As we well know, most women very early form a habit of putting everyone else first. When she becomes a mother this is a "natural" habit that very soon becomes a life-style. It stays with her. A consequence of this, though, is that as we grow older, we're often unaware of what activities we can enter into, which will boost our mood, our attitude and immunity. But there are a few things, that even the so-called experts agree on, that will help us through this.
Here are one or two suggestions.
TALK. Bottling up worries or sadness is deeply unhealthy and guaranteed to suppress immunity. If you feel sad, chat with a friend and don't be afraid to cry. Tears are a good way of releasing repressed emotions and stress. If you feel you need more than that, ask your GP to refer you to a professional counsellor.
LISTEN TO MUSIC and/or WATCH SOME FUNNY MODERN/OLD TIME (including ROMANTIC) MOVIES. Countless studies show that both music and laughter are hugely beneficial to health. Sharing them is better still. Get out some of your old favourite records, invite a friend around for afternoon tea and set the mood with music playing in the background while you chat. Funny movies? Rent a funny DVD, get some friends around and let your humour take over. If you're not really into some of the "modern" humour, why not even drag out of the kid's cartoons/Walt Disney films? Just be a kid again - even if you have grey hair and wrinkles. Then there are the old favourite movies - Casablanca (Lauren Bacall and Humphtry Bogart); Arabian Nights and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Maria Montez); Captain Blood and Robin Hood (Errol Flynn); the Maltese Falcon (again Humphrey Bogart); The Wicked Lady (Margaret Lockwood, Patricia Roc and James Mason); Phantom of the Opera (Claude Rains); and let them transport you back to your childhood and youth. Make sure you have some tissues handy in case a tear or two mists up your eyes. The main thing is to enjoy yourself and recapture some of the finer memories in your heart.
EAT and DRINK. In moderation - of course! But then why do we always put limitations on what we should do, especially to relax and recharge our batteries. Seriously though, don't let the fact that just because you might be alone, that you needn't go to the bother of laying the table properly for a meal. Put a small vase of flowers of a specimen rose beside your plate setting, and enjoy a nice wine (even non-alcoholic). Too often we can feel guilty about enjoying ourselves, which is not the way it should be. Tell yourself, I deserve to be pampered and if this means going "all out" as though you were entertaining friends, then so be it. You'll find it a rewarding experience.
PRAY. Even those with "no-faith" understand the importance of having a special little place in their home such as a small side table with family photos, flowers, a candle, anything that represents beauty and love, that will bring a warm sense of well-being. Those with faith, know the importance and the countless benefits they receive from actually praying or talking with God.
THINK POSITIVE. Hard to at times, but work at it. Never go to sleep fretting over a problem. It achieves nothing. A better idea before going to bed is to concentrate on all the happy (even tiny) events of the day for a few minutes. Avoid negative thoughts at all costs.
Stay away from people who constantly bombard us with doom and gloom.
Never lose hope.
Remember, miracles do happen, every day, to ordinary every-day people, like you and me.
(The above photo - Margaret Lockwood and James Mason in "The Wicked Lady")