Instead of reaching for my phone, I decided to kill time by thumbing through a back-issue of PleinAir Magazine while waiting to be called for my annual "wellness" interview. Thus, I stumbled upon an article headline that caught my interest: "The act of making art-making has a profound impact on one's brain, state of mind, attitude, will to live and stress levels."
The author went on to suggest that, a brain engaged in artistic endeavors is a brain that has reasons to not shut down...sending organs into dying mode. In other words, creative endeavors—be it painting, music-making, quilt-making, whatever—can greatly enhance not only one's quality of life, but quantity of life, too.
Since Bobbie's recent milestone birthday, I've been musing about how she seems to have made inroads toward solving the "Rubik's Cube" of aging gracefully. Below I jotted down a few things that I've observed over the years:
- Exercise both mind and body.
- Exhausting your body calms the mind.
- Be yourself.
- Expand your circle of friends by joining clubs, associations or taking classes.
- Helping and/or encouraging others helps you more than the "others."
- Find a quiet time to meditate.
- Indulge your creative side.
- Keep busy.
- Stay active.
- Adopt a grateful attitude for what you have instead of focusing on what you want.
- Seek quiet, wilderness places for inspiration and to allow your mind and body to wander and wonder.
- Take afternoon naps.
- Attempt to keep an even temperament...not too high, not to low.
- Don't waste time worrying about world problems and/or negative issues that are beyond your control.
- Do indoor sit-ups, squats, and use hand-weights and/or rubber bands on bad weather days.
- Play outside.
- Eat bacon.
And here's the thing: you don't have to run or lift heavy weights or strain in order to exercise your body. Walking and/or hiking are great low-risk ways to build physical fitness and flexibility. And, when done in peaceful settings, it has a calming effect on the mind. Remember, it's not as much how fast or how far as it is how long. Bobbie adds hand weights to some of her walks to work upper body muscles as well as lower.
Research demonstrates that the most effective treatment for stiffness and soreness due to age-related arthritis is movement. So keep moving, and remember to try and seek a balance in your body, mind and soul.
Now if I could only be as disciplined (and talented) as Bobbie...
|Top: Bobbie's first attempt at "fabric art." The piece was based on the small painting she did of Mount Wrightson from the Patagonia side (Bottom). Middle, a favorite among all of Bobbie's paintings...Red Mountain|
|Bobbie's second fabric art attempt, also from one of her original paintings of Delicate Arch.|
|What better place to play than the Klondike Bluffs area north of Moab.|
As it turns out, the act of creating art—in all its forms—is good for you, even if you are not particularly good at it.
|Bobbie works on her latest quilt|
|A few of Bobbie's watercolor painting on display at a "showing."|
|Challenging the brain by switching to Pastel Painting...not as easy as it looks.|
|A Favorite Tee Shirt Quilt Bobbie made for Kelli.|
Now for some outdoor adventure...
Friend, Ruthie, joined Caleb, Kelli, and Bobbie for a cold, cloudy and windy snowshoe outing up on Red Mountain, near Ironton. I stayed home to shovel and plow :)
The following photos are courtesy of my son, Caleb:
|Ruthie, snowshoeing through the old ghost town of Ironton.|