Telling a simple story on myself.
My dentist told me, “You should floss.” I hate flossing. Can’t stand it. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, come on. Obviously, she knows what she’s talking about. I should listen to her. Otherwise, why would I go to a dentist? If I can offer advice, I should be able to take advice.
Now, I use this fancy tool and put in a certain time, every day with a little alert to it. That sounds silly. Right? Floss. At the same time, every day, that little thing goes off – bing! If I sit at my computer, it shows up on my computer – Floss.
Am I doing it every day? No. Am I doing it more often? Yes. When I went to my next appointment, she said, “Wow! This is incredible. What are you doing?” I told her the story and she was just cracking up.
What do you eat? You know the old saying, “You ARE what you eat.”
Whether you’re an omnivore or an herbivore, one of the most pleasant ways to take care of yourself is to add more flavor (and nutrition) to your life.
I remember as a child the milkman coming to our house bringing fresh milk straight from a local farm along with cheese, butter and eggs. In elementary school, we did field trips to a local farm where we could taste all kinds of vegetables as well as berries and apples that were just harvested. My Grandma had a garden where she grew veggies and berries of all kinds.
There’s absolutely no comparison with the fruit and veggies we purchase today at the local grocery store. Just writing about this brings back memories of tastes I sorely miss.
A couple of years ago, I started growing some food in my own backyard. I don’t have a green thumb and the weeds grow way too fast and easily compared to what I want to grow. However, even my small harvest is heavenly and so much better than anything my wife, Kate, can find at the grocery store.
We also began to bake our own bread. There’s nothing like homemade bread fresh out of the oven. Your house will smell more inviting than any room spray. AND none of the homemade food items have ingredients in them that I cannot pronounce and don’t need or want.
You may think all this takes a lot of time, but it really doesn’t and it is both therapeutic and relaxing. Even weeding can be a peaceful break.
What would you say to someone who thinks they don’t have enough time to get started with work life balance? How could they get started effectively?
Start out slowly, you know the saying: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. Even a fake laugh reduces stress hormones and increased endorphins. Real laughter with friends is even better.
The Bible mentions the benefits of laughter many times. Here are a few:
“Let your heart be merry.” Judges 19:6
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
“He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 “I commend mirth.” Ecclesiastes 8:15
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has these benefits:
- Stimulate many organs.
- Activate and relieve your stress response.
- Soothe tension.
- Improve your immune system. Relieve pain.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Improve your mood.
Pamela Gerloff, in a Psychology Today article, says that an average 4-year- old laughs 300 times a day. And, what is the number for an average 40- year-old? It’s only four. Find time to laugh.
Physical fitness is a big part of self-care. Make room for it in your schedule. Telling another tale on myself here.
Many years ago, I used to rent a small gym with a group of friends and we’d meet to play soccer every Wednesday evening. We had a blast and I really enjoyed this. The key to me having fun, was playing a game, chasing a ball and trying to defeat the other team. When our group disbanded and
we all went different ways I knew I should be doing something else to make up for it.
I joined a gym, even though I did not care for pumping weights and running on treadmills. What could I do to improve the likelihood of me using the membership? You guessed correctly. I found an accountability partner. The brother of my then-girlfriend and I set days and times when we’d meet up at the gym. This worked quite well. Can you guess what happened when my friend called and cancelled?
I’m sure you came up with the correct answer, I didn’t go on my own. I was very good at justifying this. Some of you may have a master’s degree in excusitize too, but I have to tell you, I was the best at it.
I need to have a reason to work out, like I said earlier, chasing a ball, playing a competitive game, hiking up a mountain for the view or just to prove I can do it, something my brother and I used to do in the olden days.
Today, part of my workout is yard work. I see the before and after and know what has to be done.
Kate makes sure I include my stationary bike as part of my morning routine. I start my days by meditating with Deepak Chopra for 20 minutes after I wake up. Then I bike for the same amount of time. I top it off with a shower and coffee and I’m ready to tackle the day.
Now my older son is very different. He used to work out at a gym daily before Covid and now has his own gym equipment set up in the backyard. He rigorously sticks to his heavy-duty workout every day before work.
Absolutely nothing will stop him from working out. I don’t know where he got that discipline, definitely not from me.