How to guarantee the perfect start to your day

Think happy thoughts. If you think a happy thought the moment you wake up, you’ll be happy for the rest of the day.

In later life, we come to accept and embrace all opportunities.

We all know how important it is to our health and well-being to eat a balanced diet and to take regular exercise.

What we may be less aware of is the importance of our mental health.

Staying fit and healthy in later life means looking after our minds as well as our bodies.

What was your first thought today? Can you recall it? It could be something as simple as gratitude for a good night’s sleep.

When we become conscious of our thoughts, we can create happier memories out of our everyday lives.

Did you know that we think around 60,000 thoughts every single day? It’s no wonder that sometimes we feel overwhelmed. Often, we need to clear our minds and to enjoy the here and now.

Age UK research suggests we are actually at our happiest when we’re over the age of 70. And that we reach a peak of happiness when we’re in our 80s.

It seems we’ve already learnt the secret to being truly happy.

20 ways to make you feel good

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. Get your 7-8 hours after an active, social and stimulating day. Leave your phone or tablet in another room and don’t let it interrupt your slumber.
  2. Learn something new – a language or sport. Take up a new hobby – astronomy or a craft. Get a job – try volunteering.
    1. If you’re doing something that requires concentration, do it in the morning. You’ll have more energy and will complete it quicker
  3. Get regular health check-ups. Find Lymm’s health centre at Lakeside Surgery in Lakeside Road.
  4. Sharpen your brain. Do crosswords, Sudoku, brain teasers and mind-stretchers.
  5. Try new healthy eating ideas. Buy a new juicer. Cook with healthy oils like coconut. Start your day with a refreshing glass of water – and your favourite stretching exercise.
  6. Cut the caffeine. Avoid caffeine after 2pm if you feel it affects your sleep (it takes 6 hours or more to leave the body).
  7. Should you have goals in retirement? Some people say it’s better to have intentions:
    • Intend to do more travelling.
    • Intend to eat healthier food.
    • Intend to learn a language or a new sport.
  8. Seek – rather than try – to do things. There’s a profound difference in the words. Would you ‘try’ to meet your friends for coffee? Will you try to eat more healthily? Or will you seek to make healthier food choices?
  9. Join a Meetup group to foster a new interest. Search for a meet-up group in Lymm.
  10. Join a committee in Lymm – at the Heritage Centre or one of the village festivals. Or just attend the events. You are guaranteed the warmest welcome in this friendly community.
  11. Like quizzes? Host a Mighty Quiz and raise money to help defeat dementia. Register with Alzheimer’s Research UK for your Mighty quiz pack. It’s the kind of quiz where cheating is fine because the fines mean extra donations for the charity.
  12. Warrington Libraries Housebound Service delivers library books free to people unable to leave the house. They’re looking for volunteers – ask at Lymm Library in Davies Way.
  13. Stay On Your Feet is a Reach For Health referral scheme designed to improve physical activity, muscle strength, balance and posture. Find out more from the Lakeside Road Medical Centre in Lymm.
  14. Improve your posture. Straighten your back, lift your shoulders and straighten your neck to avoid back pain when sitting.
  15. Now spring is here, aim to be out in the sunshine as much as possible. Now free from the confines of an office, you can take advantage of the outdoors whenever the sun shines. Arbor homes are light and airy with constant daylight streaming in through full-length windows. Get out for a walk every day, choose a circular walk around the village and dam to get some natural sunlight. Eat foods such as mushrooms which are naturally abundant in vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin.
  16. Work in a shop. There are 2 charity shops in Lymm – St Rocco’s in Bridgewater Street and Headway in The Cross.
  17. Buy local. Shop for hand-designed clothes, made in Lymm from Little Nut.
  18. Love wildlife? Make your garden hedgehog-friendly. Don’t use slug pellets or insecticides. Plant thyme and marjoram and leave a small hole in the fence for hedgehogs to get through. Find out more from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Maintain a bird bath with clean, fresh water to help the birds who visit your garden.
  19. Enjoy time away from a computer or TV screen. Do some colouring. Paint, draw, embroider, knit, build a model.
  20. Make that move. Sing with the Lymm and District Chorus. Dance at the The Bowdon Rooms in Altrincham.

Look after yourself. Stay healthy and happy and you’ll live your best life. You deserve it.

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