Living a Healthy Lifestyle
“Things change. Get used to it!”
– The Uphill Skater –
I have been writing and talking about emotional, physical and mental health for quite a number of years, and you might think those things would be pretty constant. I mean good eats are good eats, right? Also, if you are on the ball and can do a cross word puzzle, you are pretty okay. If you don’t cry at the drop of a hat, and you aren’t hoarding automatic weapons, you should be pretty stable too, yes? Well, not so much.
First of all, food advice seems to change regularly with each new book that comes out, or every time Dr. Oz appears on the cover of a magazine. And, we all know from standing in line at the grocery how often we see him on the cover of everything! Spinach used to be really great for you, but now it has too much acid. Oranges are all right, but… acid! An apple a day used to keep the doctor away, but now it has to be an organic apple grown on a sustainable tree. I grew up on a farm, and we ate eggs. Now there are so many different kinds of eggs, it boggles the mind. Cage free, gently raised, vegan diet, vegetarian diet, more Omega-3s, and on and on. Honestly, and you know this, eggs range in price from less than a dollar a dozen to more than five dollars. It’s all a lot to keep up with.
On the other hand, mental illness and things like depression have not changed at all, right? Well, wrong again. Behaviors that were once considered outlandish are somehow some kind of new normal. I know I am old-fashioned, but setting buildings and businesses on fire and pulling statues of George Washington over in parks seems a bit bizarre to me as a way to show displeasure with politics. I guess that’s just because I don’t get it. I am also not quite sure what it is I don’t get, honestly.
At a different level though, and not kidding around any more, mental illness and associated conditions have made great leaps and bounds. No longer is the subject taboo and not up for discussion. Depression is acknowledged as a real condition, not just being sad. New drugs have literally changed people’s lives for the better. We can talk about it now, too. Autism, learning disabilities and even abhorrent behaviors are dealt with in very open ways, thank God. Gender issues are also pretty open for discussion and differences of all types are much more tolerated.
Again, keeping up with all of this is quite a task. We used to say that when you felt downhearted you should take a shower, wash your hair and clean the house. Go out and get a perm. Go to the movies. All bad advice for those who actually suffer from depression. Talk to someone you trust and seek professional help are much better pieces of advice and show a degree of caring we can all support.
We have talked about food and the many food changes and the multitude of mental health issues that have been readdressed and redefined based on the growth of scientific knowledge. Now let’s talk about physical health. Either you are sick, or you are well. Right? Well, yes and no. Leave it to me to give those really clear answers! As we all know, health and health issues have changed drastically, and I don’t mean Covid. I mean the multitude of advances in preventative medicine. To my mind, this is the real leap in medical advances. How do you prevent illness? Not how do you treat an illness, which is important, but what if you never had to be sick in the first place? Preventative medicine and vaccines have saved countless lives and improved the quality of life for countless others. This all relates back to eating well, keeping your mind sharp and yourself healthy. It’s not a cure-all, but it sure is close.
Obviously I am not a doctor, but I read everything I can get my hands on. What I have found is staying healthy is not that hard, nor expensive. First of all, walk. That is free! I have a cheap step-counting watch, and I do my 10,000 per day. Keep your weight within reason. That is a new thought by the way: Not to look at your scale regularly for just that right weight, but to be sure you can button your pants without lying down on the bed, your blood pressure is good and you are eating well. I am not going to list all of the good foods this time. Maybe next month, but you already know that fudge is not on the list and lettuce is, right?
So my point is that while so many things change, there are constants. Pink has been an advocate for women’s emotional and physical well-being for many years and continues to be so. Pink also follows trends and reports on women who are unique in their own way. Pink does not judge. People, not just women, need to do the same. Keep up with information from credible sources (be sure it’s true!) Form your own opinions. Stand tall. Love, Judith
Judith Lawrenson is a former Hilton Head Island resident who has a huge heart and is loved by all who meet her. She has served and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations while living in the Lowcontry making an impact wherever she went. She and her husband recently moved to the wild hills of West Virginia to be closer to grandchildren. Judith is an avid sailor, a retired reading resource specialist, and a children's TV host whose local show originated from the Boys and girls Club. Judith is also a long time seeker of healthy, happy living and a lifestyle dedicated to service to others balanced with love of God and love of self. Check out her BLOG www.skatinguphill.com for fun info, recipes and nutrition ideas, current updates on nearly everything in the world, and lots of comments and opinions.