health care is a late adopter of technology, but once it’s proven, it’s a permanent change.” Right now, there’s growing buzz over...
Skype – Connecting with Loved Ones on the Internet

Skype – Connecting with Loved Ones on the Internet...

Skype is such a wonderful way to connect worldwide From Wikipedia’s article on Skype: As of February 2012, there were 34 million concurrently online on Skype; at the end of 2010, there were over 660 million worldwide users with an average of over 100 million active each month. Skype was acquired by Microsoft in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. Microsoft’s Skype division headquarters are in Luxembourg, but most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of the division are still situated in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia (that country where beautiful lace shawls come from). But, what does that mean to you? And, how do you use it? Join us for learning how to use this wonderful tool. Seven Lessons in Setting Up and Using Skype Lesson 1: Does Your Computer Have What it Needs for Skype Length: 2:00 Lesson 2: Installing the Skype Software  Length: 3:40 Lesson 3: Setting up a Skype Account  Length: 3:55 Lesson 4: Launching Skype from the Desktop Length: 3:02   Lesson 5: Creating a Contact List on Skype Length: 2:43 Lesson 6: Making a Call on Skype Length: 3:57 Lesson 7: The Factors and Ways to Communicate on Skype Length: 4:19 Have fun with YouTube, and be sure to check out our YouTube site. Authors: Linda Marsolek and Lise Pellerin © 2015 Designing Brighter Tomorrows, Inc. This site is for information only, and is for your voluntary use at your own risk. See Terms of...
The 3 Questions to Help You Find Your Purpose

The 3 Questions to Help You Find Your Purpose...

Answer them and you’ll love your life more, says ‘The Payoff Principle’ author In junior high school, I decided that I would go into the ministry. The problem was, I wasn’t sure it was my dream . . . or ever had been. I went on to get my master’s and doctoral degrees, taught several undergraduate classes and something strange happened. I discovered I loved teaching and I was good at it — very good. But I also felt guilty for tossing aside my “supposed” purpose or calling to the ministry. Fortunately, I attended a workshop on “intensive journaling” about how to relax, think, reflect, visualize and keep a journal, so the deeper things inside me might be revealed. I then wrote in my journal: “I can serve God and others as a teacher, speaker and author.” Almost instantly, my guilt disappeared, and a sense of peace, direction, and well-being settled over me. I knew I was living my life and working my career on purpose. For years, I had confused a job with a purpose. Now, decades later, I am loving the work I do and feeling thankful that I’ve been able to touch the lives of thousands of people because my life and work have lined up with my purpose [http://www.designingbrightertomorrows.org/growth/5-tips-to-find-meaning-and-purpose-in-later-life/]. The payoffs start to roll in when you know that your life and your work are lined up with your purpose — at least some of the time. So that raises a critical question: How can you discover your purpose? It all comes down to the three critical, but deceptively simple, questions: What are you good at? What excites you? What difference do you want to make? Here’s how to answer them to find your purpose:...
Walking 20 Minutes a Day Might Save Your Life

Walking 20 Minutes a Day Might Save Your Life...

A brisk walk could cut your risk of early death, even if you’re obese There’s now more encouraging evidence that you don’t have to run marathons to make a difference in your health. A brisk 20-minute walk each day could be enough to cut your risk of early death – even if you are obese, according to new research published Jan. 14, 2015. The study of more than 334,000 European men and women found that twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity than to obesity. And a modest boost in activity could make a big difference, the study concluded. Small Change = Big Reward “This is a simple message: just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive,” said Ulf Ekelund, of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, England, who led the study. He added, however, that we should really aim for more than that. “Physical activity has many proven health benefits and should be an important part of our daily life,” noted Ekelund. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Exercise. Deadly Effects of Inactivity Inactivity puts you at increased risk of heart disease, cancer and early death, studies show. It can contribute to increased body mass index (BMI) and obesity, though the association with early death is independent of your BMI , the researchers said. In the Cambridge study, researchers found that the greatest reduction in risk of premature death occurred in the comparison between inactive and moderately-inactive groups. Subjects were categorized based on their level of work activity (such as being a desk worker vs. a nurse) and how active they were outside of...
Why You Should Give Yourself a Hug

Why You Should Give Yourself a Hug...

Self-compassion improves health The lives of millions of boomers in their 50s and 60s have been characterized by ambition, achievement and competitiveness. Then the recession and lingering economic woes took their toll. For many, drive has given way to disappointment. Self-esteem has been eclipsed by worries about money, retirement and aging. Many of us think we should be doing better. But here’s advice worth heeding: Stop berating yourself. A growing body of research from some of the nation’s top universities is documenting the benefits of self-compassion — being as kind and accepting of your own failures as you would a friend’s. Giving yourself a break and accepting your imperfections improves overall health and well-being, boosts creativity and success and can even help people cope better with aging, studies have found. Moreover, those who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety. We Are All Imperfect “Treating oneself kindly leads people to understand and experience the reality that their troubles are part of the human condition,” says University of Texas at Austin educational psychology associate professor Kristin Neff , who has published a book on her research on self-compassion, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. Self-compassion, Neff says, is recognizing that we are all imperfect and should support ourselves, as well as others. This is especially relevant for boomers who, at this stage, tend to tally their life achievements and come up short. Even bags under the eyes and a painful joint or two can lead to a barrage of self-criticism. In fact, says Neff, people with low self-compassion mistakenly believe that being self-critical will motivate them. “But being kind to yourself does not lower standards,” she says. “With self compassion you aim and reach...
Why Are You Tired All The Time?

Why Are You Tired All The Time?...

The source of pervasive exhaustion and what to do about it Although she typically sleeps soundly and has good “sleep hygiene” — no coffee after 3 p.m., a quiet, darkened bedroom and a reasonable bedtime — Rose D. always feels tired. At 54, she slogs through her workday, hitting a wall in late afternoon when she closes the door to her office, lays her head on her desk and catches a 30-minute nap. When her doctor gave her a clean bill of health, he suggested that Rose consider other factors that might account for her tiredness — the stressors in her life such as financial problems and a contentious relationship with her sister. As it turns out, they were weighing heavily on her and manifesting in a deep sense of exhaustion. While the benefits of a good night’s sleep are well documented, chronic and more ambiguous tiredness afflicts millions of people over 50. Their fatigue isn’t caused by illness, medication or any clearly diagnosable condition. It’s borne instead of leading complex emotional and psychological lives in a world fraught with stressors. At a stage in life where typical concerns such as money, children, illness and loss start to move toward center stage, the first cognizance of one’s mortality and a sense of time running out fuel an out-of-control feeling that can zap your energy. “Exhaustion is the expression not just of a lack of sleep, but a much more profound underlying response to the conditions in which we live,” says New York clinical psychologist Michele Berdy, whose clientele includes many in their 50s and 60s. Running At Full Tilt Economics and technology add to the fatigue cocktail. While one’s 50s and 60s were traditionally a time to slow down...