When it comes to aging gracefully, most of us should know the recipe. Eat well, exercise, avoid smoking and stress. And yet I look around in the Middle East and signs of graceful aging are dwindling. Overweight, smokers addicted to a sedentary lifestyle dominate the masses across classes! The other extreme are youth-obsessed 60 somethings combating age using plastic surgery, extreme make up and a lifestyle befitting of a late teen.
Looking back a generation or two, our grandparents maintained more life balance and an appreciation for the effects of gravity and a rich life of happiness and sorrow. Aging gracefully wasn’t something they aspired to; they simply did it. Here are 5 tips I remember from my grandmother’s days:
- On eating well – Maintain a diet of food in-season, stop before you’re full. Make your food; you’ll enjoy it more, bless your food, eat slow and savor every bite. Exercise moderation in consuming the three white poisons (sugar, flour, salt). As she made her salads, my grandmother used cucumber peel on her face as a toner and often rinsed with rosewater.
- On living well – There is a time and place for everything. As you grow older, spend time giving, loving, appreciating the simpler things life has to offer. Forgive and forget; holding on to grudges burdens your heart and soul. Be around people who love to laugh. Simplify your life and give away what you don’t use.
- Exercise – Spend time outdoors, walking, swimming, stretching. A third of your waking hours should be spent in movement.
- Nurture your mind – Keep your brain cells active; reading, writing, creating art or appreciating it. Our culture is rich with stories, poetry, history to explore. You can spend your entire waking hours reading and won’t get through it all. A book is truly your best companion.
- Feed your spirit – Nothing like meditation, reflection or prayer to calm your nerves, and bring peace and tranquility.
Timeless advice for aging gracefully. What would your grandmother say?
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