Mental Health in the Golden Years: “QTL"
Last week I was listening to legendary NFL coach Jimmy Johnson’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech. In it, he brought up an interesting concept: QTL or “quality time left.” Around the age of 55 and after, we tend to begin taking stock of our lives in a whole new, more pressing way. And we begin asking ourselves a very important question.
How much quality time do we have left? Not just time, but quality time when we can still travel, take walks on the beach, or meet up with friends for a laugh and a meal? When we reach this benchmark life becomes a thing to be relished rather than spent waiting for the next big event.
We’re at a stage now in society when this reality is hitting baby boomers if it already hasn’t for some individuals. It’s always a good idea to start thinking about QTL as early on as possible. This way you can plan accordingly to make the most out of your adventures to come.
Enjoy yourself your own way
Some people take the approach of making their “bucket list” - a concept that’s become famous by now via countless references in movies, TV, books, and social media. Maybe someone has always wanted to visit the Eiffel tower, take a long cruise, and learn a second language...but they never found time to do it in their busy life. Until finally they stop, take a look around, and re-examine their goals and priorities. Maybe now is a time when we can let go and fully enjoy a journey towards these goals.
Others may want more simply to live in the moment. To be more spontaneous and go with the flow a little more, have fun a little more, and surprise even themselves. But whether you’re a planner or a seat-of-the-pants type of person, an honest discussion with yourself about your values and identity will inform you moving forward. This is a time to do what you find worthwhile and meaningful.
At an age when many people begin retiring and slowing down, finding meaning may become challenging. But a sense of purpose helps us enjoy life and keep momentum going while having fun and being productive.
Here are a few tips to help you stay in the moment and enjoy this incredible time in our lives.
How can I make each moment count?
Choose your company. Spend time with positive, non-aggravating people who make you happy and enrich your life.
Be a guest in your own home. Treat yourself to the nicer things. Use fine china, wear nice clothes, make that decadent meal that caught your eye on Food Network. This is your place, and your time - you should enjoy it to the fullest!
Go on an adventure. Now that we can get vaccinated and we’ve adapted to safety measures, it’s much safer to travel. But you don’t have to travel far, necessarily - you may just want to do something exciting that you like. Now is the time to! It can add a sense of vitality to your life.
Enjoy the people you love. Nurture relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. After all, some of the best and most meaningful parts of life are spent with people we care about. And it’s never too late to get out there and make new connections as well!
Remember that life is far from over when you can still enjoy some quality time with yourself and your loved ones doing things that you like. Enjoy the present moment (even using some mindfulness techniques if you find it helpful). Make the most out of your QTL.
If you need more help making the most of life and getting your mental wellness in check, please reach out. Bregman Medical Group has decades of experience treating a multitude of disorders. We offer online or in-person treatment. Simply schedule an appointment at www.bregmanmd.com or call 305-740-3340.