Like most doctors, my doctor has multiple letters behind his name, numerous certificates on his wall and patients of all ages. He spends the time needed when I visit, seldom looking at his watch every two minutes like others doctors I’ve seen over the years. As good as Dr. Sean is, I have others who are even better. My best doctors are: Movement, Sleep, Moderation, Family/Friends, Stimulation and Attitude. Let me introduce you.
Movement. I prefer ‘movement’ to ‘exercise’ because it conjures up a different visual. With exercise I think of grunting, sweating and people in size 2 spandex. Movement, on the other hand, can be anything – walking, skipping, swinging your legs, waving hello or goodbye and millions of other everyday actions that gets our bodies going in one direction or another…all without a gym membership.
Sleep. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults, including seniors, need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Sleep comes easy to some and is elusive to others. I’m one of the lucky ones. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and sleep for the required number of hours. I have my mother to thank for this. Even before all the research determined that teens need more sleep, my Mom let me sleep on weekends. When she thought it was time to get up, she never woke me, she just ran the vacuum under my bed and then asked, “Did I wake you?” Clever woman.
Moderation. “Everything in moderation” was my grandmother’s motto whether it pertained to eating, sleeping or talking. She was ahead of her times. Today, researchers and scientist promote moderation as a principle of life reflecting that too much of a good thing is bad and too much of a bad thing is worse. Can you think of something done in excess that is more beneficial than done in moderation? If so, please let me know.
Family/Friends. Yes, family can be stressful. If you doubt this, come to a large Italian dinner where Guido can’t sit next to Joey and someone’s feelings are hurt because their favorite dish wasn’t served. Regardless of the highs and lows, family is an important element in our lives. Those who realize this early are very lucky. Those who come to this realization later are hopefully, blessed with good memories. Friends- these are the family of our heart. People we’ve chosen and, who have chosen us. They’re the forever constant of support, acceptance and a reality check. They love us enough to tell us we’re wrong and the first to defend us when others say we’re wrong.
Stimulation. What gets you going? What causes the light behind your eyes to shine brightly? What makes you smile, think and cheer? Whatever ‘stimulates’ you it should be fun, engaging, and interactive as well as helping you think, learn and understand. My Aunt Kay was 85 when she got her first computer or should I say, graciously accept the computer my brother and I purchased for her. At first she resisted then discovered the Solitaire game. It wasn’t unusual for her to spend 3-4 hours playing and enjoying her ‘stimulant’.
Attitude. A positive attitude, or POSITUDE as my husband and I call it, is the best ‘doctor’ and one of the most important factors in getting you through the highs and lows of life. By changing the inner thinking of your mind, you can change the outer aspect of your life. The best thing about attitude – you control it. Not your spouse or your neighbor or your kids – only you. You take the positive or negative ‘picture’ of situations you want to. Imagine, the ability to be happy lies within you. Now that’s power!