As we grow older, our world tends to shrink unless we find things to keep us mentally engaged. It is essential that we prioritize our mental health and cultivate a sense of belonging within a community. Aging is part of life, and it is of utmost importance that we make an effort to focus on our well-being.

In my golden years, I prioritize self-care above anything else—beginning with caring for my mental health. I start my day with prayer and meditation. Then I spend time journaling and focusing on all the blessings in my life. Knowing that what I focus on expands, I make it a point to practice gratitude. Then as I plan my day, I make sure that I make time to connect with loved ones and activities that enhance my well-being.

When feelings of loneliness arise and I start feeling down, I may reach out to someone who will hear me with a caring heart. Sometimes I remind myself these feelings will pass, and I engage in an activity that brings joy to my heart.

Finding a sense of purpose, learning something new, and daring to go beyond our comfort zones are essential to our well-being. Seeking connections and remaining active are good medicine. When the challenges that are part of aging arise, it is important to have a mental health plan. Talking to a friend, asking for prayer, or reaching out to a therapist are ways to care for our soul.

I find that practicing meditation and mindfulness helps me notice my self-talk. Once I realize I am focusing on thoughts that are not life-enhancing, I deny that they have any power over me. Then I focus my mind on affirmations of Truth. Taking a few conscious breaths while focusing on my heart space relaxes and aligns my spirit, mind, and body.

Knowing that aging is a part of life, I prioritize my well-being by keeping my mind curious and engaged by belonging to a spiritual community and doing the things I love.

Part of a Community

Being part of a spiritual community is the greatest gift in my life. There I connect with like-minded people and engage in creative activities. I belong to a book club. Reading is one of the ways I keep my mind active. I also enjoy playing sudoku and word games. Crossword puzzles are another way to keep the brain engaged.

Recently I joined an art class in my community. I’ve always loved creative activities, and painting with a group is even more enjoyable. I walk 30 minutes a day. I make it a mindfulness walk, bringing curiosity and wonder to the moment. Three times a week I go to the gym where I have met and made new friends. I make it a point to connect with my neighbors on a weekly basis.

Connecting with younger people fills me with vitality and joy—and I learn new things. One of the things that stresses and frustrates me is when I am faced with technological challenges. Having someone I can count on to help and teach me is fundamental to my well-being.

I have a friend I admire who is in her 90s and remains active and fully engaged in her community. Her faith is strong, and she dedicates her time to things she loves. She is an avid reader who loves music and going for walks. I asked her what her secret to aging so well was, and she said that belonging to a community and keeping her faith strong keep her going. I make time to listen to her and gain from her wisdom.

Knowing that aging is a part of life, I prioritize my well-being by keeping my mind curious and engaged by belonging to a spiritual community and doing the things I love. I begin my day in prayer, listen to my heart, and remind myself that my greatest purpose is to know my oneness with God. I make it a point to connect with loved ones daily and plan some fun activities. I remind myself to keep stretching and learning new things. Life is a gift. I count my blessings and share my gifts with everyone I meet.

Steps to Care for My Mental Health:

  • Keep my faith strong. Pray daily, have a prayer partner, and belong to a spiritual community.
  • Keep my mind engaged by learning new things. Read daily. Journal. Be willing to stretch beyond my comfort zone.
  • Keep active. Daily walks, yoga, or some form of exercise is good medicine.
  • Reach out to loved ones, friends, or neighbors. Have social connections.


With a grateful heart, I meet each day. I spend time in the Silence listening to divine guidance. Today I give all my burdens to God. I open my heart to God’s loving presence to guide me every moment of my day. Divine love opens the way to my good, and I go forth with a radiant light to connect with loved ones and engage in activities that enhance my well-being. I count my blessings, keep my mind engaged, and treat myself with utmost self-care.

This article first appeared in the Unity booklet Creating Community As We Age.

About the Author

Rev. Elizabeth Longo is senior minister at Unity of Sarasota, Florida.

Rev. Elizabeth Longo


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