My social media feed is full of ads targeting the New Year’s resolution crowd: Life coaches, super food delivery programs, yoga video packages, keen-science athletic gear, self-help workbooks, special look-younger goop or pills…. I take great delight in clicking, “Hide ad–not relevant to me,” for all of it.
Then I came across this article, courtesy of Susan Cain (the recovering lawyer who wrote Quiet) which describes a means of making yourself more intelligent, healthier, more empathetic, and less stressed. You’re already doing it, my friends, because you read book-length fiction. I was appalled to learn that 70 percent of inmates and 85 percent of our juvenile delinquents are functionally illiterate, but that’s a post for a different day.
So I’m patting myself on the back for being a dedicated reader. Then I come across another article, telling me that black tea is packed with polyphenols and flavonoids, which goose our immune systems, and quintuple our production of interferon. Black tea and green tea also boost alpha wave production, which is the calm, “screen saver” brainwave we enjoy upon rising–my best time to write. What’s more, the quercetin in tea helps increase HDL cholesterol, which is a good thing.
So I’m patting myself on the back for being a life-long tea drinker (and sorry, coffee does not confer these same benefits, though it has perks (get it!) of its own). Then I come across this article, which says that 3,000 steps a day, five days a week, will go a long way toward cutting my risk of diabetes. 10,000 steps a day will do much more, but there’s a lot of benefit even from the shorter distance. I have to be purposely spuddin’ not to hit 3000 steps in a day.
Then I come across this article, which recounts the demonstrable benefits of keeping flowers on hand, whether in the workplace or at home. Flowers make us more compassionate and creative, and less depressed or anxious. (Yeah, somebody did some funded research to prove the obvious.) Guess who loves flowers, and often grabs a bouquet at the grocery store?
Then I come across this article, which backs up the notion that good, dark chocolate (in the 70 percent cocoa range), can improve brain function, vascular health, mood, and a host of other health indicators. We knew that.
Here’s where I’m going with this: In the New Year, I resolve to keep doing the things that work for me and contribute to my health and well being. I’m going to read good books, chomp good chocolate, swill good tea, trundle on the tread desk in moderation, and indulge my love of flowers.
How are you already winning? What ways do you indulge yourself that are actually pretty good for you? To one commenter, I’ll send my last (I think) advanced reader copy ofA Rogue of Her Own (Mar. 6, 2018).