by Sue Hodgson –
A little stressed these days? I totally understand how you feel.
There’s always too much to do, yet another deadline, numerous people demanding your attention and yes, there are even things you want to do for yourself, too – like eating, sleeping, getting some exercise and relaxation. It’s something that’s increasingly harming the health and well-being of not only the one who’s stressed, but overall society.
I was fascinated to read Sherrin Griffin’s “The Golden Years” column this month, on Telomere Science (pg 36). It caused me to immediately Google Elizabeth Blackburn and I discovered her 2017 TED Talk. It’s a very complicated science but it comes down to how we can control how we age, all the way down to our cells. As Sherrin says: “Elizabeth suggests that we can actually lengthen our telomeres – and perhaps our lives – by following sound advice relating to health and wellness.”
At my ripe age of 54, my body is constantly changing. Some of the ageing affects I can handle in small doses but when things happen unexpectedly, I’m finding some days very stressful! We all juggle many roles, each of which can be a full-time occupation and stress can easily consume us while we try to squeeze one more thing into our over-packed day. As I read more about it, chronic stress is bad for the telomeres and some of the studies show that emotional neglect, violence, racism and bullying also all impact telomeres. So what can we do? Like good relationships and a strong community, your home address matters. I believe we do have the power to change what happens to us, whether it’s practising meditation
or exercising; it’s a positive attitude that matters. In our Peninsula Voices column (pg 12), Lillian Underwood sums it up well: “Breathe and go get some fresh air and start to be thankful for all that is good in your life.”
And now I’m off to Tanner’s Books to get Elizabeth Blackburn’s latest, The Telomere Effect … here’s hoping it might have a few more lessons in self care and put an extra spring in my step!