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Monday, May 31, 2010

Health and Happiness

Can you have happiness without health? I'm inclined to think you cannot. It is well documented in academic literature that chronic pain and illness is associated with mental health problems. Just having a bad cold or the stomach flu for a few days is enough to convince me that you need your health to be happy. Big A passed the stomach flu to Little A who passed it to me. I haven't eaten since yesterday morning, I threw up last night, got up at 4:30am this morning to go to the bathroom and fainted on the way back to bed, banging my head on the bedroom door. After feeding Big A her breakfast this morning, I threw up again. I am sure that I will feel better by tomorrow but I am still miserable today. I can't eat, I can't exercise and I can't enjoy playing with my kids. Some of the things that give me the greatest pleasure in life are taken away, even momentarily, and it is hard to be happy. I am thankful that Sherma, who doesn't normally work for us on Mondays, was available to come help me today or I don't know what I'd do. Kids just don't get it when you are sick, they still expect you to take care of them just the same as if you were healthy.

Given how important it is to be strong and healthy, I am always puzzled by people who show little regard for their bodies. Why anyone today would choose to smoke cigarettes, for example is beyond me. You have one body, one life, one chance. Blow it and that's it folks. So here is my advice, which is really nothing you haven't heard before:

Don't smoke
Eat a healthy diet based on fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins
Avoid processed foods
Get enough good quality sleep
Wear sunscreen
Exercise
Spend time with loved ones
Do something as a profession and/or hobby that gives you fulfillment

Now excuse me while I go sip some ginger ale...