I Want to Be the 85 Year Old Woman Who Brings Flowers to the Library, Don't You?
"How old are you? Are you a senior? In high school?"
"Now stop that, she's a grown woman! With a job! And two college degrees!"
"Well, I can't help it, some people just take good care of themselves."
The above is a real conversation had between two teen girls at my library, one a volunteer, the other a regular at library events. And they were talking about...me. Right in front of me, in fact.
And their conversation got me thinking about what it takes to stay healthy and oh, attractive, I suppose, throughout our lifetimes. I work with the public, and I've seen all shades of people who, for whatever reason, have not taken good care of themselves. Maybe they lived in a war torn country and had no access to milk, and so, their teeth and bones are brittle (it's the excuse my grandma used...). Or, maybe they never thought about the future when they were young, assumed they'd be bright, bold and beautiful forever and now face the consequences.
Each day, I see someone who makes me want to run home and floss, someone who makes me roll my shoulders back and stand up straight and others who, with a positive outlook on life, who inspire me to take care of myself so that I will be a totally rockin' old lady that everyone wants to see each day.
Sure, I've talked about getting yourself to the OB/GYN (and yes, I finally went. and yes, I'm nice and healthy). And, I've covered Stress Management. But, what else can you do to ensure that you mature into a healthy, "well-kept" indvididual?
1) Get to what Glamour Magazine calls your happy weight. This could involve losing OR gaining weight, depending on you. Your happy weight will improve not only your physical health but also your emotional well-being.
2) Take care of your teeth.
3) Get enough calcium (women especially!).
4) Keep hydrated
5) Use your brain.Done with school? Ah, take a moment to enjoy getting that degree (whether it be a BA, a Ph.D. or whatnot). Now, get back on that horse and keep using your brain. Get a brain busting hobby (hey, why not give Scrabulous a try...also available on Facebook).
6) Exercise. I don't need a link for this one. You all know it's true. Get out from in front of the computer, take a walk, run up and down the stairs, turn on the music Ally McBeal (or Meridith Gray)style. Get your blood pumping and your muscles moving.
8) Socialize. Whether your log-in to talk to your friends online, or get out and join a club. Just interacting with other people increases endorphines, improves your attitude and is good for you (not that you don't need your alone time, as well).
9) Stand up straight. I just had to throw that one in there. And don't just straighten up when you see an older person with a hunch on their back. Do it now. Do it often.
10) Listen to your body. Are you knees hurting after running a lot over the past couple of weeks? Unless you are a professional athlete, you have nothing depending on you getting up and running. So, try a different exercise. Swimming, perhaps. Get enough sleep. If you're feeling frazzled, say no to a couple of things. All in all, just listen to what your body is telling you instead of forcing it to work through the kind of pain that is a signal for you to...STOP.
Notice that none of these tips include "put lotion on your face at night" or "use - insert name brand here - soap to wash your face." Everyone's different when it comes to skin care. I wash my face only with water, but I load up on the different topical solutions my dermatologist has provided (and my skin looks better than it has in years), but I know someone who puts olive oil on her face and, should she have a bit of a break out, uses rubbing alcohol (the very thought of it, makes me skin pucker in dryness, but, hey, to each their own). So, take care of your skin in the way that works for you.
But here's a tip, look to your older relatives. What worked for them? What would you make sure never to do? I'm a third generation lancome user. I'm sure your family has a history of using a certain technique (sleeping on a satin pillow case, anyone?)
How is this "Real World," you might ask? Well, I've read countless articles about botox addiction, face lifts, etc. I think that we'll save the world a heap of trouble if we take care of ourselves now, instead of depending on injections of botulism later.
Here's to growing old with grace.