If It Ain’t Broke, Maintain It
Most of us have heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to the aging body and being, I say, “If it ain’t broke, maintain it.”
Since we are always aging, this maintenance process should start early and become a lifestyle. Regardless of your age, however, it is never too late to start a healthier lifestyle. Not only will it help prevent disease leading to frailty, but it will do a lot for your mental well-being as well.
Maintenance is a great way to prevent having to fix something. Those of us who manage a facility understand the importance of systems maintenance. The body is much like a facility – one that we live in. It has different systems or dimensions that need preventative maintenance to operate at its best. Some of those systems are:
Physical – Our soul or being lives in our bodies. If we don’t maintain the facility, it will become nothing more than a trap for the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual dimensions of our lives. A few of the things that go into the maintenance of the body are things like sleep, exercise, not smoking, and a healthy diet.
Social – Researchers have found that staying connected socially is just as important as taking care of one’s physical health. Sure, we will have times that we feel like being alone. Doing so can recharge our batteries. That shouldn’t be an extended state of being, however. Humans should not go through life alone.
Cultural – With the advancement of technology and ways to travel, the world is getting to be a smaller place. Regardless, we all have a heritage to claim from whence we came. That heritage and those of others should be understood and cherished for the historical value they add to our lives. It makes us feel part of a unique community much more significant than ourselves. Our heritage is steeped in history. What’s yours?
Emotional – We all have a sensitive side. It’s that part of us that more often than not resembles a roller coaster ride throughout one’s lifetime. As we age, we learn coping mechanisms that play an essential role in maintaining a more balanced emotional dimension. There will always be the tragedies that happen in life and send your roller coaster over the top, headed straight to the bottom. Fortunately, the roller coaster picks up momentum and steadily climbs higher again. If you find you are stuck at the bottom for longer than two weeks, please seek the counsel of a professional counselor.
Spiritual – We know there is more to us than flesh and blood. That other part is most commonly known as the soul, being, or spiritual dimension. It, too, needs maintenance to function correctly and keeps the entire facility known as you operating smoothly. The spiritual dimension is also one that is bigger than the self. It is a relationship with one’s God and faith. We can maintain it through worship, meditation, prayer, and increasing knowledge and practice of our faith.
Intellectual – If tested, we can find out what our IQ, or intelligent quotient, is. It can be measured, and some of us are endowed with more of it than others from the start. But it is something that can be maintained and expanded by lifetime learning. No one human intellect will know everything there is to know. Find out where your interests are for maintaining and increasing the knowledge of your mind. Learn a new language or how to do something you have never done before. We all have school to help our intellect along when we are young, but it becomes more of a do-it-yourself project as we age. And remember, when it comes to brain health, whatever is good for the body, such as exercise, is also good for the brain.
Environmental – We must maintain the environment we live in because it has a significant effect on us. Is it clean and non-toxic both inside our homes and out? Do we immerse ourselves in the environment outside our front (or back) door often enough? Nature can soothe the turmoil within us and shows us there is an order in this sometimes-chaotic world we live in. Develop and maintain your relationship with your environment for your safety and its healing powers. It has a way of helping us keep things in perspective.
Vocational – What’s that you say? You’re retired? Well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain your vocational wellness. Now that you’re retired from your career, you can find a volunteer interest that might be more altruistic than your job was. Volunteering will keep you engaged in the community and help maintain those social ties. It will give you a reason to get up in the morning when the honeymoon of retirement is over. It will keep the river of life (receiving and giving) flowing through you to the benefit of both yourself and others.
So, remember, “If it ain’t broke, maintain it.” You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.