A Year of Living Well: Learn to Live, Live to Learn
When we are young, we are expected to go to school and learn a curriculum of basic knowledge that will serve as a foundation for our future. We usually can’t wait to be done with school to get out and live the life we want. But what happens after we graduate? Do we continue to learn? How do we learn? How does lifelong learning enrich our lives and keep us healthy? How do we choose what more to learn? Well…let’s learn!
How we learn
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin
Learning isn’t just about reading books and listening to lectures. Even in our youth, much of what we learned happened outside the classroom—in our homes, on the playground, in everyday life. While we may not have considered it learning, everything we experience contributes to our lifelong education. Each person is unique and has unique ways of learning. Some people are hands-on learners and others prefer audio-visual methods. Some great ways to learn include:
Reading anything and everything—science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers;
Online classes. Many free classes are available in a variety of subjects. Check with your local library or university or do a search online. Visit a “MOOCS” site (massive open online courses);
Talking to people who have lived through significant historical events or who have skills you are interested in learning;
Volunteering; you’ll learn new skills while doing something meaningful for someone else;
Listening to podcasts and talk radio; watching history, science and travel shows; cooking, home improvement and other how-to shows;
Traveling—experience the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of places you’ve never been;
Playing. Have fun, spend time with people you love.
How learning keeps us healthy
Learning is empowering. It helps us to feel significance in our lives and to believe that we have the ability to be successful and productive. Learning and experiencing life also increases our resilience, our ability to bounce back when life is challenging. Everyday stress has a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. Learning allows us to reduce and balance our life stressors through understanding, acceptance and reducing fear.
Learning leads to change. There are 5 key elements to health and wellness: physical, emotional, nutritional, environmental and spiritual. Learning about each of these elements and how they relate to your unique life allows you to make choices that will improve your overall health and wellness.
Learning improves our brain health. Research shows that challenging our brains with new information for as little as 2 hours each week helps to reduce the effects of aging on the brain. Combined with physical exercise, good nutrition and healthy relationships, lifelong learning can have a major impact on our well-being.
Choosing what to learn
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty. John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
Choose something to learn about:
A topic you like: cooking, gardening, history, music, etc.;
Something you don’t know anything about but seems interesting to you;
Something to enhance your career or a career you’re interested in pursuing;
Something your loved ones are interested in;
Something to enhance your health: yoga, mindfulness meditation, nutrition, environmental issues, spiritual awareness, nature.
There are so many things to learn and ways to learn that will add to your sense of well-being, satisfaction and happiness with life. Personal Assistance Services (PAS) offers many services that can help you explore ways to enhance your wellbeing and achieve balance in your life.
Learning isn’t just about reading books and listening to lectures. Even in our youth, much of what we learned happened outside the classroom—in our homes, on the playground, in everyday life.
Thinking about Retirement
The clock is ticking toward the possibility of retiring. You may see a “gold watch” in your future. Yes, eventual retirement is something we all come to terms with. Ideally, as we move toward retirement, we need to make time to plan for the many aspects of this new adventure.
Many times when we think of retirement, we focus on the financial aspects. If we believe we have enough money to carry us into retirement, then we think that all will be well. How- ever, while money is important, the non-financial aspects are just as important – or maybe more so. Our attitude towards retirement, how we spend our time, our relationships, our leisure interests, our use of skills, should all be considered and planned for carefully as we approach retirement.
It is interesting that we can hardly wait to retire, to plan our own schedules, to have time to do what we want to do. Those are bonuses of retirement, but there are other things to con- sider as well.
How are we going to maintain or replace the relation- ships we currently have with our co-workers? If our co- workers remain employed while we retire, their main focus will be the workplace, while our focus will be on the new adventures and challenges of retirement. What new friend- ships will we form?
How are we going to continue to use our talents and skills? Are we going to volunteer our services, find a part-time employed position? Skills and talents that are not used grow stagnant.
How will we use our time? Will we spend more time helping family members? Traveling? Will we get involved in projects at home or outside the home?
How are we going to keep a healthy attitude about retirement? Do we know other people that have retired and love it, or are our role models those people who have never adapted to retirement and become grumpy “old men or old women”?
How will we stay healthy? We can influence our well-being and health through nutrition, exercising, relationships, and overall positive attitudes. Loss of structure in our daily routines can lead to adopting unhealthy behaviors and attitudes if we are not intentional about maintaining our overall well- being.
It is important to reflect on these non- financial aspects of retirement, so we develop a healthy, optimistic and positive attitude toward retirement and adapt to the changes in our lives that retirement brings. Our preparation and our overall attitude is the glue that will lead us into and through our retirement years.
We want to retire with grace, dignity, hopefulness, anticipation, love of life, and a positive outlook on life and others, so the time will be filled with wonder and excitement. PAS offers Retirement Consultation services to help you prepare for retirement.
Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. –Morihei Ueshiba
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. –Eleanor Roosevelt
Study the past if you would define the future. –Confucius
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. –Isaac Asimov
Learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do. –Umberto Eco
I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. –Winston S. Churchill
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. –Thomas Edison
Featured Service: Retirement Consultation
There is more to considering whether you have adequate financial resources when you think about the possibility of retiring. PAS’ Retirement Consultation service provides support in navigating the non-financial aspects of retirement.
Retirement Consultation will guide you in examining various non-financial facets of retirement:
- Clarifying personal values and setting goals in retirement life
- Applying your skills in volunteer settings and part time work
- Identifying and engaging in pleasurable leisure time activities
- Nourishing spiritual needs
- Maintaining personal and family relationships while developing new relationships
- Sustaining physical and emotional health
A Service of Your EAP (800) 356-084
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