Not So Smart Mistakes by Smart People

Mark Twain said, “It isn’t what you don’t know that hurts you, it’s what you know that isn’t so!” You know a lot about good health, but sometimes what we know and don’t do, or what we think we know that may not be quite right may be slowing down our healthy journey. This month let’s look at some common mistakes that are easily corrected.

We forget to laugh. Don’t discount the power of mirth. It eases stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and makes us feel better! Watch or read something that gets you going, and let it go. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Smile at others too.

We forget to eat breakfast. Yes, it really IS the most important meal of the day. Get your blood sugar stabilized and your metabolism activated early in the day with real food. I suggest eating a nutritious breakfast within two hours of arising. Break your Fast.

We forget to get enough sleep. Seven or more hours of sleep every 24 hours is what your system needs to lower stress, sharpen memory, boost mood and reduce cravings for “wake me up” junk food and excess caffeine. Get your z-z-z-z’s.

We forget to rest. It’s different than sleep- it’s a discipline of hitting the pause button and allowing your mind to be off duty. We need to do it daily, for at least five minutes- just be still and quiet. We need a whole day of rest every week- Sabbath is a day that we make distinct from the other six- charge your batteries!

We do the wrong things for our backaches. Don’t put it to bed, get it up and move it. The longer you’re horizontal, the worse your back will feel as the weak muscles get weaker.

We don’t eat enough color. Don’t be monochromatic with your food- put some color in your life with nutritionally drenched colorful fruits and veggies. Try to buy at least 5 different colors/types of veggies each week. Bring them home, wash them, and cut them up immediately so they’re ready for munching.

We forget to breathe. Of course we’re breathing, but research shows that most of us use about 30% of our lung capacity daily. Taking in and releasing a deep breath is good for the health of the lungs, pushing out stale air and inviting in calm. The quick dose of oxygen will make you feel happier and more alert. Try it right now- five slow, deep breath cycles. Ah- don’t you feel better?

We forget to connect. Don’t discount the power of community in the overall health picture. Women live longer than men, and one reason may be their greater likelihood to connect with other women and actually TALK about their lives. Pleasing interactions with other people are essential so don’t be an island- paddle to the mainland and connect.

What did I miss? Make your own list and more importantly, today, be the smart person you are by doing the smart things you know to do!

My grandchildren are learning young to make smart decisions with their smarts.

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Eleonora Skibinsky

Very true, Nancy. And thank you for reminding us, women, to love ourselves and stay connected.

Suzanne Burke

This is a lovely and SMART easy message that we can all appreciate and incorporate. These are all things we know and just need reminders. Its really so simple. : )

Heidi B Hansalik

Be kind to yourself! Don’t be so demanding of yourself ! If you can’t find your keys, relax, use alternate set and know you’ll find them later! Do not stress over it! Anxiety will not help you find them – but peaceful, unstressed
Relaxed attitude will!

Joyce Brown

Loved this article! One thing I would add is to love thyself first and check the negative self talk. If we don’t accept ourselves first and foremost, why would we expect others to accept and love us? It saddens me to hear the terrible things we say about ourselves. Self-confidence is a powerful thing.


Thanks so much Susan and Keith- and Joyce, I agree!! Pay attention to the self talk!

Susan Nelson

You hit so many factors necessary for good health, Nancy: Proper nutrition, adequate sleep and rest, deep breathing, social connections, and laughter! Let’s not forget exercise in this mix – those physical activities that strengthen our bodies and release endorphins, along with the restorative exercises that are also good for the mind and spirit. Thank you for your many smart suggestions!


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