Doctors said my son’s bipolar disorder couldn’t be healed by diet. They were wrong.

This piece was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle on May 23, 2023. By Jan Ellison Baszucki At 4 a.m. the Friday before Christmas, I lay curled up and crying on my bedroom floor, convinced my son was no longer alive. Matt, then 21, had been a star in elementary and high school, but he beganContinue reading “Doctors said my son’s bipolar disorder couldn’t be healed by diet. They were wrong.”

Advice From 80 Year Olds to 50 Year Olds

In an effort to help people make the most out of their retirement, we at Big Retired Life conducted original research. We solicited advice from the residents of The Forum, an affluent retirement community in Cupertino, California, to see what words of wisdom they wanted to say to their younger selves. We posed a simple question:Continue reading “Advice From 80 Year Olds to 50 Year Olds”

Holiday Gift Guide: Well-being Edition

More presence; less presents—That’s my motto. Yet, gift giving is one way we can show love to the ones we love during the holiday season. I’ve crafted a handpicked gift guide of my top 15 favorite gifts focused on well-being, usefulness, and in some instances, something life-changing. Here’s the gift list breakdown:  Gifts to PromoteContinue reading “Holiday Gift Guide: Well-being Edition”

Going It Alone Through the Holidays

It can be hard to be alone during the holidays. Although conventions say the holidays are a time to focus on others, for some, it might be the time of year to take special care of yourself. You can embody the spirit of the holiday season with gratitude, connection, happiness, and generosity, by spending timeContinue reading “Going It Alone Through the Holidays”

Retirement Living Options

It’s a wrap! Choosing the perfect place to live when you retire is a major decision. That’s why we’ve curated a series of articles focused on various retirement living options and their distinct benefits. Through our research, we found a common thread that runs through all five options––the power of advanced planning. Check out ourContinue reading “Retirement Living Options”

A Mental Health Checklist for College Students and Their Parents

This post is a companion piece to our article, “Prioritizing Mental Health for College Students,” by educational consultant, Andrew Bryan, where we proposed prioritizing a healthy lifestyle of restful sleep, consistent exercise, a protein-based diet, and limited alcohol/drug use to fortify mental health. The transition to college can be a challenging time, especially for studentsContinue reading “A Mental Health Checklist for College Students and Their Parents”

Combatting the Loneliness Epidemic

As social creatures, humans have an innate need for social connection. It’s as essential for survival as food, water, and shelter. Yet, in an increasingly digitally connected world, loneliness is on the rise. The U.S. Surgeon General officially declared it an epidemic due to its detrimental effects on both individuals and society as a whole.Continue reading “Combatting the Loneliness Epidemic”

Try Learning the Guitar

By Diana Sunshine In our series, Active You, we’ve been on a mission to showcase the incredible benefits of staying active and learning new things. Not only is embracing new challenges invigorating, it’s also fantastic for your brain. Learning, in particular, is a crucial ingredient for nurturing neuroplasticity—the brain’s amazing ability to adapt and grow.Continue reading “Try Learning the Guitar”

Lifelong Learning: A Pathway to Longevity

There are numerous studies, including one from National Health Institute (NIH), that have consistently demonstrated that individuals with higher levels of education live longer and healthier lives. In addition to educational attainment, a commitment to lifelong learning is a key component. But why? The Link Between Education and Longevity 1. Health Literacy: Education equips individualsContinue reading “Lifelong Learning: A Pathway to Longevity”

Helping Your College Student Prioritize Mental Health

By Andrew Bryan It’s college drop-off season. Amidst the celebration of accomplishments, know that today’s true picture of college life is not always rosy. According to Inside Higher Ed, “College students are experiencing all-time high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality…the highest rates in the survey’s 15-year history.” College can be a challenging time forContinue reading “Helping Your College Student Prioritize Mental Health”

Four Ways to Travel Alone

That’s a wrap! Our four-piece series on ways to travel alone is complete. While retirement is often seen as a time to travel, many people put off those dreams simply because they don’t want to travel by themselves. We’ve broken down four ways to embrace solo travel and explore the world. Discover what option worksContinue reading “Four Ways to Travel Alone”

Try Yoga: Finding Your Practice

By Josie Bryan The time of year has rolled around when you might be thinking about trying a new way to stay active as the start of fall nears. Whether you have participated in various yoga classes over the years or have only dappled, consistent yoga practice is beneficial for your overall well-being.  It isContinue reading “Try Yoga: Finding Your Practice”

Reconnecting with Life-Long Friends

By Sean Flynn “When was the last time we saw each other?…” “Remember when we….”   “It is so good to hear your voice…” If you find yourself sharing these or related sentiments, it’s a pretty good sign that you are reconnecting with a friend. These are the rewards for reaching out unprompted to a goodContinue reading “Reconnecting with Life-Long Friends”

Consider Intergenerational Cohousing Communities

This post is part of an ongoing series on where to live as you age In our ongoing exploration of retirement living options, we have stumbled upon an intriguing and rising trend in the United States: intergenerational cohousing communities. We were captivated by a compelling Facebook quote that spoke of love and belonging within aContinue reading “Consider Intergenerational Cohousing Communities”

Don’t Let Jet Lag Get You Down

By Stella Taylor Bergan, Health and Human Performance Coach Are you traveling across time zones this summer and hoping to escape that pesky energy drain otherwise known as “jet lag”? If you are one of the 60-70% of travelers who experience some disruption to their circadian rhythms due to traveling across time zones, there areContinue reading “Don’t Let Jet Lag Get You Down”

Take a Modern Pilgrimage

By Josie Bryan For thousands of years, individuals have embarked on walking pilgrimages around the world. While traditionally a religious experience, pilgrimages offer a unique travel opportunity to clear your mind, move your body, and feed your soul. According to Adventure and Spiritual Restoration: Older Adult Motivations for Undertaking a Pilgrimage on El Camino deContinue reading “Take a Modern Pilgrimage”

Hack Aging with Tiny Habits

Aging is a gradual process marked by subtle daily changes that often go unnoticed. It’s common, yet incorrect, for people to assume that they will always be capable of performing even the simplest tasks without difficulty. To counteract this decline, the concept of “Tiny Habits,” popularized by BJ Fogg, offers a powerful approach to buildingContinue reading “Hack Aging with Tiny Habits”

Granny Flats for Multigenerational Living

This post is part of an ongoing series on where to live as you age By Josie Bryan As individuals grow older, housing options become more limited, so it’s crucial to find the right solution. Retirement communities can be expensive and often lack the comforting sense of home and family. While aging in place inContinue reading “Granny Flats for Multigenerational Living”

How to Plan a Family Reunion

By Margot Slade Consider the virtues of a family reunion: Compared with visiting your relatives individually, it’s  less stressful on the body (fewer planes, trains, automobiles), pocketbook (again the planes, trains, automobiles) and mind: You’re not wedded — some might say beholden — to the same person or group for hours or days. Family reunions,Continue reading “How to Plan a Family Reunion”

Try Mountain Biking

Looking for a fantastic way to soak up the great outdoors and revel in nature’s beauty? Mountain biking is just the activity leaving you feeling invigorated and accomplished with numerous benefits. It’s a safer endeavor compared with road riding with cleaner air to breathe where you don’t have to worry about cars on paths, trails,Continue reading “Try Mountain Biking”

The Truth About End-of-Life Care

Many of us will face a time when we will need to take on the emotional and challenging task of caring for our parents at the end of their lives. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to know what to expect. Here’s our best advice from three individuals who cared for theirContinue reading “The Truth About End-of-Life Care”

Group Travel: Ideal for Solo Agers

Second in a Series We all know it can be scary to think of traveling alone even when you want to step outside of your comfort zone and gain new experiences.  If you read our recent post, Solo Travel, and thought, “No way––that’s not for me!”, then we have a few other ideas for you.Continue reading “Group Travel: Ideal for Solo Agers”

Healthier Habits, Happier Life

By Stella Taylor Bergan, Health and Human Performance Coach A couple of months back, I wrote a compelling Facebook post about the benefits of cleaning up daily habits, and it was a hit leaving friends clamoring for more. My post started like this:  OK, here is the truth – you want to live longer – cleanContinue reading “Healthier Habits, Happier Life”

What to Consider When Looking for an Active Senior Community?

This post is part of a series on where to live as you age By Hollis Bischoff, Senior College Admissions Advisor If after reading Aging In Place vs. Retirement Communities: Which is The Right Choice for You?, you have decided to move to a retirement community, I’d like to share my experience and advice onContinue reading “What to Consider When Looking for an Active Senior Community?”

Reframing the Empty Nest—You’re a Free Bird

By Lucia Tedesco Picture this: your kids are all grown up and have flown the coop. You’re standing in your empty house, wondering what to do next. Do you sit in the corner, crying over every memory Facebook throws back at you? Or do you put on your favorite playlist and dance around the houseContinue reading “Reframing the Empty Nest—You’re a Free Bird”

Try Strength Training

As winter rages on across the United States, it can be hard to maintain a regular exercise routine. From the west coast’s record-breaking snow and rain to the ice storms in the midwest and Nor’easters on the east coast, outdoor activities, even winter ones, may not be an option. However, there’s a solution: indoor bodyweightContinue reading “Try Strength Training”

Seven Predictors of Longevity Within Your Control

It’s a wrap. We’re excited to share that Big Retired Life’s “Top Priorities” section now features a comprehensive series on the seven predictors of longevity that are within your control. This series is based on findings from Harvard’s Study of Adult Development and provides actionable tips to help you incorporate them into your life. WhetherContinue reading “Seven Predictors of Longevity Within Your Control”

Aging In Place vs. Retirement Communities: Which is The Right Choice for You?

This post is part of a series on where to live as you age By Scott Stanley One of the most significant decisions you’ll make in retirement is where you are going to live when your physical health declines. In this post, I will delve into two of the more popular options—aging in place andContinue reading “Aging In Place vs. Retirement Communities: Which is The Right Choice for You?”

College Decision Season

By Hollis Bischoff, Senior College Admissions Advisor Helping Your Child Choose Their New Home For the Next Four Years (aka Choosing a College) Last fall, your child eagerly pushed the apply button for their curated list of colleges, and the last few months have been a rollercoaster of ups (acceptances) and downs (denials, deferrals, andContinue reading “College Decision Season”

Advice For Widows From Widows

Losing a spouse or life partner can be one of the hardest experiences a person can go through. For everyone in a long-term relationship, the reality is that one partner will pass away at some point, and the other will need to continue on alone. It’s important for both partners to acknowledge and prepare. It’sContinue reading “Advice For Widows From Widows”

Breathe Easy

You’ve heard the phrase ‘smoking kills’ one too many times, but it’s true. Non-smokers live longer and healthier lives. Actually, not smoking is one of the seven dominant predictors of successful aging within some personal control. But it’s not just cigarettes: vaping, smoking marijuana, and even exercising in poor air quality can all have detrimentalContinue reading “Breathe Easy”

Don’t Let Your Skills Go To Waste

By Elaine Lum MacDonald Retired professionals have a rich trove of knowledge—skills, insights, and connections—that can be leveraged for good use. The knowledge that each individual holds due to their unique experiences and wisdom gained through time is one of the most unactualized human assets we have. What if that underutilized knowledge could be transferred?Continue reading “Don’t Let Your Skills Go To Waste”

Embrace Your Sports Fandom

By Bill Onderdonk I remember taking my then 5-year-old daughter to her first San Francisco Giants game in 2010. I was there with my father-in-law, a lifelong Giants fan. When Pablo Sandavol, aka Panda, hit a grand slam, my daughter excitedly exclaimed, “I’m a lucky charm!” The 2010 season ended with the Giants winning theContinue reading “Embrace Your Sports Fandom”

Who rescued who?

If you have a dog, there’s a chance you rescued them from a shelter. As your dog benefits from your care, did you know they’re also helping you? There are myriad health advantages of dog ownership. The most compelling being a 2019 Journal of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes meta-analysis that showed dog ownership wasContinue reading “Who rescued who?”

Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight

By Stella Taylor Bergan, Health and Human Performance Coach Maintaining a healthy body weight after retirement is an important concern for many people as they enter a new phase of life. As daily schedules change, you may or may not spend more time engaging in habits to keep mentally and physically at your best. HealthyContinue reading “Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight”

Thrive Through All Three Phases of Retirement

The Go-Go, Slow-Go, and No-Go framework is a common way financial planners divide retirement into three distinct phases to understand how financial needs change over time. Instead of using this framework as a financial tool, apply it as an intentional mindset on how you can thrive throughout your retirement. The fact is that everyone willContinue reading “Thrive Through All Three Phases of Retirement”

Passing Down Family Recipes

By Diana Sunshine Every Thanksgiving, I love listening to NPR’s Susan Stamberg share Mama Stamberg’s zesty cranberry relish. She claims it’s Pepto-Bismol pink, and although it sounds terrible, it’s incredibly delicious. Susan has shared it with thousands of listeners and the recipe lives on. Recipes are passed down generation to generation, many of them unwritten.Continue reading “Passing Down Family Recipes”

Going It Alone Through the Holidays

It can be hard to be alone during the holidays. Although conventions say the holidays are a time to focus on others, for some, it might be the time of year to take special care of yourself. You can embody the spirit of the holiday season with gratitude, connection, happiness, and generosity, by spending timeContinue reading “Going It Alone Through the Holidays”