20 Things You Should Say Goodbye to the Moment You Reach Age 50

Reaching age 50 marks a significant milestone in life. As you embark on this new chapter, it’s important to say goodbye to certain things or habits that no longer benefit you in this current chapter. At this point, you must learn to let go of unrealistic expectations and detrimental vices. Read on and find the top 20 things you need to avoid when you’re in your 50s so you can live a full, meaningful, and happy life!

Overindulging in Alcohol, Smoking, and Other Vices

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People have been warned time and time again about the harmful effects of vices like smoking and alcohol on one’s body. However, these adverse effects are further amplified in old age. For example, alcohol consumption can make one’s existing health problems worse. It can also have less-than-ideal interactions with some medications you’re taking.

Disregarding Oral Hygiene and Ignoring Your Dental Health

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One’s dental health is often forgotten or put in last place because of other conditions or comorbidities people in their 50s have. Most of the time, they’d put more time, focus, and attention on cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and more. However, it’s best to remember that dental health influences general health and quality of life. In fact, studies show that dementia is more prevalent in elders with more than one decayed tooth compared to those who have none.

Not Getting Routine Health Checkups or Screenings

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Annual checkups and screenings can benefit people of any age, but they are especially beneficial for those in their 50s and older. After all, the older you are, the more prone you are to developing certain diseases like cancer, diabetes, and more. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

Making Your Mental Health the Least of Your Priorities

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While mental health disorders are things that can be found in people of all age groups, there are some reports that it’s perhaps more prevalent in older adults. The World Health Organization notes, “Older adults are more likely to experience adverse events such as bereavement, or a drop in income or reduced sense of purpose with retirement. Social isolation and loneliness, which affect about a quarter of older people, are key risk factors for mental health conditions in later life.”

Failing to Check Your Vision and Hearing

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At times, the loss of vision or hearing can be so slow or subtle that you won’t realize they weren’t the same as before until it’s too late. This is why it’s crucial to constantly check your vision and hearing, especially when you’re in your 50s. These are common age-related conditions that make you susceptible to a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia, so people must stay on top of these things early on.

Neglecting Your Brain Health and Not Stimulating It Enough

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One of the most important things people over 50 must care for is their brain health, as the brain is the organ that controls many aspects of thinking. In more ways than one, our brains dictate whether we can still live independently. Unfortunately, as people age, certain parts of the brain shrink, and certain brain regions and neurons may be less effective in communicating signals. To keep it simulated and in the best possible shape, work on puzzles and games, learn musical instruments, and continuously read diverse and challenging materials!

Indiscriminately Taking Over-The-Counter Medications

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People over 50 are more likely to have maintenance medicine for diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions. However, what most people don’t know is that some over-the-counter medications can interact negatively with prescribed medicine. For example, the MSD Manual explains, “Another potential problem is drug overlap; over-the-counter products used to treat different problems may contain the same active ingredient. Unless people read the labels on everything they take, they can accidentally overdose themselves.”

Neglecting Intimacy With Your Partner

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Intimacy, in and of itself, is closely related to mental health issues such as depression. In more ways than one, it helps with lowering resting blood pressure and increasing the level of oxytocin—the feel-good hormone—in the body. However, those in their 50s and older usually lack physical and emotional closeness with their partners. Ignored, this may lead to a heightened feeling of loneliness and a low sense of self-worth.

Overeating, Eating the Wrong Kinds of Food, or Over-Restricting Your Diet

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If in your 20s, you were able to eat whole pizzas, all sorts of sugary stuff, and more and not feel a thing, now that you’re in your 50s, it’s a whole different ball game. For example, sugary drinks, cakes, cookies, white bread, processed meat, and more are inflammatory food items that can cause cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and cancer, so you better watch what you put into your body. However, at the same time, be careful not to over-restrict yourself to the point that you no longer enjoy meal times. Eat what you want, but always in moderation!

Putting Your Bone Health at the Bottom of Your Priorities

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Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases older people get. It’s a condition wherein one’s bones become fragile and weak, leading to higher chances of fractures, even with small, gentle bumps. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, “One in three women and one in five men from the age of fifty will suffer a fracture in their remaining lifetimes.” Through this, it’s clear why bone health should be at the top of one’s priorities—not at the bottom!

Not Putting Importance on Sleep

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An ample amount of sleep is important for any age group—young or old—and it’s a common misconception that older adults are okay with getting less than the ideal number of hours of sleep. As it’s been found, sleep deprivation can lead to mental health issues and vice versa. Additionally, the lack of sleep can cause an increase in the risk of hypertension, depression, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

Going out Under the Sun Without Sunscreen, Hats, or Other Protective Items

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While the sun offers various benefits, being unprotected can cause major damage. For example, being exposed to the sun without sunscreen can accelerate a person’s aging process. It can also lead to more fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.

Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle and Skipping Regular Exercise

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An article published by the National Library of Medicine explains, “A sedentary lifestyle increases all-cause mortality and the risks for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cancers.” It can be harmful for any and all age groups, but perhaps particularly more so for middle-aged or older people. Aside from the aforementioned risks, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, or prolonged sitting can also accelerate aging.

Putting Yourself in Stressful Situations

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Chronic stress can lead to various health issues—both physically and mentally. It leaves you feeling like you must always be in fight-or-flight mode, eventually putting too much strain on your body and mind. On the one hand, it puts you at higher risk of muscle tension and pain, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, digestive problems, and more. On the other, you’re more likely to get anxiety, depression, and issues with focus and memory.

Dehydrating Yourself or Not Drinking Enough Water

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Hydration is particularly important for older people because people over 50 are at a higher risk of constipation, kidney problems, and electrolyte imbalances. Our bodies usually signal when we need to drink water by making us feel thirsty. However, this doesn’t happen as much in older people, as the thirst response gets weaker with age.

Wearing Uncomfortable Footwear

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The older you get, the more mindful you need to be of your overall comfort. So, when you’re over 50, stop thinking in a fashion-over-function mentality and instead focus more on finding something that will suit your needs. If you keep wearing uncomfortable footwear, it will later lead to increased discomfort and even reduced mobility.

Do-It-Yourself Diagnosis and Medication Prescription

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Taking matters into your own hands, especially regarding healthcare, can be dangerous. However, since people over 50 usually have more medications and underlying health conditions compared to younger adults, there’s a higher chance of something going wrong if you self-diagnose or self-medicate. You may take the incorrect dosage or, worse, take medicine that will negatively react with others, worsening your overall condition.

Overworking Yourself

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Overworking can be detrimental to anyone’s health. The increased stress and exhaustion it brings can worsen preexisting health conditions in people over 50, such as heart problems or high blood pressure. It can also contribute to sleeping problems, which will then lead to even more problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Failing to Live in the Present Moment

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Life is short, and when you’re in your 50s, most would say you’ve probably already lived more than half of your life. So, what are you waiting for? Stop dwelling on the past or worrying excessively about the future, and just live in the now! Changing your mindset to something more positive or carefree might also help you reduce stress levels and improve your mental health.

Constantly Worrying About Others’ Opinions

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As you age, constantly worrying about others’ opinions can harm your mental and physical health. Aside from causing sleep problems, stress, and anxiety, it may also prevent you from caring for yourself properly because you’re too focused on people pleasing. Stop caring about others’ opinions and start prioritizing your own happiness and well-being!

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Poorly educated individuals may exhibit certain noticeable characteristics that set them apart from others. On the flip side, some may also compensate for their lack of education by pretending to be knowledgeable in certain areas. This behavior is often a way for poorly educated individuals to maintain their self-image and self-esteem.

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20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

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20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

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20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.