Three Ways Baby Boomers Can Take Care of Themselves

Like many baby boomers, my 50’s turned out to be challenging. Taking care of my mother who later died from Lewy Body Dementia, the death of my step mother, and helping grandchildren through a divorce left me exhausted and rattled. This is the year I’m hitting the pause button on what has been a stressful few years, taking a deep breath, and focusing on myself.

The future is looking brighter.

The future is looking brighter.

I’m done dwelling on what I can’t change or control. I refuse to let stress interfere with living life to the fullest.

That’s my pep talk to myself. And you know what? I’m making progress.

As I shared in a previous blog, I am taking time each and every day to do three things for myself during my year of healing. You can click on the link above to find out what those three things are.

Here are three more steps I’ve taken this week toward a happier me. I hope these tips will give all of you baby boomers some inspiration to take care of yourself as well.

Spend on Experiences

focusing me concertWe splurged on tickets to Desert Trip – a three-day music extravaganza in October held on the same polo grounds where Coachella Fest plays – nicknamed Oldchella.

Hahaha. Make fun of us, I don’t care. This is every baby boomer’s ultimate dream!

After all, we’re the generation that refuses to grow old or grow up. Okay, we are getting older. I got my first senior discounted breakfast at I-Hop last weekend. Of course, the restaurant knows better than to call it that – it is simply named “The 55+ Menu.” Hey, I saved four dollars even though it hurt my pride. But my point is, we’re young at heart.

And ready to relive the 60s. We are talking Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Bob Dylan performing. We’re in the lawn section and will need binoculars, but I’m still stoked. Can’t wait!

Do something that makes you excited. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Science proves you’ll be happier spending money on experiences instead of things. New things make us happy, but only temporarily until we get used to having them. Then, the joy wears off.

However, the memories of experiences such as traveling, going to an art exhibit, learning a new skill – or rocking out to the Rolling Stones – will last forever. So forget that new iPhone or new pair of designer shoes. Cross something off your bucket list and live!

Take Care of Your Health

focusing me doctorOkay, this one isn’t as exciting, but nevertheless, it’s an important step. After caregiving for a few years, I had neglected to care for my own health. Confession time: it had been four years since I had a check-up. At 55, that’s not good.

So, off to the doctor I dutifully went. Unfortunately, I have been stress eating and weighed in at 170. The doctor informed me that I’ve gained 10 pounds since I last visited four years ago. Thank you very much for sharing that bit of depressing news. “Weight can sneak up on you after menopause and start adding up fast,” he advised.

Really? I never would have guessed. Actually, I wrote a whole blog, My Menopausal Middle, on this very subject.

But, all right, all right. So, I’m concentrating on eating healthy and have lost four pounds so far. Trying to focus on eating lots of veggies from the garden, fruit, lean proteins, whole wheat. I feel better already.

Also did my blood work and got a mammogram today – where I learned that my once dense breasts are deflated now that I’m post menopausal. More cheerful news. My ego deflated a bit along with my boobs, but that does mean it makes the mammogram easier to read and more accurate.

Even with all the humiliating news, I feel better that I’m taking care of my health.

You already know that if you remain healthy and physically strong, you’ll be happier, right? So quit procrastinating and get started today to a healthier you!

Get a Pet

Focusing me puppyWe got a new puppy. Technically, my son and his three kids got a new puppy, but while they are away, I’m puppy sitting.

Her name is Rey Anne ( the first name is Star Wars related since my son picked her up on May the Fourth be with You; the second name is for the girls’ favorite movie). She is a German Shepherd, seven weeks old, and we’re all in love.

Yes, puppies are a ton of work, but she makes me laugh with her awkward puppy clumsiness that causes her to slide across my wood floor. This morning, when I couldn’t find her, she was in the kids’ room snuggled up into my oldest granddaughter’s pajama top. That warmed my heart and made me smile.

Studies show pet owners tend to be less depressed, lonely, and stressed. They exhibit greater self-esteem and are usually more physically fit. If you’re a baby boomer like me, you may want to skip the puppy part and adopt a grown dog – it is exhausting! However, let’s face it, these furry creatures make us happier.

So there you go. Those are my three steps towards happiness I took this last week.

What did you do this week to bring more joy into your life? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below.

Images courtesy of graur razvan, ionut ponsuwan, and photostock at


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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12 Responses

  1. Janis says:

    Experiences rather than things and choosing to live more healthfully… YES! I love your premise of doing (at least) three things every day that makes you happy. Just looking at your picture of your new grandpuppy made me happy!

  2. Dang Julie, that weight thing is soooo true! The same thing is happening to me, and its really starting to tick me off – which does not do a whole lot for my whole “reducing stress” thing! I have found that your three things are exactly the same as I have found! For some reason, I started the Voyage by cleaning out the junk, and now I’m way more interested in experiences. And we have a sweet, goofball of a boxer pup that makes me start the day laughing. Every. Damn. Day! Great post!

  3. Sounds like you are doing all the right stuff to make self-care a part of your life Julie. I’m in product development mode so “me” time is a premium at the moment, but what I am doing right is limiting my daily task list. Instead of the mile long list I used to tackle each morning, now there are just three things, each aimed at helping me move my priorities forward. What’s great about this is I’m not only more focused, but I actually get to FINISH things, which is a great motivational boost!

    If I finish my list early, I either tackle a few smaller tasks or treat myself to something like an afternoon nap, head to the beach with my dog or coffee with a friend. So far, I find this strategy has actually helped me to be more productive and I’m even sleeping better at night. 🙂

  4. Reba Linker says:

    There’s a big shift happening, away from striving and more towards being. This fits right in with that, and I love it! xo, Reba

  5. Terry Jago says:

    I too am done with worrying about what I cannot control and concentrating on what I can. AND the old music. My hubby and I love to go to the old concerts. Saw McCartney twice which was a highlight. No puppy for me though. Good thoughts.

    • juliegorges says:

      So jealous you saw Paul McCartney twice! This will be my first time. Completely understand the new puppy thing – like I said, they are a lot of work! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  6. Suzie Cheel says:

    Love this Julie and yesterday drew the Just Be card- I know that when I do more being my life flows and the stress falls away , thanks xxoo

  7. I’m in a year long group called “Your Year of Miracles” and this month’s theme is “self care”. It is interesting, as I know I am, and have been for a long time, all about doing things for myself to stay active and healthy by looking after myself. In their definition, “self-care” are things you do to yourself. Like an epsom salt bath or a full body oil massage and yet for me self-care is going for acupuncture weekly and once a month adding a pedicure to the day.

    Like you Julie, I’m about experiences and buy tickets for concerts I want to go to all the time. This year it’s Daryl Hall and John Oates and then Keith Urban or any musical theatre production in town. Since my daughter moved home, I have 3 entertaining animals living here too. A dog and two cats who offer endless smiles and are bundles of unconditional love.

    It is curious how often it takes many years for people, especially women, to actually stop and put themselves first. I love all the things you are doing for yourself and starting with your health is the perfect place to begin! Enjoy the moments of focusing on yourself and your “me” time. It sounds like you are noticing and appreciating all of the changes it is making in your life already!

    • juliegorges says:

      Love the name of your group. I agree, it takes us women, born nurturers, many years to take time for ourselves. Sounds like you’ve got it figured out though. Thanks so much for all your good thoughts!

  8. Joyce Hansen says:

    Ah… I totally forget that “… we’re the generation that refuses to grow old or grow up.” I’ve been missing out on all these experiences. Time to go out and have some fun. Thanks for the reminder.

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