From the Editor: Finding Your Independence in July

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From the Editor: Finding Your Independence in July

Not only does July mean that summer is well underway for Floridians, but it’s also the month of celebrating independence. Typically, we recognize the importance of our autonomy on the Fourth of July with fireworks, hot dogs and picnic salads. What better way to enjoy summer?

However, many of us forget to celebrate our own personal independence as we move freely through life. Independence is a matter and a right that should be exalted and maintained throughout a person’s life. So, what can seniors do to maintain their autonomy as they age?

Independence is more than just having personal freedoms- it’s the ability to exist without the assistance of others. Whether this be mental, physical or financial, remaining autonomous throughout life is crucial to our overall health. The best way to keep your life as you know it is by treating your brain as a muscle: exercise it!

Some great ways to work on your independence and ensure that you’ll have personal freedom in old age is to exercise your brain. Depending on if you prefer a physical page to virtual, there are an array of solitary games you can play in order to keep your brain active and healthy for years to come.

Sudoku is a great brain game to play when you’re alone!

How can I maintain my independence with games?

Some excellent examples of activities to keep your brain entertained for hours are sudoku, crosswords, word finds, chess and even jigsaw puzzles. Many of these games can be found for free in whatever application store you have on your device. The constant mental stimulation these games provide works to keep your brain alive and kicking even while it rests. With these resources at your fingertips, it’s hard to say “no” to putting your mind to the test.

Regularly playing chess is a great way to maintain your independence by exercising your mind.
Regularly playing chess is a great way to maintain your independence by exercising your mind.

Others way you can ensure your autonomy in the long-term is by being smart with your money, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. An issue that many retirees run into is not being able to live in the same sort of fast-and-loose way they had before when it comes to finances. With a fixed income such as social security, it’s imperative that you not only spend money wisely, but save for the future. For more information and tips on how you can ensure your financial stability and freedom in retirement, read Les Megyeri’s piece “Maintaining One’s Financial Independence” in this issue of Lifestyles.

This July, exercise your independence. Take a road trip that you’ve been meaning to take or visit the beach or family like you’ve told yourself you will eventually. Even taking the time to take up a hobby you’ve been considering is a great way to increase and put your personal freedom to work.

Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you in August!

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