In the appendix of his excellent book, Successful Aging, Daniel J. Levitin suggests ten strategies for rejuvenating your brain. I find his suggestions germane to my own life since I retired from Carroll University teaching in May of 2019.
Don’t stop being engaged with meaningful work.
Since retirement, I have been involved in a number of projects I have found meaningful.
I was invited by a British Columbia software developer, Mike Colin Nelson, to join a private Facebook group of WordPress bloggers from across the world in helping him improve a plugin PRINT MY BLOG (learn about the plugin here). My involvement in that project rejuvenated me. Mike continues to improve the plugin for publishing books (ebooks, hardcopy, and pdf) from WordPress blogs. I look forward to putting my lifetime subscription to good use. I continue to hone my computer skills through taking LinkedIn Learning courses. I engage daily in Duolingo Spanish language improvement.
Look forward. Don’t look back. Reminiscing doesn’t promote health.
Life is too short for dwelling on or living in the past. I have never returned to Howland High School though I enjoy staying connected via Facebook. I have never returned to Oberlin College but I follow the Psychology Department web page and I stay in touch with some classmates. I have never returned to The Ohio State University though I am proud of the success that a number of my former Carroll students achieved since they too graduated from there. I have only infrequently returned to the Carroll campus though I treasure and maintain the relationships developed there.
Exercise. Preferably in nature.
Rollie, our newest canine companion, guarantees me at least a 3 mile daily walk in a nearby Waukesha County or state park.
Embrace a moderate lifestyle with healthy practices.
I am dull! I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I have never had an interest in experimenting with recreational drugs.
Keep your social circle exciting and new.
How can I not be invigorated by Zoom virtual sessions with these former Carroll employees (Thanks, Kay Kenealy, for making this happen) and the new friends I am making by my participation on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
There is a reason that Zoom has “zoomed” to the number 2 spot on Jane Hart’s Top Learning Tools List.
Spend time with people younger than you.
Bless the children in my life and the former students who stay in touch..
See your doctor regularly but not obsessively.
Though I have had three health scares subsequent to retirement, the issues are under control and I can reliably depend upon the accumulated wisdom of my weekly Zoom virtual “therapy group” when we have what Dick O’Farrell playfully refers to as our “organ recital” as we discuss health issues:)
Don’t think of yourself as old but take prudent precautions.
I no longer try to do the things my twenty-somethings do!
Appreciate your cognitive strengths of pattern recognition, crystallized intelligence, accumulated knowledge, and wisdom.
Having been a college/university teacher for over four decades and an intentional learner throughout my life, I still have a joy of learning and considerable confidence in some of my highly developed talents.
Promote cognitive health through doing new things.
I have a notebook of ten projects I want to pursue – many of them I have never tried before.