Ever since my son started high school in August, I have been thinking quite a bit about growing pains. I can recall from a very young age my Mom telling me that my aches and pains were just growing pains and thinking “when do these growing pains stop?” If you Google growing pains you will get hits pertaining to children’s health and the 80’s TV show. I’m in my 40’s, and just realized, growing pains don’t really ever stop. We are constantly growing – physically, mentally, spiritually. As a child and teenager, our bodies are expanding and we yearn to be older. And in our later years, we strive to be youthful. Of course, the more we take care of our mind and bodies, the less gradual we age.
Through each stage, I am enjoying watching my son grow. I’m amazed by everything he does and I learn so much from him. Life is about learning, growing, and moving forward – at any pace we choose. It is important to take care of ourselves and not take this gift of life for granted. Mental and physical exercise go hand-in-hand and bring us peace, health, and joy:
- Play mind games: Brain HQ, Lumosity, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, matching, etc.
- Go for a walk.
- Learn a new language.
- Meet new people.
- Go to a museum.
- Get into nature.
- Spend time with people.
- Lift weights. Strength training is vital as we grow older.
- Spend time with ourselves.
- Paint. Color. Draw.
- Write. Journal. Storytell.
How do we wade through the growing pains? Recently I was talking to a new friend who commented that I’m not a risk taker. I paused and thought, I don’t think that is true. There are different levels of risk – and we all have different comfort levels with how much we are willing to risk. I’m not afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. Yes, there are levels of risk I am unwilling to take as you won’t see me bungee jumping any time soon. (On a side note, I’d love to try zip lining – one day.) I can’t imagine being content in letting life pass me by. Yet, some have so much pain, they can’t see past the everyday routine. I hope you don’t let the pain consume you.
I was reminded of this on Friday. I was driving with my son for a weekend adventure. I have been stressed and haven’t been feeling well – but I wanted us to have a nice time. As soon as we crossed the state border, I looked at the magnificent trees along the highway and took a deep breath. I felt better and happier. I remembered to breathe! Later during the trip, he was off being an amazing young man and I was trying to fight boredom. I decided to take a moment and breathe. It became clear to me that what I needed was to reach outside my walls and talk to people. You can meet some of the most amazing people in this world – if only you take a chance. I met librarians, hotel staff, gamers, and some great people in Michigan.
What is your dream? What things feel right, in the depths of your soul? Do you wake up most mornings with a smile, motivation, contentment, or joy? I believe we need to seek out our next adventure, take chances, and dream! Here’s to working through your next set of growing pains! Just remember to hydrate and breathe!
~I’m here to help
Alzheimer’s Association. 2017. Stay mentally active. ALZ.org. Retrieved from: http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_stay_mentally_active.asp
So much information – important for everyone’s mental health.
Dowshen, Steven. 2015. Growing pains. Kids Health. Retrieved from: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/growing-pains.html
Ellerbe, Tim. 2015. Breathe. The Tim Ellerbe Project. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPPFQj8h1II&list=PLuaR1XWnkYcl_FtSWQhYhCQ31pYv9t7B9&index=2
I stumbled across this song after I wrote my blog piece. It seems fitting. Doesn’t it?
Hindustan Times. 2017. World Alzheimer’s Day 2017: How exercise, diet and hobbies can help stave off dementia. Retrieved from: http://www.hindustantimes.com/fitness/world-alzheimer-s-day-2017-how-exercise-diet-and-hobbies-can-help-stave-off-dementia/story-HsEMWsSpnVxGlCIEsJDQJN.html
“Stay social. Get moving. Eat a healthy diet. Take up a hobby. – A 2013 study also suggested that reading, writing and other brain stimulating activities could be useful in warding off cognitive decline.”
Vorvick, Linda J, MD. 2015. Exercise and age. Medline Plus. Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002080.htm