An eerily and timely quote from the classic Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other direction.”
For some, the times have never been better, and for many the times have never been worse. The stress of living through a global pandemic with all its fallout, namely political, family, relationship and health care philosophy divisions, has made this classic 18th century Dickens’ tale relatable, so to speak. How does one make their life today into a season of light and hope instead of a dark winter of despair?
There are aspects of our life, health and wellbeing we have control over and there are some aspects we do not. We cannot pick our grandparents, reverse our past or wish we would have taken a different road, but we can affect today and our future tomorrow by adopting strategies that powerfully impact our health and wellbeing for a coming season of light and hope.
Change of Thinking Changes Everything
Changing one’s life may seem daunting at a first glance; change is easy, thinking about change is hard. Taking that first step, changing one aspect of your daily routine, improving one habit or committing to one new step can help jump start your new journey with renewed faith, confidence and belief that you can achieve.
Starting the Day on the Right Foot
How do you start your day? Sleeping in past your productive time? What’s the first information that enters your mind? Upon waking, instead of hitting the news or social media, start with a positive affirmation, a spiritual devotion, prayer or meditation. Set your mind up for hope and productivity instead of fear and anxiety. Remember, what you think about you bring about.
Commit to Exercising
Weight bearing exercise is a must as we age. Start with a brisk walk for 10 minutes and then add strength training. Start with small hand weights and/or exercise bands to build muscle and bone density to counter sarcopenia (muscle loss) and osteoporosis (bone loss).
When you maintain your strength, you maintain your independence with vitality instead of dependence and disability. In addition, exercise increases your ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which give you a sense of well-being, hope and optimism, not to mention the protective benefits to your heart and brain for longevity.
Eat to Live Instead of Living to Eat
Look at food differently, instead of eating to satisfy your tastebuds and cravings, begin to see food as fuel to feed your brain and body for longevity and function. Start by asking yourself: does this food I’m about to eat promote tissue healing?
Choose fresh whole foods that God created instead of man-made processed junk. Your consumption of healthy staples must be greater than any questionable delicacies. Try the 80-20 principle: 80% healthy, 20% reward. You must Learn It, Earn It, then Burn It, right?
Maintain Your Posture
No one ever wishes or wants the dreaded hunch. That unsightly hunchback look, commonly referred to as forward head posture and hyper-kyphosis, is never desired. Beyond the cosmetic and vanity effects, the detriment to one’s heart, lungs and digestive organs is well documented.
Increased cardiovascular disease, lowered lung capacity and reduced bowel function set the stage for rapid aging and disease. The good news, there are simple strategies to prevent, improve and correct postural distortions before it’s too late.
During these challenging times, make a decision to live life with vitality, hope and productivity instead of worry, fear and apathy. Take care of your health as if you’ll live to 100, live out your life as if you’ll die tomorrow. Seek out a 100 Year Lifestyle affiliate Doctor of Chiropractic who is well trained to help you address these five steps for a new lease on life.
We may not know the future, but we do know who holds the future. Choose hope instead of despair, faith instead of fear, health instead of sickness and longevity instead of disability. I know there are no guarantees, but why leave anything on the table. Go out and live, give it your all, making your ‘tale’ the best of times!
How do you live in these difficult times? Are you full of hope or full of despair? What techniques are you practicing to create more hope and optimism in your life?