Summer is scampering away as fall is chasing at her heels.
When we turn the July calendar of a new month, we are inundated with “Back to School savings” in the marketplace and earlier evening skies to view from our back porches. The lazy days of summer slip by like clouds floating dreamily on in the sky, and we get ready for autumn in many ways, including preparing for the doldrum days ahead before Old Man winter shows up.
As a former teacher, fall was the beginning of the year. It was a fresh start for students, whether they were shaking in their new runners entering a new grade, getting excited about seeing their new teacher and old friends or off to secondary schooling ready to change the world.
Perhaps it is time to fall away from the bad habits and fall into new ones and yet, many of us have developed healthy habits that we need to continue!
Seasons change, our activities have changed and our connection with others has changed with our online world. Still, nonetheless, we can evaluate what activities and habits are worth keeping and what ones need to go or be added to improve our body, spirit, and mind as we age.
According to a recent article I read, there are four basic habits seniors develop as they age:
- Diet – one has the choice to eat healthy or unhealthy meals. Instead of take-out, ready-made meals, people can eat more vegetables, fruit, fish, and chicken dishes.
- Exercise – one has the choice to sit in the recliner, lay on the couch or sit for extended periods of time. Instead of a sedentary lifestyle, one has the option of daily walks, swimming, different exercise classes available, including any form of movement such as dancing, biking, and hiking.
- Sleep – one has the choice to sleep longer hours or take more naps because of fewer activities; however, developing a daily waking and bedtime routine is beneficial to rest better.
- Socialization – one has the choice to stay at home, be isolated and live a lonely life. Still, studies show that connecting with other humans and being active socially increases health both mentally and physically.
Many of us may plan to change, but what is the plan? First, choose one habit to change. Then be specific with what you wish to do. For example, I decided that I would swim two mornings a week, play tennis one evening and walk or bike for three days to improve my exercise. Be realistic with your goals by being practical and sensible with your abilities and skills. Next, understand that there will be setbacks and moving forward with your goals. Some days are just better. And lastly, round up your supporters. Encourage one another, do activities together and learn to laugh and live life as it is meant to be.
And so, as we listen for the honking of the Canadian geese flying overhead and rise to darker mornings, we look forward to changing old habits and replacing them with healthier ones. Just as the invitation for fall to change the landscape by painting the trees, leaving icy films on the pond, crackling fallen leaves and sending gusty winds from the north, it is yet another season for us to change the colours of our lives.
Lorrie Morales contributed this piece for the Fall Edition of the Ladies Corner Magazine.