Someone once said that getting older isn’t for cowards. That’s because there’s nothing easy about aging. Your body is going through changes and at the same time, your new normal is shifting.

You may suddenly become an empty nester. You may face retirement. All of a sudden you may be dealing with health challenges. You may have a get up and go spirit but your body isn’t on board with that.

You might find yourself unable to participate in the things that you used to do with the same ease of movement. That bothers you because you don’t feel any different emotionally that you did when you were a young twenty something.

Sure, you have more wisdom and probably a lot more money and you’re better established in life. You feel like you, but you don’t think you look like the inner you. You realize that there are wrinkles on your face.

Your neck is sagging. Your hands have age spots. If realizing this hits you out of the blue, it can be like a slap in the face. You may be shocked to discover that outwardly, you look older – and question, “When did all that happen?”

For some people, getting older is a time of uncertainty about the future and it can also be a cause of depression because it can represent a loss – the loss of youth, the loss of certain physical abilities, and the loss of what was once normal.

You may grieve your youth and that’s okay. It’s normal to feel a sense of loss. But don’t stay mired in what used to be. Instead, practice self care by embracing what’s to come and taking care of your physical and mental well being more than you ever have before.

There are many positive aspects of getting older, and focusing on that can help you cope. Realize that now that you’re older and more established, you can do whatever you want. You don’t have little kids to take care of. You can take off on a moment’s notice and go out of town on a weekend trip.

You can catch a movie whenever you want. You can change jobs, get a job, go back to college, take classes, go dancing, move to a different state, or travel. Whatever you want!

Do what makes you feel fulfilled and happy. Your life can be molded into whatever you want it to be. You’re not too old to head in any direction that you want. Practice self care by spending time with people who are positive and who make you laugh, and it doesn’t have to be people your age, either.

Embrace this new stage of your life and live it on your terms. Discard anyone’s perception or opinion that you have to slow down or can’t do something because of your age. Age is just a number, not a controlling factor in how you live your life. That’s up to you.