Now that all the hoopla is over, and we’ve seen that the world isn’t going to end, may I make some suggestions for a long and healthy life:
- Eat well – study after study shows that reducing fats and sugars, eating more fruits and vegetables and increasing fiber is beneficial to your health. Why not try to make simple changes, without going on a diet. Substitute a soda with a glass of water, have an apple instead of apple juice or ask the waitress to wrap half of your meal instead of eating the whole thing.
- Exercise – the more you move, the easier it is to move. We can all benefit from exercise, but I think you need to find something you enjoy doing or you’ll never stick with it. Personally, I can’t stand using exercise machines – they make me feel like a hamster on a wheel. But I love yoga and the way I feel afterwards. Find something you like (maybe with a friend) and it is easier to stick with it.
- Floss – you knew I was going to throw this in my list. Seriously, I can’t impress upon you enough the impact flossing makes. Regular flossers have healthier gums. Healthier gums mean a healthier person. So many studies are now revealing the link between oral and systemic health. It is amazing how that little piece of string makes such a difference.
- Be social – make a point of cultivating and maintaining friendships. Everyone’s different – personally, I need a few good friends and my family around me; other people enjoy having many friends. Whatever your preference, think about how great you feel after going out to dinner with a friend or laughing on the phone about a ridiculous joke. Maybe try to contact one person whom you haven’t spoken to in a long time. I just had my 30th high school reunion and had a wonderful time catching up with old friends.
- Take some time for yourself – we all need a little “me” time to recharge. Curl up and read a book, work in the garden (once the rain stops), go fishing, take the dog for a walk, get a massage – whatever you need for yourself, do it.
- Enjoy each day – I know this sounds all kumbaya-like, but really – I think it’s important to see the good in each day. Sure, there are some days that everything goes wrong and you wish you had stayed in bed, but within each day, look for small moments of joy and focus on them. Don’t be upset about the traffic on the way home, because when you get there, at least you’ll see your kids. Ignore the 15 minute wait at Starbucks, and savor the latte instead. Tolerate the rain we’ve had and think of how great your grass looks.
I’m glad the world’s not over (not that I was really worried about it), because I have a lot of living left to do. Enjoy (and floss!).