What a weekend commemorating the second anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. I’m not going to dwell on it much in this space because the storm has been thoroughly covered in your hometown newspaper, and coverage of this past weekend’s events is well documented in this edition.
All I can say is I’m glad to see two years in our rearview mirror and happy to see all the progress that has been made.
The spirit of working together, and for each other, has been a wonderful thing to witness. My only hope is that spirit of cooperation and helping each other continues many anniversaries from now.
Great job everyone who had anything to do with any of the events this past weekend.
If you haven’t been by the Fulton Convention Center – Paws and Taws lately, I encourage you to make the short trip and just sit there for a moment. After looking at the towering steel frame, shift your eyes to the remains of the Fulton Pier because it won’t be there for long.
It’s a great reminder that we’re growing back stronger.
Keep on keepin’ on, and help your neighbor (or anyone else) whenever you can.
Don’t make these
morning health mistakes
I’m not a morning person, but I was still interested in a recent Web MD email I received. It outlined mistakes we shouldn’t make in the morning, including:
• Hit the snooze button - You’ll get better rest if you get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
Oh well, I failed that, and won’t have a chance to get it right until I retire some day.
• Stay in the dark - Don’t do it. Daylight helps your body set its clock.
Oops again … I don’t have a very good body clock. When the work gets done, I sleep.
• Sleep late - The best way to improve your sleep over the long term is to keep a regular bedtime schedule. That means you get up at the same time every day, including weekends.
There’s no way I can do that.
• Shoot out of bed too quickly - When you go from lying down to standing, gravity sends blood rushing to your legs, which can drop your blood pressure suddenly and make you feel a bit woozy. It can even make you pass out. Sit up slowly and pause at the edge of the bed to give your body a few seconds to get used to the idea.
I don’t have a problem with this … I move slowly every time I hit the snooze button.
• Ditch your workout - Regular exercise helps your sleep, weight, heart, and mood, among many benefits. You may be more likely to stick with exercise if you do it first thing.
What is regular exercise? Does running around town all day count?
• Skip your coffee - If you usually have a couple of cups of joe in the morning, skipping it can leave you groggy.
I’m groggy in the morning, with or without coffee.
• Forget your teeth - A sticky film called plaque forms on your teeth each night. If you don’t brush it off in the morning, it can start to harden into stuff called tartar that you can only get rid of at your dentist’s office.
Yeah, I’m doing this one right!
• Brush right after coffee - It’s the acid in coffee. So you really shouldn’t brush right after any acidic food or drink. Simply brush your teeth beforehand, or wait 30 to 60 minutes for the acid to fade from your teeth.
Since any coffee I drink is during the day, I pass this requirement.
• Check your email - If you constantly check digital devices, email, and social media, it can cause stress and anxiety.
This is the last thing I want to do in the morning. It means work for me. I do a great job of not working when I’m at home. It is my home, not my office.
• Start your day without a plan - If you start your day without a thought to why you do what you do, you may lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve and what gives your life meaning. Whether it’s work, family, or lifestyle, it’s important to figure out what’s most important to you and make sure the things you do each day help you get there. Set priorities, make a list, and check your progress at the end of the day.
I don’t go to bed without knowing what I have to do the next day, and knocking out everything I can before going to sleep. I sleep real well.
• Dwell on the day’s problems - Once you’ve got a plan to tackle the day’s problems let them go and take a moment to be grateful for the good things in your life. People who do this are often happier, healthier, and more satisfied in their relationships, especially compared to those who focus on their problems.
I’ve generally always done this, but really focus on not worrying about stuff, especially after Harvey. I do the best I can at what I’m doing and put the results in God’s hands. He hasn’t done me wrong for 59-plus years.
• Forget quiet time - If your day is filled with work and noise, the morning is a perfect chance to clear your mind with even a few minutes of meditation. You can simply focus on your breath and try to let go of thoughts that come up. The practice can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and may help ease conditions including anxiety, pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, and migraine headaches.
That’s a lot to remember, which causes me stress! When I go home, it’s quiet. That’s what happens when your kids no longer live at home. Whenever I leave the house, before backing down the driveway, I place my hand on an olive wood cross and simply say, “God, your will be done.”
• Bail out of breakfast - People who eat breakfast regularly tend to have sharper thinking and less body fat, and they are less likely to have type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They also exercise more regularly and eat a healthier diet. So enjoy a healthy breakfast … it’s an easy and enjoyable way to get a good start on the day.
Technically I do this. Since I don’t go to sleep until sometime between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. every night, I eat my cereal before going to sleep.
• Eat too sweet - Doughnuts and other sugary pastries made from white flour have little nutrition and get into (and out of) your blood too quickly. That can leave you tired, irritable, and hungry for more. Protein from eggs or cottage cheese and “complex carbs” with more fiber and nutrition - oatmeal or other whole grains, fruits, and vegetables - take longer to digest, satisfy your hunger, and provide a slow steady stream of energy.
My response is, “If I like it, I eat it.” So far, I only require a minimal dosage of cholesterol drugs!
• Skip the sunscreen - It can help protect your skin against cancer and wrinkles caused by UV rays that you’re exposed to whenever you’re out in the sun, even if it’s cloudy. It’s best to put it on about 15 minutes before you go outside. That’s how long it takes your skin to absorb it. You need to put it on again after just two hours if you’re still in the sun, or sooner if you sweat a lot or go swimming.
My bad. I don’t use it much, but at my age, and with my job, I don’t spend a lot of extended time outdoors in the sun. However, I did when I was young, and have had to pay the price lately, but not too bad.
A funny note
about my schedule
At one point in my youngest daughter’s life, I think right before she got married; she went to our family doctor and told him she was concerned about my schedule and eating habits. He told her he had seen me every six months since we moved to Rockport and if he told me to get on a regular schedule and to only eat healthy foods … my body would explode.
I love my doctor.
Until next week, have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.