Learning to Thank Ourselves

Health & Beauty

25

For me, as for many others in the Permian Basin, the holiday season begins the first weekend in November with The Junior League’s annual Merry Market Place. This wonderful extravaganza transforms the Ector County Coliseum into a festive shopping bazaar of over one hundred booths that offer a huge array of clothing and accessories, jewelry, holiday decorations, and food. Many women are able to complete their Christmas shopping over the four days of the market. There are also a couple of lovely events, one in the evening that includes men and another in the morning that is primarily for women.

Speaking of the holidays, what an important time it is to take every precaution to remain healthy and feeling our very best. We are so tempted to over eat, to choose the wrong foods, and to indulge in alcohol. We fail to get enough sleep, and often cheat on our commitment to exercise regularly. No wonder that, with our immune systems compromised, we are susceptible to the various illnesses linked with being at close quarters with many people. We find ourselves at home sick, forced to forgo an event we had really looked forward to. Possibly, an even worse scenario is that we continue to drag through the days and evenings, not feeling good enough to really enjoy the holidays but refusing to give up and take time to get well. When we feel lousy, we are not at our best with others and are not much fun to be around. We also often look really terrible, a major concern for all of us.

Let me challenge you to perform a silly little exercise. Stand in front of a mirror, preferably a full length one. Look at your face and entire body and make a promise to your reflection to be kind to yourself. Say something like, “Tom (Jane) I really do appreciate all you have done for me. For many years you have served me well. You have allowed me to walk, run, and even dance. Because of you I have enjoyed many interesting experiences. Starting today I am going to treat you kindly and take good care of you as I do not want you to stop functioning. I promise to provide you good healthy food, to hydrate you, and see that you have a balance of exercise and rest. I will not subject you to harmful products or foods. Alcohol will be limited while tobacco and other drugs totally excluded. I promise to cut back on foods that do not contribute to my physical wellbeing. I will keep my weight, blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Thanks again for all you have done for me throughout my life. I promise, starting today, to be more considerate of you.”

As elementary as this may sound, it often requires deliberate verbal commitment to change the direction of our lives. To make a promise to ourselves or to another person increases the possibility of that action being successfully accomplished. Promises made orally have power. Throughout the ages, marriage vows spoken before witnesses have served civilization well in the stabilization of families. In this case, telling a friend or family member about your plans to adhere to stricter health rules and to possibly shed a few pounds can reinforce your determination, especially if that person joins you in the commitment.

I wish you a lovely Thanksgiving. May you be surrounded by people you hold dear and may your heart be filled with gratitude for all the blessings we as Americans too often take for granted. I look forward to hearing from you with your questions and comments.

And, always remember to smile.
As a smile is an instant face lift.

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