ByDr. Basil Springer
“He gives me new strength. He leads me on paths that are right for the good of His name. Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because You are with me. Your rod and Your shepherd’s staff comfort me.” – Psalm 23:3-4
In last week’s column, I shared my spiritual and intellectual resolutions and reflections for the New Year. As we journey further into 2024, I cannot wait to resume my ride on my spiritual blanket and dive into my literary ventures.
Over our Christmas break in beautiful Barbados, Judy and I engaged in enjoyable and leisurely pursuits. But what we did not bargain for were the exhilarating experiences that confirmed the importance of two additional resolutions – physical well-being and nurturing relationships. These relationships are critical to achieving balance in our lives as is evidenced by the first fortnight of the year as it has flown.
My focus now shifts to the physical aspect of my well-being. Maintaining a healthy body is essential for a fulfilling life. To that end, I’ve outlined several components integral to my physical health in 2024.
As a Springer, sleep comes naturally to me, requiring little effort. It’s ingrained in my routine to sleep four to five times a day, amounting to eight hours, a pattern I have adopted throughout my adult life.
Regular physical activity plays a dual role – it bolsters not just physical health but mental well-being, too. Since I stopped playing cricket at 40, walking and swimming have become my daily habits. Despite a lapse this past year, I resumed my walking activity last week with a renewed commitment to staying active and mobile.
My 18-year-old grandson, an ardent basketball player, recently committed to combining his passion and skills with a career as a physical training coach. Over Christmas, he prepared a personalized senior fitness plan for me. I have had two face-to-face sessions and pledged to continue this regime virtually.
Judy and I are already committed to mindful eating, focusing on wholesome, nutritious meals while indulging in moderation.
Nurturing human connections is vital for emotional well-being. As the world slowly emerges from the pandemic’s shadow, I’m determined to prioritize physical affection and harnessing the power of a simple hug in building and maintaining meaningful relationships.
Mental health, though often overlooked, deserves our utmost attention. Regular mindfulness and meditation practices are at the forefront of cultivating peace of mind, given their proven efficacy in reducing stress and elevating overall well-being.
Self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. I plan to treat myself to regular massages and osteopathic treatments to unwind, release tension, and promote relaxation. It’s a small yet significant investment in my physical and mental health.
Preventive health care is another priority for 2024, as it is essential in preventing illness and ensuring longevity. This year, I shall continue regular check-ups and screenings to detect and address potential health issues early on.
As I embark on this journey of physical wellness, I am cognizant that these resolutions are not merely checkboxes. They are promises to myself, commitments to nurture my body, and investments in my future health.
In this quest for wellness, the importance of familial and friendly bonds cannot be overlooked. The time spent with loved ones during our vacation reminded me they are the cornerstones of cultivating happiness and living a fulfilling life.
Amid the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, we often neglect the people who matter most to us. This year, I resolve to cherish and nurture my relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
So, let’s embrace this opportunity to grow, thrive and make the most of the year ahead.