Emotional Health for AgeEsteem

April 4th, 2020 Comments off

Emotional health is how we feel about ourselves. It’s our self-esteem and our age-esteem. It includes being able to understand our own emotions, as well as our compassion for others.

We cannot talk about health without talking about our emotional health. In fact, an important ingredient of our emotional health is our age esteem. It is how we feel about ourselves at the age we are today every day. It is how we feel about ourselves when all is going well and in times like the present when much is uncertain. It is no longer life as usual.

Winnie the Pooh is a star at emotional health. Every word seems to come out positively. – Even when he says, “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” He also keeps good company with friends like Piglet who says, “I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today”? Generations of readers can be grateful to A.A Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh brings all aspects of emotional health into his adventures which are filled with positive thoughts, humor, multiple friendships, rest, honey, curiosity, learning new things, etc. – And he makes it both entertaining and seemingly simple.

Maybe among the adult books that we read during this COVID-19 epidemic, we should also add a few children’s classics. And while we are doing so, why not read them out loud and record them for children we know?

My favorite AgeEsteem message from Winnie the Pooh during this time of isolation is, “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”

Bonnie Fatio

More ideas to enhance your Social Health during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 2nd, 2020 Comments off

We are privileged to have modern technology to facilitate our contact, even without leaving our home. Use the tools that are available to you. There are many unique ways to connect with others.

  • Test some of the chat rooms associated with sites that interest you.
  • Comment on other people’s posts on social media. Ask questions and stimulate conversations.
  • Do some research on topics that interest you. You can use your new knowledge to initiate conversations about topics that take your mind away from the present pandemic.

These open new doors to both your social health and intellectual health, stimulating you to think in new ways, while offering you an opportunity to express your ideas and to also challenge the ideas of others. Share your perspective that comes with age, your wisdom. Society needs to hear what you think to counterbalance other perspectives. Be bold with your age-esteem and positively share your thoughts.

Ask yourself what you might be doing for others as well as with others.

  • Meet by phone or computer app each day to have a virtual cup of tea or a before dinner drink with someone who is alone.
  • Have dinner with your remote family. We dine with our daughter and her family twice a week. Each of us places a computer at the end of our table and using Zoom we soon forget that we are not physically in the same room.
  • Many parents are juggling schooling their children at home and caring for little ones while continuing their jobs from home. Why not offer to help children with their studies using a program like Zoom or Skype?
  • Set a time to play computer games with a friend or grandchild. AARP has a good selection of games, and a favorite for puzzles is JigZone. I personally meet up with my granddaughters on WhatsApp and we work on the same puzzle seeing who finishes first.
  • If you are able, purchase food or walk the dog for another person in your neighborhood who is not able to get out. Ideas are limitless once you begin.
  • One of my favorite ideas to stay connected is the Kit de tendresse (Tenderness Kit) pictured above that we received from friends with two little girls. It includes poems, drawings, cutouts, conundrums, and more, all wrapped in colorful paper with lots of scotch tape!

It’s an interesting time to invent new ways to have contact and keep your social health vital.

Bonnie Fatio

Social Health for AgeEsteem

March 31st, 2020 Comments off

To prevent COVID-19 you need to actively develop and maintain your health. In this series dealing with the eight areas of health we will first focus on Social Health, even while being told to avoid direct contact with others. 

It is human nature to seek contact with other people. This does not change due to the COVID-19 alert. We still want to continue to feel that we are part of a community, that we belong, and we are not completely isolated socially.

In the present situation people are being asked globally to remain isolated in their homes, whether or not they are in quarantine. It is an important safety measure to limit the spread of the COVID-19. It is important that we nevertheless keep our social life active. No, you are not able to visit friends in their homes, go to the cinema, attend club functions and group activities. However, there are other ways to remain socially active.

It is up to you to take responsibility to remain socially active, and there are many ways to do this. Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

We are blessed to be living in a time of social media and Internet access which opens possibilities for us not only to communicate with others through text or voice but to also see each other on the screen of our phone or computer.  Who might you call or email in order to check up on them or to just have a conversation? Who have you not spoken with for a long time? Have you been saying to yourself you should call a particular person? Well my friend, this is your opportunity to do it.

  • Make a list of people you would like to speak with and mark two names in your agenda each day for the next weeks. Then contact each of them on the designated day. Not only will you make someone else happy, you will feel better, too.
  • Prepare some uplifting topics to discuss, such as the blessing of being able to speak with each other. Ask questions and share happy memories or present stories.

Everyone has regular access to the Internet which makes old fashioned mail precious. If you are like me, you still have a stash of special note paper that has been gathering dust in a drawer and postcards you’ve gathered during travels. This is an ideal opportunity to use them.

  • Write to friends and family. You can plan a quick walk to the nearest mailbox at a time when there are few people in the street.
  • If you need stamps, in many countries you are able to print your own stamps online. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn to do it.
  • Why not view your photos and include one that is meaningful?

Interestingly an important part of remaining social is to also avoid negative media.

  • When you are communicating with friends and colleagues keep your messages positive and upbeat; avoid complaining and emphasizing what is not good. This is going to make a difference not only for you but also for the others with whom you’re communicating. Let them know if they begin to talk negatively that you want to look at the positives in this present situation.
  • Highlight some of the opportunities and possibilities this crisis brings, such as time to speak with friends you care about, people playing music and singing on the balconies in Italy so neighbors will not feel isolated, or lack of traffic and industrial pollution.

Remember, when you focus on your Social Health, you also enhance your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

Remaining Healthy During COVID-19

March 29th, 2020 Comments off

How to take care of yourself and continue to enhance your age-esteem during the threat of Coronavirus.

It is smart to remember that we are high risk for Coronavirus  (COVID-19) when we are part of the over 65 population. However, health information I will share over the next weeks is important for people of all ages and stages of life. – And I care about each of you!

When you are in good health, you are happier, healthier, and less susceptible to disease, so it’s important to look at your total health.

I attended a webinar of FWoC (Female Wave of Change), a partner of Inspired Women Lead which I founded in 2016. During the webinar, Dr. Shashi Goel presented eight areas for each of us to include in our health plan. She emphasized that each of these eight areas contributes to our overall mental health, and therefore the way we live during these days of uncertainty – which means they are powerful contributors to our age-esteem.

Over the years we have dealt with these eight areas in various blogs. During the next weeks, I will feature one of the eight areas of health every two days. As always, I will strive to give you concrete examples of what you can do, even without leaving your home.

it’s not enough to ask what you can do to prevent COVID-19 such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, remaining at home and not having contact with other people. You need to also be actively developing and maintaining your health.

Most often when speaking of health, physical health comes to mind. Physical health is undeniably important. However, to be healthy we must take a holistic view. So, let’s look at the multiple areas where we can influence our health. These include social health, emotional health, spiritual health, environmental health, intellectual health, occupational health, financial health, as well as physical health.

Each of these areas of health is dependent on each of the others; we need all of them if we are to be wholly healthy. Each is a key to our age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

Happy Mother’s Day

May 11th, 2019 Comments off

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who are mothers, grandmothers, Godmothers, aunts, mentors, and who help younger people in multiple ways. This is your day to be celebrated for helping younger generations to become their best while sharing your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Life Harmony

May 3rd, 2019 Comments off
Harmonize Your Life

Are you constantly focused on what you have to do, forgetting what you would like to do?

Harmonize your life. Happy people at all stages of life create a balance among exercise, healthy food, positive relationships, adequate sleep, and their main activity (studies, grandparenting, volunteering, travel).

Building this harmony in your own life may be much easier than you think.

  • Take a tough look at your life today. What seems to work well? What do you wish you had time for but don’t? Prioritize these activities you would like to build into your schedule.
  • Choose one new activity to begin this week.
  • Decide how you will include this activity into your life. What will you drop from or reduce in your schedule? Who might take over a task for you to free up more time?
  • Act on this priority. As soon as it seems to be in harmony with the other activities in your life, move on to priority two.

Be gentle with yourself. It will not happen overnight. Take it one step at a time. Your age-esteem will benefit as you take control.

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Fill Your Inner Circle With Positive People

April 29th, 2019 Comments off
Fill Your Circle with Positive People

It is important to have “down time”, moments or periods of time when we do nothing except enjoy the moment. I was having one such moment with two of my friends recently. We had each taken off the afternoon to simply “be” together.

Although it was the first time that these particular friends met, they immediately connected with each other. It didn’t surprise me, because we have positive outlooks that help us anticipate the joy of meeting someone new and to find the interest in them.

Mixing with positive people is an important key to aging with age-esteem. People we associate with influence how we feel about ourselves and about life in general.

Do you have people in your life who are positive in their outlook?

  • Make a personal audit of the people you see regularly. What do you admire about them? Do you learn from them? Are they people who share your values and whom you respect? Do they bring out the best in you?
  • Eliminate anyone from your inner circle who does not fit these criteria. Move away from anyone who stresses faults rather than qualities.
  • If you must be with negative people at work, be polite but don’t let them into your inner circle.
  • Seek out and spend your time with people who have positive, « can do » attitudes.

Positive people will help you become the greatest you that you can become today, at the age you are.

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Confidence

April 26th, 2019 Comments off
Praise Journal

Do you find yourself complaining that time is racing, life is whizzing by? Stop! Why waste that precious time with complaints?

Often our complaints serve as a convenient scapegoat to another problem: lack of confidence and lack of age-esteem.

Here’s good news. You can begin to reinforce your confidence and age-esteem immediately.

Focus on your qualities. You have many.

  • Pretend to be another person writing a recommendation for you. List your talents, skills and qualities. Be generous. Deep down inside you know you are talented. Keep the list where you can read it often and add to it regularly.
  • Keep a journal of praise. Write down the praise you receive. No matter how minor it may seem, when someone praises you write their words in your journal. Copy praise received electronically or via the post into your journal. Refer to it as your confidence booster.
  • Flash yourself a smile as you look in the mirror. Praise yourself on one of your qualities as though saying it to your best friend: “You organize great events!”

You will soon find that you accentuate the positive naturally while also increasing your age-esteem, and time becomes meaningful and fulfilling.

Bonnie Fatio

Elder Abuse

November 27th, 2018 Comments off

Elder Abuse

While riding a city bus in Geneva, Switzerland, I was fascinated by a video clip with the Helpline for people experiencing domestic violence. What caught my attention was the message of an older woman saying, “Since my husband has retired, he controls everything I do. I’ve had enough.”

There are many types of violence, and older persons are often abused physically, psychologically, sexually, and financially. This includes neglect, violation of rights, denial of privacy, and denial to participate in making decision.

Keeping in mind that throughout the world, 1 million people reach the age of 60 years every month, there is real concern that mistreatment of elders will increase.

So, what can you do?

  • Become aware of what mistreatment of older people means so you can recognize it.
  • Download this report from the United Nations to learn how to recognize abuse and what to do about it..
  • Know your rights and seek help if you, or someone around you is being abused.
  • Find out what services are available in your community to help prevent further violence and mistreatment. Speak to your healthcare professional, church leader, social services, Helpline, elder abuse prevention center.
  • Remember to practice the techniques and concepts of AgeEsteem. The more confident and happier you are as you age, the greater your sense of self-worth and your expectation of being treated with respect and dignity.

No one should have to experience violence, abuse or mistreatment, at any age.

Bonnie Fatio


Have a Day of Wonderful!

September 15th, 2018 Comments off

A Day of Wonderful!

Have you passed by the wonders of life? There is a television ad here in Europe for a soft drink which is offered to a man in a retirement home. When he drinks it he says, “I wonder what else I have passed by in life?” He then proceeds to look at his day as an experience to be lived and tests new opportunities.

This scenario reminds me of the film Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling when Julia Roberts says, “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

In both the ad and the movie, what makes the difference between a day waiting for more of the same and minutes of wonderful is the person. How does he or she choose to live the minutes?

Is your day a piece of wonderful, or part of a lifetime of nothing special? Test these simple techniques to enhance your age-esteem.

  • Tell yourself you will have a day of wonderful.
  • Ask yourself, “What would make this a day of wonderful? Then incorporate that into your day. Test something new. Visit a new place; experiment with different foods; join a local tour; listen to modern music; invite someone to come for tea.
  • Keep a Day of Wonderful Journal. At the end of each day record what made the day one of wonderful.

You may be surprised at the effect this has on you, and even those around you.

Have a day of wonderful!

Bonnie Fatio