A “restorative lifestyle” is the secret to staying calm and maintaining a youthful vigor. Winter is a good time to cultivate it. Nature tells us to slow down to allow our bodies to build up energy for the spring. Come March, just like the trees that are moving inside with sap, our circulation of qi and blood reflects that. If we do not have a reserve of energy, we will run on empty. Then, our spring could be plagued by chronic fatigue, allergies, sluggishness, and a host of other symptoms. So think ahead. Here is how:
1. Do not burn the candle at both ends. We have just climbed out of the holidays, so most of us have done just that. Now is the time to give it a rest.
2. It might be good to cut down on caffeine and energy boosting drinks especially when you are tired, which bring us to the next tactic.
3. Rest. Especially when you are tired. Take a nap, if possible. Get a hearty night’s sleep. Try to make this a habit.
4. Do not push yourself beyond the limits of your natural energy. That means to exercise, of course, but do not over-exert. A gentler form might be good. Try a restorative yoga class, in which one “collects” energy instead of spending it.
5. Do not overwork. This is especially hard for New Yorkers. Make clear boundaries with your time. Putting these in place is good practice for every season.
6. Get close to nature. It is naturally cleansing. Go for a hike on some trails or just a brisk walk in the fresh air.
Spring is just around the corner. And yes, the man running for the football in this photo is 87…It was taken two years ago on Thanksgiving. He will celebrate his 89th birthday in a few weeks and still walks five miles a day. He takes more naps in the winter, too. How do I know this? He is my father…and I sure hope I have his genes!