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Maplewood Element: Intentional Living

At Maplewood Senior Living, we cultivate a lifestyle based on a heart-led philosophy of vibrant, intentional living founded on nine essential lifestyle building blocks—one of which is intentional living.

Life is full of beautiful moments that remind us of our purpose and leave us feeling fulfilled and renewed. However, as we get older the challenges of life can feel like they’re piling up. We may lose a loved one or spouse, develop a chronic condition, lose some of our cognition or mobility. Whatever it is, it may feel as though our choices in life are dwindling. The concept of intentional living allows people to manage their losses, focus on their life purpose and set goals to ensure a more fulfilling and peaceful life. In fact, according to Time Magazine, intentional living, also referred to as purposeful living, has been linked to longer life, lower risk of disease, better sleep and healthier behaviors, among many other benefits.

Benefits of Living Intentionally

Making intentional choices each day can help you discover what is important to you and allow you to live a happier and more fulfilling life. According to BetterUp, living intentionally has a wide variety of benefits, from mental fitness to improving our overall outlook on life. Here are a few of the most common benefits experienced by those who choose an intentional life:

  • Reduce stress. Part of intentional living is learning how to make valued-based decisions. When you focus on clear goals and intentions, you’ll get closer to achieving them each day. This process of setting a goal and working to achieve it can actually help you avoid your own stressors, reducing the risk of stress and feelings of depression that may come with it.
  • Boost resilience. Even in our later years, it’s important to be reminded of our own resiliency. When we practice intentional decision-making, the process of staying disciplined can increase our sense of resiliency and remind us of what we’re capable of doing.
  • Improve our focus. Living a life that is intentional means focusing on things that matter to you. A part of this process includes setting goals and routines. This allows us to concentrate on the things that really matter to us like strengthening important relationships and focusing on things that truly make us happy.
  • Become more present. Living intentionally forces us to focus on what’s happening in our life at the present moment. Instead of worrying about the future, those who practice purposeful living focus their attention on how to improve their lives.
  • Nurture optimism. Part of an intentional life includes practicing gratitude. When we focus on the things in our life that give us joy and fulfillment, we’re more likely to foster feelings of happiness and contentment within our daily lives.
  • Improve boundary-setting. Learning how to set proper boundaries is a life-long practice. However, when we live with intention, saying no to things that drain our energy or bring stress becomes an easier practice. When we protect our energy, it’s easier to choose things that bring joy and comfort.

Tips for Intentional Living

Living intentionally may look different and mean different things depending on the person. There are so many ways to live an intentional life, which can make getting started feel intimidating. According to PsychCentral and Psychology Today, here are a few of the best ways to start living a more intentional lifestyle:

  • Identify your values. Knowing what you value is a crucial component of intentional living. Naming what you value can help give you clarity on what should be your focus in life. Here are a few questions to help you understand your core values: What does an ideal day look like for you? What activities bring you the most joy and fulfillment? What do these activities have in common? What do you wish you had more of? What upsets you? What inspires you?
  • Set your intentions. Knowing your values is important, but knowing how to implement those values in your daily life can get challenging. To make this more manageable, experts suggest setting intentions for the day as soon as you wake up. Your intention doesn’t have to be complicated! It’s meant to serve as a reminder of how you’d like to move throughout the day—whether it be focused on kindness, relationship-building or expressing your creativity.
  • Establish a routine. Creating a consistent routine that’s structured around your goals can help you achieve them more naturally. For example, if one of your priorities is to develop healthier habits you could make sure to wake up early enough to eat breakfast before starting your day. Life happens and routines should be flexible as unexpected situations or events arise.
  • Prioritize your relationships. It’s important to create a network of support that can provide comfort and encouragement when times get tough, especially for older adults. Finding time to invest in your most important relationships is a crucial element of an intentional lifestyle. Spend time with family and friends who support your goals and leave you feeling energized and fulfilled.
  • Stay healthy. It’s hard to reach your goals without prioritizing your physical and mental wellbeing. Taking walks, eating nutritious meals, finding someone to talk to and keeping your doctor’s appointments will keep you feeling strong, both mentally and physically. In addition, it’s also crucial to get quality sleep and give your body a chance to recover from the day.
  • Embrace your inner child. Creative expression can provide a sense of purpose for many people. Art projects, travel, play, reading and learning help us practice empathy and compassion for others. They can also reduce the symptoms of chronic pain and make life much more enjoyable.

Intentional Living at Maplewood Senior Living Our residents are able to enjoy purpose-built spaces that feel like home, curated programs that inspire, and mindful menus that nourish. By living in an intentional space, we hope to foster a mindset of intentional living for our residents and their loved ones. To learn more about our communities, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

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1 Gorham Island Rd

Westport, CT 06880

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