Don’t Lose Your Mind – It’s The Only One You’ve Got!

Obviously, Bea’s been on a “brain kick” this past week. Hopefully, she’s given you some ideas about how to put your brain into high gear.

Here are a few resources for further reading:

50 Ways to Boost your Brain Power

Most of these 50 suggestions would be easy to implement (such as meditating, engaging in debate, setting goals, listening to music, and so on). However, the 4th suggestion on the list is “brainwave entrainment.” Bea had no idea what this means, so she found the definition at Wikipedia.

Information about the brain and brain function from the Franklin Institute, Resources for Science Learning.

For information about e-learning and, check out my post here.

Bea Boomer’s Quotes of the Day:

Minds are like parachutes – they only function when open. (Thomas Dewar)

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. (Mark Twain)

Keep those Brain Cells Alive! Learning for Life . . .

When I was a little kid, school was my haven. At home, things were sometimes not so fun. I won’t go into any details about my good old dysfunctional childhood, because heck, so many of us had them. Do you know anyone who lived a “Leave It To Beaver” or other TV land childhood? I don’t.

At my elementary school, I found the structure I longed for. And I discovered (with the help of my lovely teachers – all women, of course; this WAS the sixties) that most wonderful world of all: The world of reading.

Ah, the written word. Books have it all: humor, poetry, drama, tragedy. . . . you can lose yourself in them and escape from reality.

My love of reading and writing comforted me when I was a child, and led me to a lifelong love of learning.

After high school, though I dreamed of going to a 4-year college, (specifically, Michigan State University). However, family circumstances led me to a community college. I dragged that college career out for several years (hey, I had to work for a living too!) and finally got my Associate’s Degree in 1981.

In the back of my mind, I dreamed of getting that Bachelor’s Degree, someday.  But as life slipped by, I never seemed to find the time, or the money, to reach my goal.

Then one day, it happened!! I began working for an employer who would give me (gasp!!) TUITION REIMBURSEMENT! (Obviously, this was when times were good)

I worked in a library, my daughter was starting high school ( and didn’t seem to need me as much, *sob*), my husband was supportive. I was 47 years old. Time to sh** or get off the pot.

I applied at Baker College Online, and through the magic of the Internet, obtained my BBA without ever stepping outside of my house. I got my degree the same day my daughter got her high school diploma: June 7, 2008. Commencement was, along with my wedding day and the birth of my daughter, one of the greatest days of my life.

Why, you may be asking yourself, is this woman rambling on about reading and education and blah blah blah?  Simply this: I never want to stop learning. I think that lifelong learning is one of the most important things we can do for our brain and our mental/intellectual wellness as we age.

It’s not really about getting a degree, though that’s always an option. Just don’t be afraid to stretch your mind. If you have a talent, explore it.

  • Learn a new skill.
  • Learn how to blog.
  • Learn how to create a website.
  • Learn photography.
  • Read a book from classic literature.
  • Learn a language. (Have you heard of the Rosetta Stone language library? This electronic resource for learning languages can be obtained through your local library).

The possibilities are truly endless.

Lifelong learning can even help you in the workplace.

Hey, you don’t even have to spend money to stretch your mind. Check out these websites:

  • Open Culture is home to “the best free cultural & educational media on the web.”
  • YouTube Edu has a variety of content from top universities.

A little googling will help you find even more options! 

I’m always in awe at what the Internet has to offer us! We live in an amazing world, truly.

Bea Boomer’s Quotes of the Day:

Live as though you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. (Chinese Proverb)

Why I Read Jeffrey Harrison’s Blog

Why do I read Jeff Harrison’s blog?
 
Jeff’s a fitness expert with several credentials under his belt. He states that fitness has always been a part of his life, and I can tell that’s true when I read his blog.

He knows what he’s talking about, and I like that.
 
I like his blog post about dieting because it fits with my philosophy about dieting, and that is: Don’t do it! In that post, Jeff talks about why diets don’t work.

New diet fads are always popping in and out (often started by “celebrities,” you know, the ones who are always pictured on “People” or “Us” magazines and who are flaunting their rib cage one month and their cellulite the next month).

Remember the Cabbage Soup Diet? (Oh my goodness, break out the Beano®!)

The Grapefruit Diet? (This would never work for me, I hate grapefruit).

And this has to be the sickest diet fad ever: the Tapeworm Diet!? Check it out at the TopTenz site, where it was listed as #1 of the Top Ten Worst Diet Fads)
 
Many diets focus on losing weight FAST. We all know that in reality, it doesn’t work that way. Slow and steady wins the race here, folks. Achieving and and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong journey.
I also enjoyed reading Jeff’s post about how to “Recession-Proof your Health.” He makes the point that “health is wealth,” and to me, no truer words were ever spoken. We take our health for granted, until we lose it.
If you like this reading suggestion, check out my other recommendations:

Bea Needs a Break

Bea Boomer’s creativity is simply now flowing right now.  She needs time to get her energy back.

Got any suggestions for her about how to regain her energy levels?? She could use some helpful ideas.

Anyway, she’s taking a week off. 

But not to worry.  She’ll be back! She doesnt’t give up that easily.

Healthy Weight Week – January 17 through January 23

In honor of Healthy Weight Week, which runs from January 17th through January 23rd, Bea Boomer has some site recommendations:

  • The Weight Watchers website talks about age-specific steps that both men and women can take to reach their healthy weight goals. This site has recipes, tips for eating out (and still losing weight), fitness tips and workout ideas, and a lot more.

  • Help Guide, a non-profit wellness resource, provides tips about how to make your own recipes healthier and much more here.

Time Is On Your Side (Not)

This is the thing I hate about getting older: Time goes too darn fast! It’s downright scary.

Remember when you were in elementary school and the school year went on forever?

As a freshman in high school, senior year seemed a hundred years away. You could barely hang on until you reached sixteen so you could drive.

After you graduated, you couldn’t wait until you were 21 – yea, then you’d be an “adult.” How cool would that be?

When I was young, I tried to run up that hill of life, in a rush to reach all those milestones. What the heck was I running for?  When I got to the top, I slipped, and started rolling down the other side, faster than a speeding bullet!

When I talk to people my age and older, we often ruminate about how quickly time goes now. We can’t figure it out, and we can’t stop it.

Sigh.

So here I am, pondering how to manage my time, and father time is laughing behind my back. (OK, he’s laughing in my face!)

Since I can’t control how fast time is going, and I want to accomplish so much, (you know, before it’s too late!) I have to learn to be more productive with the time I do have.

We all have the same amount of hours in a day, but did you ever notice that some people get a lot accomplished with those hours, while others of us simply can’t find the time to get anything done?

I never seem to get “around to it.”

I never find the time at home to do all those things I really want to do:

  • Organizing the basement.
  • Filing important papers.
  • Organizing family photos onto CDs.
  • Working on my writing projects.
  • Reading all the books on my “Gotta Read” list.

How about you? Do you say to yourself, “If only I had more time, I would (fill in the blank).”

There is hope, you know. Even if we can’t control how fast time goes by, we can take charge of our time.

I like Sam Zolin’s “6 Simple Tips to Improve Personal Productivity.”

Get tips for organizing your time at work and at home here.

Managing your time can also help you manage stress.

And of course I don’t want to forget to stop all my activities once in awhile and just BE.
Be present. Be happy. Be content just being alive.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Check out Salvatore Vuono’s portfolio at:
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659

What’s So Great About Aging?

I’ve officially accepted the fact that I’m on the other side of the hill, meandering my way into the so-called “golden years.” Yikes.

Proof that I’m accepting, even embracing, my age? Well, for one thing, I welcome the AARP magazine and actually use it as a resource (gasp) instead of cringing when I see it! I can relate to many of its articles. In my blog, I’ll continue to link AARP articles that are relevant and worthwhile reads.

I see the “old” people on the AARP mag cover (in the most recent months, Natalie Cole, Clint Eastwood, and Bruce Springsteen) and I think, “Wow! Yea, these people are “old.” These people are also cool!” (Hey can I help it if I’m still using words from the seventies?)  They’re doing things that matter. Their age doesn’t stop them from living well.

Of course, I’m not famous;  my picture’s not on the cover of a magazine (give me time, I’m working on it!). That doesn’t matter: I can still celebrate my age and seek out the good stuff.

What keeps us that spark in our lives? A sense of humor and adventure, a touch of vitality, and a belief in life-long learning, as well as a willingness to take charge of our emotional and physical health.

Whatever your age, if you learn to let go of the past, glory in the present, and have an optimistic attitude about the future, life will be good. We only go around once, ya know. Why not make the most of it?

For those of you who are living la vida boomer (and beyond), I’ve got some links for you:

Feisty Side of Fifty  (Check out their blogroll for some fun boomer sites)

http://boomers.typepad.com/ Written by Brent Green I like his book listings (The Well-Read Boomer) His boomer resources section is good also, however, I would prefer bigger font in that section (hey, my eyes ARE aging!)

What are your thoughts about this aging thing?   I’d love to hear what you think.

To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living. (Henri Frederic Amiel)

 

Everyone is the age of their heart. (Guatemalan Proverb)

Got Insomnia? You Are Not Alone!

Photo by Dynamite Imagery

Image: Dynamite Imagery / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having sleep problems? You’re not alone. Literally millions of people throughout the world are sleepless at night. They lie in bed and their minds start racing: their credit card is over its limit, their child is failing in school, a co-worker is driving them crazy . . . They toss and turn, plump their pillow, kick their snoring spouse. Eventually, they fall asleep, perhaps only to awaken a few hours later and begin tossing and turning again. Arrghhh!

Insomnia is the most common of all sleep disorders. Of course, a racing mind isn’t the only cause. Insomnia can stem from emotional, mental, or physical issues. Insomnia can last a few days, a few weeks, or it can become a chronic problem.

And do I need to tell you that lack of sleep leads to fatigue, which leads to crabbiness, lack of a sense of humor, a desire to sleep (well, duh), forgetfulness, an inability to drive your car (alright, I made that up) and a desire to annihilate your spouse, the one who sleeps so peacefully while you’re suffering!

Can you tell that I’ve suffered from insomnia? I’m okay now, and my spouse, luckily, is safe from my lack-of-sleep induced wrath.

Lack of sleep can also affect your mental and physical health.

Bea’s Three Tips for a Better Sleep (because I can’t think of any more than three right now . . . )

  • Don’t watch the late night news programs. (All that crazy bad news will just keep you tossing and turning and when you DO fall asleep, you’ll have nightmares.)
  • If you get a craving for a meat lover’s pizza at 10:00 p.m., DON”T give in. Try warm milk instead (yea, like that will satisfy your pizza craving!)
  • I’ve never gone for the counting sheep route. I’ve found that counting your blessings works better. Seriously. Focus not on your worries, but on the good things you have going. And believe it or not, even in these tough times, you can find some good stuff.

Conventional therapies for insomnia include medications and cognitive-behavioral therapies, such as sleep hygiene.

Emedicine Health provides a good overview of insomnia, including causes, symptoms, treatments, and so on, here.
If you have chronic insomnia, you may be interested in a holistic approach. There are actually insomnia therapies that date back to ancient times. These include acupuncture, acupressure, and reflexology.

Others involve mind-body techniques and include biofeedback, relaxation/meditation, yoga, and (believe it or not) music therapy. These are just a few of the holistic approaches.

Holistic online provides extensive information about sleep and sleep disorders, as well as links to a wide variety of alternative therapies for insomnia.

Sleep tight, my friends. But first, let me know what helps you get a better sleep!

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