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Monday, March 20, 2023

A new year, new beginnings: A Chance to Rekindle our life candle light

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Happy new year once again and welcome to 2022. The beginning of a new year offers an opportunity to reflect on various aspects of our lives including our personality at a personal level, work and career. The years 2020 and 2021 have been one of the most defining and challenging moments of our times because of both the global spread and the increased danger of the COVID-19 epidemic. The pandemic has had great impact on our lives and health with increased social economic and political ramifications. In addition, COVID-19 has reshaped the way we think about God and ourselves including families, relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues and other acquaintances.

At no time has our personality been so much intensified by a physical illness, a flu, that in turn affects our psychological and emotional well-being. Therefore, we must, as a matter of essence, consciously or unconsciously earnestly search for plausible interventions and solutions that can improve our ways of life and living, including as embraced in The Counsel-ling Magazine the Quality of Life and Living (QoL). There is evidence that our health includes our physical, psychological, mental, spiritual and social well-being. Life coping interventions and strategies are in turn associated with Quality of Life and Living (QoL) and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). More than ever, we are expanding our opinion creating and operating systems (OCOS). This implies that we must define ourselves, our personality and the need to find out how one can be a better person for self and in relation to others.

Top things to learn

Amidst the challenges of COVID-19 and all its implications on physical and psychological health as well as the social, economic and political challenges, there is need to learn a few things in life that keep our lives going. In the same way, we must not lose our vision and mission in life. Therefore, we must be able to identify ways of improving our lives. This is because we need to learn about our priorities and potentialities, and thus even unlearn certain habits as we relearn and adopt more appropriate and acceptable ways of life and living.

Top Things to Learn about life
That God is supreme in our lives. That life belongs to God. That human life is sacred. That we must, as human beings learn to respect everyone in spite of their gender, age, ethnicity, race, colour, religion, social political economic status, region, clothing and other social categories. Instead, we need to appreciate, love and care for each other. That we must choose to do good even when our minds telals us otherwise, such as seeking revenge or condemning others. That we must be logical and not emotional. That we must learn and adopt acceptable ways of expressing our emotions in more appropriate ways. That prayer and other ways of coping with stress, such as linking with nature, exercises, meditation, taking water and other fluids, improved health and nutrition are also part of our lives. That we must have unwavering faith in God. That putting self-first and not always first-fast is purposeful and significant, and that other people must be part of you and not apart from you. That you must have a purposeful positive attitude towards life and living.  

The quality of our lives must include all aspects of our everyday living. This includes how we start our day, what we do during the day and how we end it. Activities of improved daily living should include what we do when we wake up in the morning, how we spend our day, and things we do before going to bed. These include good and unbecoming habits. Eventually, these activities help to improve our lives and ensure that we obtain maximum benefits of our lives.

Ways to Improve our Health and Personality

There are several things we can do to im­prove our lives. This includes our health, that is, our physical and psychological well­being. This includes improved memory. This column of The Counsel-ling Magazine will devote all the articles on several things that we can do at a personal and family lev­el. These will be outlined in this edition and elaborated upon in subsequent editions.

  1. Eating healthy foods and healthy diet: Healthy eating is important for physical and psychological well-being. A healthy eating plan includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, which can benefit your heart and brain. Some of the items are also linked to boosting the brain power, especially of the elderly people.
  2. Get adequate rest and enough sleep: Sleep is a natural temporary state of rest during which we become physically inactive and unaware of the surrounding environment. Some of the bodily functions such as breathing tend to be slow and the brain largely in an inactive state as it hibernates. Sleep is the body’s mechanism to rest and in the process refresh and replenish tissues and cells. These includes the brain and the immune system. During sleep, the body rinses away waste and debris in the brain that can otherwise foment disease, and thus strengthens your memories. This is all the reason why after a good night’s sleep, you wake up more re­laxed and hopefully with a sharper mind, and in turn, you are better able to deal with the day’s activities.
  3. Exercise and get Moving: Exercises benefit our health including the brain. Exercises tend to boost energy levels that in turn enables communication between brain cells, which can potentially prevent dementia. It does not take much movement to make a difference in your life. Indeed, Psychologists say that up to 10 minutes of moderate walking or running boosts both mood and brain function. This is because it increases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, which regulates mood even after you stop walking or running.
  4. Social relationships and significant others: Humans are social beings. It is important that you effectively connect with others, including family, friends, team members, colleagues and other acquittances. This ensures a health social relationship that offers a buffer to deal with stress and any unbecoming life challenges. It is important to note that prolonged social isolation and withdraw leads to memory loss and loneliness is a risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia and even death. A greater personality must involve social relations and fight back against loneliness by remaining socially engaged.
  5. Be active including keeping your brain active: Both physical and mental activities complement each other. While physical exercises help keep your body in shape, the mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain active and in good shape. Mental activities also assist to maintain your memory. This is why it is highly recommended to try out brain stimulating activities such as games (board or word games), word puzzles or crosswords, reading or listening to podcasts. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert, though it is not an offence either. Even much better is to learn a new skill, like swimming, reading a new book, a foreign language or how to play a musical instrument. This way, the brain gets stimulated as the brain often craves for variety. In the article on languishing, which is the first article in this edition of The Counsel-ling Magazine, one reason for languishing is because we tend to lower our physical and mental activities. Yet, learning new things actually expands our horizon including our thoughts, attitude and perception of our world.

Personality building involves reflecting on positive and negative habits and in turn building on appropriate conduct.

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