This month’s pillar for successful aging is all about Purposeful engagement!
What does purposeful engagement mean? Engaging purposefully means living in the moment and taking the time to get the most out of whatever it is we’re doing. It can also mean participating in activities with an open mind to fully benefit from its overall purpose. Showing up is one thing, but being present is another. Engagement can look different for everyone but it’s important to recognize and understand that every person, no matter their current cognitive abilities, can have a purposeful life and engage in their own way. Being present in any given moment is a way to connect with ourselves and the world around us and when we actively engage ourselves with intention, we can end up learning a thing or two or even noticing things we normally wouldn’t.
So often we speed through our days without slowing down to appreciate the simple things in life like being able to enjoy food, using our hands to create, or even smelling the crisp, cool morning air each day. We can make the most of every moment and benefit by focusing on one thing at a time.
Why is purposeful engagement important? There are many reasons! When we participate and try new things, we welcome personal growth and meaningful moments into our lives. Studies have shown that older adults who strive for meaning and purposeful engagement in their lives typically live longer, healthier, and happier.
But how can we practice being more mindful and engaged with purpose? When you go to do the dishes or fold the laundry, instead of having the television or radio on, try focusing on only the task at hand. Allow yourself to be fully present and notice how your body and mind is feels and thinks. The warm water on your hands or the soft fabric of your sweater – you might be surprised how calm you feel when you’re finished!
Our focus at Harbour Landing Village this month is to encourage more people to participate so that we can connect with each other, include everyone, and increase meaningful engagement. We will have lots of events and activities happening throughout the month of December for everyone to join and enjoy. Once a week we encourage our residents to gather in the fireside lounge in their best Christmas sweaters for hot chocolate and marshmallows. This a great opportunity to have conversations and meet your neighbors!
Anyone can be present at any point in the day, remember to take a moment every once in a while to smell the roses and look inward. Listen to what your body, mind, and spirit are telling you!