By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist, Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.
“Come, dear May, and turn the trees green again,” was originally written by the German poet C. A. Overbeck, and describes exactly the feelings of joy I have for my favorite month. May—I appreciate it more than all the other 11 months.
Obviously, this has something to do with the fact that my birthday is in this month. This year I will turn 75, so it felt appropriate that this month’s article should be about aging. I have entered the battle, and I really like it. Within the framework, the limits, and the possibilities I have, am I doing my best to stay in shape and remain youthful.
A dear friend of mine (she is a healer) told me a couple of days ago that “old age is multifaceted, and it’s easy to feel unsafe. Many people feel anxiety, and if you are weak and sick, then it may easily lead to depression. If, additionally, you are given chemical medication, it can quickly go downhill.”
Indeed, old age is indeed in many ways multifaceted. We cannot change the date on our birth certificate, but it is up to the individual to decide how we relate to our age and our life-conditions.
I am a huge admirer of the recently deceased Stephen Hawking. Not because I understood much of his science, but because he, despite his severe disabilities, tirelessly passed on his vast knowledge and beliefs about the universe. Furthermore, he has is the source of many quotes, from which books have been written. One of his quotes, which I myself have taken to heart, is, “never stop working!”. It can easily be argued that he lived by this quote, as he was active and passionate about what he did to the very end.
Personally, I love my work, and I intend to keep doing it until the day that I am no longer here.
When I feel that I can contribute and make a difference, it makes me light-hearted and happy. I am forced to stay reasonable fit, a task my two dogs are sure to maintain, considering we walk 6 – 8 kilometers daily.
It is important to stay creative. I do this by staying updated professionally and writing. I love my craft, which is both my work and my largest hobby. Custumers and my staff also motivate me. It is expected that my knowledge of our computer system is adequate, but I am often met with friendly smirks when I cannot quite keep up. However, I do try my best. If the staff is a little sassy about my lack of speed and efficiency with IT work, I always say that I am from the era where only the richest people owned a telephone.
I can say, with total conviction, that I believe that everyone is better off when they interact with every age group.
It is important to take good care of your body, and to be conscious about eating and drinking healthy. Remember to drink water, it is a cheap and powerful cleansing technique. Many studies have shown that our thirst lessens with age. Because of this we often don’t get enough water and can easily get dehydrated. This can lead to a myriad of symptoms, such as headaches, constipation, tiredness, and dry skin. Our bodies are made up of ¾ water, so drink at least a couple of liters a day. Remember that soda, coffee, and tea are not a suitable substitute for water.
Make sure that your food is fresh and preferably ecological. When you cook, treat your ingredients with love. Give yourself time to prepare your food properly.
When, many years ago, I attended a kinesiology school, we were given the loveliest breakfast. If the cook was in a good mood, the food was an absolute delight, but if she was angry, the food tasted quite flat and sad.
We send out more of our emotions, than we think.
In this part of the world we tend to die from the sicknesses related to aging, rather than actual old age itself. By eating healthy and clean, we can reduce or postpone ailments such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, sickness in the joints, and a poor immune system.
I personally believe that how you eat your food is almost as important as what you eat. When the food is in front of you, try and just sit for a moment and look at it, perhaps consider being thankful that you have the possibility to eat such delicious food. This will allow the most import digestive secretions in your body to start their production in the mouth. Eat slowly and chew your food properly before you swallow. When you feel full, stop eating. Put down your fork and knife between every bite.
Make sure that you eat in a calm, peaceful atmosphere. Do not seek refuge in comfort food when you are stressed or nervous. You can easily eat too much poor food, which can increase your weight, and that is when the evil cycle starts to appear.
I discourage eating or drinking foods from the microwave.
I am a firm believer that if you eat a healthy and balanced diet and combine it with quality supplements, you have a higher chance of maintaining your vitality as you age.
Make sure to get a good multivitamin/mineral product. Vitamins are necessary for your health. In my opinion we need larger dosages than the official healthcare institutes recommend.
- It is important to consume vitamin-B. Many people suffer from vitamin-B deficiency. This is largely caused by how our food industry’s pre-processes our food, and the overconsumption of stimulants, like sugar, alcohol, coffee, and medicine.
A lack of vitamin-B can give the symptoms of sleeplessness, tiredness, a poor immune defense, edema, digestive problems, and nervousness.
- When you get older, make sure that you get an extra supplement of B12. It is considered to be the vitamin most affected by aging. There have been studies which have shown that roughly 20% of all people over the age of 65, suffers from B12 deficiency. It is a vitamin that provides calm and balance and helps maintain the mental faculties. An ordinary blood test on B12 levels, cannot always be trusted, as it does not show the cell’s contents of B12. B12 works closely with folic acid and can therefore effectively be taken together.
- Q10 is an antioxidant, which have shown to improve the heart muscle’s function. It is found in all the cells of the body and is an essential part of the cells energy production. Q10 can assist in strengthening the heart and other functions in the body. If you are given statins, then Q10 can help reduce the side effects.
- Vitamin-E is called the youth vitamin. It helps make the blood flow better and has great importance for your heart and circulatory system.
- Many elderly people notice that they are easier irritated and are more prone to stress and panic attacks. This often involves problems sleeping. It can be a sign that our happiness hormone, serotonin, is dropping, which it often does with age. If you don’t have sufficient serotonin, it can affect your memory. To make the brain produce sufficient amounts of serotonin, it might be a good idea to take a supplement of tryptophan. Tryptophan aids in normalizing your levels of serotonin.
- Lecithin is a fat found in all living cells. Lecithin has a great importance for our brain and nervous system. A component in lecithin called choline, can aid in securing a healthy memory and protect against dementia.
- Make sure to keep fit by training physically. It should be a training that you like, which makes you happy and keeps you flexible, both physically and mentally. Even if, at times, it feels difficult, you should make sure to surround yourself with people who respect you, and who see you as a person, and not as some being, where the focus is on your birth certificate. This can often prove difficult in our culture.
- Try to create cheerfulness every day. There is nothing as life affirming and healthy as laughter coming all the way from your belly.
- Stay vital and happy. Be aware of keeping a youthful mind and let love have a place in your heart.
- Perhaps we should learn to say “Oh well” when something does not go exactly as we have planned.
- Remember to play and stay in the present. It could be with your pets, your grandchildren, or your great grandchildren. Perhaps bring them to a lovely amusement park and enjoy watching them jump around whilst you relax on a lovely bench. You can’t go on the rollercoaster – not because you are old, but because you don’t want to; there is a big difference.
- Be sure to create great experiences for yourself. If you like to dance, then let it become a delightful hobby. It is great for both body, soul, and memory.
- We cannot change our chronological age, but instead of complaining about the difficulties our age brings, we can make our best effort to maintain our vitality and joy of life, so that we live the best possible life, both emotionally and physically.
All photos by Tiina Arminen.