(Happy) New Year. Now What?
I leave 2022 behind with a mixture of awe (where did the year go???), excitement (a new year always feels like a clean slate) and not looking back (good riddance!)
Happy new year, Pausers!
I leave 2022 behind with a mixture of awe (where did the year go???), excitement (a new year always feels like a clean slate), not looking back (good riddance!), and hope (we can always hope, right?)
I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions (I had the same one every year…and obviously if it came up every year, it meant that – ding, ding! – I never kept it), and I don’t care for the word “resolution,” anyhow. But I realize there are many of us out there who are goal-oriented and do make resolutions, er, changes, and are motivated by them.
So instead, I’ve decided to substitute the words “intentions” or “goals,” which sound a bit, well, more reachable, no?
Being a health writer and someone deeply invested in my own wellness, these are - naturally - health-oriented intentions. And if you’re reading thePause (thank you!), you’re probably similarly invested in making healthy goals for yourself.
(Why only three? Changes are more digestible if they’re tackled in small bites…)
🤣Find the Funny. I recently caught up by phone with an old friend (you know who you are!) Our conversation somehow veered to a pretty sensitive topic – one that we don’t often discuss with many people - bladder control! (Laughing yet??) My husband, who was downstairs, wondered an hour later (what a luxury, actually hearing a friend’s voice, and for so long!) why I was howling so loud. (As you’d well imagine, all that laughing wasn’t exactly good for what we were laughing about!) And yet, it was the best laugh I’ve had in a very long time. A phone call beats a text, and laughing beats bitching and moaning. And laughing ranks high in providing a huge health boost, for sure. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about short and long-term benefits of laughter (not to mention I feel like my abs got a good workout!)
🥗Keep Up. I don’t mean ’keep up’ in a competitive way, as in ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ (the idiom comes from a 1913 comic strip…maybe we need to update it and say ‘keeping up with the Kardashians?’) but rather keeping up with your health screenings. Please. As I always tell anyone who will listen, our bodies are our temples (idiom? metaphor?) and we need to honor and care for them. Here’s a primer on health screenings for women 40 through 64. (I don’t know why they stopped at 64, though…what are we, another species?? Here’s to us.)
🤔Be a Lifelong Learner. Despite growing older, our brains are still able to adapt in response to new experiences, take in new information, and grow (neurons form new patterns of pathways when we learn new things, which in turn helps our memory and reasoning skills). Learning also makes us more interesting people (never be stuck again for small talk!), helps us cope better with stress, and enhances our self-esteem. (At 50, I returned to college for my MFA, lacking confidence at first; but when I graduated three years later, I felt satisfied, accomplished and had the confidence to pursue my third act - voila - freelance writing!) But, you need not go to school to learn; knowledge is yours for the taking, wherever you are.
For a Pause…
I don’t believe in dieting, but instead, eating healthfully and mindfully and in moderation. Remember the cabbage soup diet from the 90’s? Hidden inside that “weight loss” soup were a ton of nutrient-rich, healthy veggies. Here’s an updated version. I’m in! #beasmartcabbagehead
Okay, maybe you’ve committed to some changes. But how to make those new habits stick? #getintothehabit
Is one of your changes is to be more gentle on yourself? As we age, our hair needs more TLC, too. Wrap and dry it gently with this towel. I just bought one and love it. #sharingiscaring
Weight gain during menopause is a multi-faceted issue. Besides aging-related changes, our hormones conspire against us. But don’t give up the good fight. It just takes commitment. And reading articles like this, this, and others from credible sites. #hardworkpaysoff
One More Thing:
I’d forgotten how brilliant Sesame Street was until I recently started reliving Elmo, Cookie Monster et al with my 18-month old twin grandsons, Oliver & Charlie. Thank you, little sweeties, for sharing your not-so-secret secrets!