I love sunny January days. The crisp air. The white light. Days like today can recharge my soul like nothing else. Partnered with a walk along the beach, days like these make life worth living. It is as important to nourish your mind and soul as it is to nourish your body.
I struggled with the concept of taking care of myself until one day I heard a story on NPR. I was driving down the road, half listening to the radio, when a fascinating story drew me in. I literally had one of those “driveway moments” that they discuss during fund drives; after I reached my destination, I continued to sit in the car until the program was over. What was so intriguing? Stress and stem cells.
Simply put, we have billions of stem cells floating along in our bodies. They are nature’s little handymen. As we age, we lose the ability to heal because we have fewer stem cells. However, through good things like meditation, relaxation, naps, and exercise, you can boost their numbers. Even things like massage, mani/pedis, and listening to classical music can heal your body — naturally. Healing naturally? I was hooked.
They also discussed how the affects of stress will age your stem cells. The more stress you have, the faster your stem cells die, leaving you susceptible to illness and aging. It’s at this point I would like to include that I started walking every day or doing yoga. But I didn’t. I did, however learn to manage some of the stress affecting my life. I learned the importance of perspective and acceptance. I allowed myself to accept that I am a normal human being.
I realized that some things simply don’t matter. And some things matter most of all — like taking the time on a beautiful January day to walk along the beach with my beloved and my precious niece. Laundry can wait. And so can everything else. After all, how better to eliminate those little lines that have appeared on my face than sweet kisses from my husband?
To hear the story that inspired my driveway moment, click the link below. (And remember to support your local NPR during its upcoming spring fund drive.)