Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolving To Be Good to Myself

Ever noticed how New Year’s resolutions tend to lose their shine by...oh... the middle of January? I must confess I’ve never made one that I carried out for a full year, so this year I decided to forgo the custom and be unresolved in 2009.

Then yesterday I caught a snippet of my favorite talk show. It was a rerun of a pre-Christmas show, and the guest was talking about how to be less stressed. Especially timely for the holiday season, but good advice for life in general.

He claims that stress and how we react to it are two very different things. Stress is often brought on by external situations over which we have no control. It’s how we react to those situations that determines their degree of stressfulness. He suggested a few simple things to help our minds and bodies cope with stress.

A good night's sleep

Before the invention of the electric light bulb, people slept an average of 10.2 hours a night. Now the average is 6.9 hours. Yikes! I suspect the invention of the computer, or at least the Internet, has also had an effect, but that’s just a personal hunch. What we need is a minimum of eight hours of sleep.

I wonder if afternoon naps count. I happen to be a master napper!

Good and adequate nutrition

Again, this was all straightforward common sense. Start the day with protein and minimal carbs. Don’t go for long periods of time without eating. A mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack will keep energy levels up, but that snack should be a healthy choice. A chocolate bar will provide a brief afternoon energy boost before we enter the crash-and-burn phase—been there, done that!—but an apple and some yogurt will help us stay focused and productive till dinnertime.

And of course it never hurts to stop and smell the flowers!

Drink lots of water

Apparently the majority of people are not well hydrated. Lack of water can result in headaches, poor concentration, problems sleeping, trouble with joints, and digestive disorders, as well as dry skin and eyes. The general advice is to drink eight cups or about two quarts of water every day, and I’m happy to say this is one part of my New Year’s resolution that I’ve already mastered. Every morning I fill a two-quart jug with water. Most days I drink all of it, and some days I drink more. So if you're feeling yucky, a glass of water just might be the fix.

In general, the gist of this expert’s message was that taking care of ourselves helps us manage stress. Not wanting to cause you any more stress than you may already be feeling but...were you good to yourself in 2008? I think I was, but I resolve to do an even better job in 2009.

And did you know this also happens to be the Wet Noodle Posse’s motto?

Be good to yourself, or else!

This will be the topic of the Posse’s January blogs, every week from Monday to Thursday. Friday will still be Q&A day, and on the first Friday of every month we’ll announce new releases by Noodlers. And be sure to check out today’s post, outlining what we have in store for you this year.

So be good to yourself and visit the Wet Noodle Posse. Or else!

Wishing you the very best in 2009!

Until next time,


Anonymous said...

Very good advice, Lee.

To add to your note about hydration, a naturopath who is also a triathlete told me once that not enough water is one reason people feel tired in the middle of the afternoon.

Not that I want to give up that excuse for a chocolate bar! But a couple of glasses of water in the morning and at lunchtime might help my bottom line – and my waistline.

I could be good to myself and multitask, too!



Lee McKenzie said...

Happy New Year, Rachel!

A lot of commercial chocolate is too sweet for my taste, but every two weeks or so I buy a bar of dark, really high quality chocolate and keep it squirreled away. I treat myself to a square a day...and sometimes two squares ;)

I'll drink my water and do my best to eat well and get lots of sleep, but I'm not giving up chocolate!

Trish Milburn said...

Good advice we should all follow. I'm so glad you're feeling well, and I hope you stay that way and continue to feel healthier and stronger each day.

Anonymous said...

Yup, I'm also on a plan of health reform. I realized that although I have no objection to exercise, I do stay glued to the computer most of the day. Not good. I have to remember to get up and move for more than a quick trip to the fridge.


Lee McKenzie said...

Me, too, Trish! And I look forward to reading your next American Romance. May, right?

Trish Milburn said...

Yes, May. I'm looking forward to seeing a cover for it, hopefully soon.

Lee McKenzie said...

LOL, Naomi! Starting an exercise regime is one of the resolutions I've made and bailed on more times than I can remember. I'm counting on you to inspire me.

Susan Lyons said...

Excellent points, Lee. I totally agree with what the man said about focusing on how we react to situations.

And, by the way, I'm hopeless about New Year's resolutions. I always break them, then I feel bad.

But the basic tips he/you suggested are excellent ones, including exercise. I'd also include regular stretching during the day, especially for those of us who seem to live at the computer.

Have a wonderful 2009.

Lee McKenzie said...

Trish, waiting to see a cover is both exciting and nerve wracking. Lucky for us, we've had great ones so far!

Lee McKenzie said...

Okay, so now I'm counting on Naomi and Susan to inspire me to exercise more!

I can totally see how being and feeling well can minimize our reactions to stress - I just never thought of that way before.

Marin Thomas said...

Hi Lee

Great post! I agree about drinking water and I've heard putting fresh squeezed lemon juice in your water is a great way to cleanse the liver. My goal is to cut back on sodas and get on the treadmill at least three days a week.

Marin Thomas
The Cowboy and the Angel (Nov 08)

Lee McKenzie said...

Hi, Marin! Happy New Year!

If your water is highly chlorinated - I'm lucky mine isn't - a slice of lemon masks the chlorine.

And don't take my word for this, but I've also heard that lemon helps to create an alkaline environment in the body (odd, since it's so acidic) and the alkalinity helps to prevent osteoporosis.

Gillian Layne said...

How neat--I never knew why lemon might be good for you, but love it in water and especially just for the refreshing smell! Great post, Lee!

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Gillian! Lemon is amazing, isn't it? The taste and smell are so refreshing.

A lot of household cleaning products seem to be scented with it.

I've heard of hot lemon and honey being used as cold remedy. Spiked with whiskey, it'll probably cure almost anything ;)

You'll find a delicious recipe for Maggie's Luscious Lemonade Concentrate on my website. So much more delicious than frozen concentrates!

And my grandmother used to make the most amazing lemon meringue pie...