Happy Birthday, or Not?

I had another milestone birthday recently, but didn’t feel any wiser, or thankfully “older”.   Do you look forward to your birthdays, or does getting a year older mean something negative to you?  As health care professionals, we know there are challenges aging not just gracefully but as healthily as possible.  While certain illnesses seem to come with middle and then older age, (I have a metal hip to replace one literally killed by arthritis) I don’t believe we have to just sit there and let it happen.  As a matter of fact since I have been working in sedentary jobs for many years, just sitting there is one reason I had the hip/arthritis problem in the first place!  So what can we do to at least keep the so-called ravages of time at bay?

Five Ways to Help Beat Back Father Time:

1.  I have begun a walking regimen.  Since I realized I had been somewhat out of shape for years as far as physical exercise was concerned, I began by walking only fifteen minutes per day, at least three days per week.  I am now happy to share I can walk one half hour and do so at least four days per week.   I also do Yoga stretching, which includes a Cobra pose for upper body muscle strengthening daily.    A combination of regular aerobic, stretching and strength building exercising is a great way to keep our bodies young.

2.  I am more conscious of my stress eating patterns.  Chocolate, while it really does make us feel happier, is not part of all four food groups!  ( am exaggerating somewhat with how much I ate).  While I haven’t totally given up my sweet snacks, since it is summer time, fresh cherries, strawberries, or other fruit seem to fill my sweet tooth very well, and give me natural energy to boot.

3.  Feeling overly responsible on the job for both the many roles I play, and also for challenges to the center that I really have no control over, sometimes kept me more in a Type A state (also known as not being able to come down from a mild state of fight, flight or freeze stressed state).  I am now using mindfulness in getting my own duties completed and just pray about the rest to help stay more in a euthymic mood and relaxed state.

4.  I am making sure to include meditation and some positive (for me spiritual) reading every day, for just a few minutes, usually just before bed to help me alleviate the stress of the day.

5.  Since getting eight and one-half hours of sleep for me (seven to nine is recommended depending on the individual) is paramount I am making sure to go to bed in time to get what I need.

While no one can stop the clock of aging, we sure can slow it down it bit!



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