Help Your Garden Grow – Cultivate Confidence

May 17th, 2018 Comments off

Cultivating confidence is easier than you think.

Stay connected! Did you know that older adults who are engaged socially will often extend their lives and their enjoyment of life by years?  Personal relationships and regular interactions with others can make a major difference in your self-esteem and confidence.

Do something different. By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances. Joining a group that shares a common interest makes life fun. Feeling helpful and needed often encourages the release of “good” hormones that help the body to fight off illness and disease while physically making us feel better.

Get out there and be confident, share your talents and passions with others!

This time of year has a magical way of adding a bit of spring to your step, so use these warmer days to grow your garden and take action in your age-esteem.

Help Your Garden Grow – Exercise Your Mind

May 14th, 2018 Comments off

Exercise your mind. Engage in meaningful activities. Volunteer, read books and magazines that spark your curiosity, teach a class or learn a new skill or hobby. These exercises will not only improve your thinking ability and help you feel happier, but will also protect the brain by establishing “cognitive reserve” helping the brain become more adaptable in some mental functions, compensating for age-related brain changes.

Do something to grow your mind each day! It will also grow your age-esteem.

Happy Mother’s Day to All Women

May 13th, 2018 No comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women of the world. Whether you have children of your own or not, you are important as a role model, teacher, friend and mentor to every child you come into contact with. It is from you that they learn what love, caring, strength, intelligent decisions, values, ethics, and what oh so much of life is all about.

Seeing how you manage your life at each stage of life is also helping children grow their age-esteem.

Thank you for being you!

Bonnie Fatio

Help Your Garden Grow – Exercise Your Body

May 10th, 2018 Comments off

Exercise your body. Move in whatever way you can.

Did you know that there is a positive association between increased levels of physical activity and improved health in older adults? Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits such as better bone and joint health, blood sugar management, improvements in blood pressure and long-term preservation of neuro-cognitive function.  

It is a good idea to mix aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises into each week.  Walking, dancing, swimming, bicycle riding, and tennis can all be considered aerobic exercise. Digging and lifting as part of gardening or carrying groceries while shopping can be considered muscle strengthening. Have a weekly exercise routine and take a conscious effort to act on it.

Exercise your body to encourage healthy growth as you age!

Help Your Garden Grow – Nutrition

May 7th, 2018 Comments off

Perhaps the most important realization a person can make is that they have the ability to control their growth. This is true at all ages and stages of life. Some of the ideas listed below are simple while others might take a conscious effort to act on. Each idea helps us care for our body, in much the same way as we do our garden.

Nutrition, what you feed your body, is important. As you age your metabolism slows down. You need fewer calories so it is important to choose foods that give you the best nutritional value. Make it a priority to Include lean protein in your diet. Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt.

Also, look for Vitamin D, an important mineral as we age. Consider taking vitamin supplements targeted at your age group.

Feed your body to encourage healthy growth!

Bloom With Age-Esteem

May 3rd, 2018 Comments off

At a young age we are taught (and sometimes made) to share our toys, our candy and even our crayons. Even in food-motivated herds, like zebras, you will notice that they will mow the fields together as a group. One might even gather that sharing is a good thing. But why?

As we get older and our personal space becomes larger we tend to share less and less. Our focus might change from what we are giving to what we might be losing. When you share, are you actually losing something, or gaining much more?

Sharing is defined as ”the joint use of a resource or space.” Sharing is a basic component of human interaction, and is responsible for strengthening social ties and ensuring a person’s well-being. Sharing is a vital life skill. Buy why? Sharing builds trust, and trust is highly correlated with happiness. It also increases positive social interaction with others, which can prolong your life. Sharing involves cooperation, and cooperation is essential to the success of humans.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Share your wisdom with the younger generation.
  • Perform random acts of kindness.
  • Share your time and volunteer your services with a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other charity organization.
  • Carpool. Give people a ride in your car.
  • Grow a garden full of flowers and pick a bouquet for a teacher or neighbor.
  • Smile. Be compassionate in all human transactions.

So if you happen to be having a rough start to your day, try sharing something with another person (even if just a smile). You might be surprised at the happiness and joy you receive in return. – And, your age-esteem will blossom as well!

Share the Blossoms

April 30th, 2018 No comments

Share the Blossoms

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”Heda Béjar

One of my early positions was Head of Admissions for the International School of Geneva. I loved the contact with parents, students and staff from around the world, and constant interaction was the basis of my position. I interviewed parents of prospective students in my office daily, and made sure my office was attractive to visitors.

The school gardener caught me smelling his beautiful flowers outside my office one day, and I explained to him how much I appreciated the beauty he gave to the school. Towards the end of our short discussion, he said that he would bring me a few flowers for my office. Imagine my surprise when he showed up at my window with a stunning bouquet while I was interviewing parents.

It became a weekly tradition. He would knock on my window whether I was alone or interviewing, and I would interrupt what I was doing to receive my bouquet. The fragrance certainly remained with the giver of the flowers. The fragrance also increased in multiple ways. Each person felt special when they saw the flowers being delivered through my window, and more often than not would leave with a bloom. And, as I told the gardener, “Your gesture of sharing your blossoms does as much to sell the quality of the school as me sharing the academic qualities. When you bring flowers to brighten my office, you give the message that each of us cares.”

Sharing experiences with others, be it admiring beauty of blooms, watching a movie together, or having a conversation is healthy. Research shows that an experience is richer when it is shared. It also influences longevity. This is emphasized in research focusing on areas of the world such as in the “blue zone” of Sardinia off the coast of Italy where there are six times more centenarians than in Italy. Community is one of the decisive factors. People share experiences, both good and bad, and see each other often. The streets are narrow and living quarters are close to each other. People know each other, have close friends and a network and they share.

Do you want to live a happier longer life? Enhance your age-esteem by sharing with others and, like the giver of the rose, the fragrance will stay with you.

Bonnie Fatio

Bloom Where You Are

April 23rd, 2018 No comments

Bloom Where You Are

During Winter it can be terribly gray where I live. Weeks go by with no sunshine. – Gray clouds, gray fog, gray rain. Gray buildings, gray roads, gray expressions on people’s faces.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin

And then, suddenly Spring arrives, trees bud, flowers bloom, grass becomes luscious green, birds chirp and sing, and the world comes to life! People begin to smile again and even walk with more energy in their steps.

It brings to mind the saying, “Bloom where you are planted”. While the ground lay fallow during the grey winter months, much was happening underground and trees as each little bud began to bloom where it had been planted. It did not decide what bloom it would become or where it would grow. It bloomed where it was planted.

I believe age-esteem is important if you are to bloom where you are planted. You may not have chosen to work in the company that offered you the job, or to live in the house or city that you do, or to admit to be the age that you are. Yet, how much easier is it to decide to love what we do, to make our home into our haven no matter where it is, and to recognize the joys and advantages of being the age that we are? The quote from Anaïs Nin expresses it well. It is more painful to be a victim and detest something than it is to risk making the most of a situation and actually blossoming where you are, doing what you do, and being the age you are.

Are you willing to make the effort to bloom where you are planted? Are you willing to take control of your life and to love yourself at the age you are? If you are, you will also blossom with AgeEsteem.

            Bonnie Fatio

Spring Showers Can Boost Your Age Esteem

April 19th, 2018 No comments

Spring Showers Can Boost Your Age Esteem

It’s raining !

Spring brings rain where I live in Europe. Lots of rain.

Sitting here on the bus I hear others complaining that “enough is enough”. It has rained for five consecutive days.

I love walking in the rain. As a child I used to beg my mother to let me go outside and stomp through the puddles. Sister Susie and I would take a couple pans from the kitchen, so we could concoct a witches’ brew with wet leaves, flower petals and some wiggly worms. We hated it when Mom called us inside.

Even today I love walking in the rain. Stomping in puddles with my grandchildren is still a favorite experience. Rain is refreshing and renewing. It seems to wash away worries, leaving room for new ideas and expression.

These feelings of renewal and playfulness are important to our age-esteem. They help us live the age we are with joy and pizzazz. In AgeEsteem: Growing a Positive Attitude Toward Aging, chapter 2, page 16, tells the story of breaking loose from our programed behavior and to begin Singing in the Rain to free the child within you.

When we let the child within us come out to play, we use all of our senses. It frees us to raise our faces to the sky to feel the raindrops, and even taste them. We smell the newness of nature, listen to the sound of the rain on different surfaces, watch drops seemingly bounce on the sidewalk, and laugh with pure joy as we also renew and revitalize our age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

The Oak Tree: A Symbol of AgeEsteem

April 16th, 2018 Comments off

Renewal brings persistence, persistence to become who you are intended to be at every age. What better example than the oak tree?

They say that the great oak tree is just a little nut that held its ground.  I love the image of the little nut, the acorn, that held its ground against all odds. It fell from the tree and eventually cracked open as a spout that began to shoot out and find its way into the earth.

Oak trees are indeed persistent. It can live 200 years or more and will only begin to produce acorns after 25 – 50 years. Even when an oak tree lives to 100 years of age and slows down, it will continue to produce over 2,000 acorns annually.

The Seven Sisters Oak is the largest certified southern live oak tree, and is located in Louisiana, USA. It is believed to be about 1,500 years old. Its trunk measures 38.9 feet (11.9 meters) in circumference; is 68 feet tall and has a branch spread of 139 feet.

The Celtic meaning for the oak tree is one of wisdom and towering strength. Ancient Celts honored the oak for its endurance and noble presence.

For me, the oak tree also symbolizes age-esteem. It holds strong in all circumstances, spreads its branches as widely as possible to offer shade and shelter with purpose.  And, no matter how rude the winter may have been, it wears a new suit of leaves every spring and new buds of acorns.

Bonnie Fatio