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Presence - Time to Feed our Minds, Bodies and Souls

Spring is here and summer soon follows. It makes us think of how wonderfully beautiful life is. Spring reminds us of new life. Most of us are so happy to be together again with family and friends after a long 2 years of lockdowns and isolation.

I have spent 31 years as a registered nurse and then as a nurse practitioner in the field of cardiology. I was so excited when I was asked to be on the board of the Lowell Wellness Committee. A big part of what I did was help patients develop new lifelong habits that promoted wellness.

So how does one suddenly change all aspects of their lives? They don’t. The best way is to make goals that are both realistic and achievable. Quitting smoking is probably the very best thing one can do that will very quickly increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. That being said, it is hard. My best advice “don’t ever stop trying to quit”. One of the times that you try, it will work. Don’t let relapsing ever prevent you from trying again. DON’T QUIT TRYING TO QUIT.

When it comes to shedding a few pounds or changing to a healthier diet, you can begin with simple changes. Keep cut celery and carrots on hand for those times at night when you just want something crunchy. Visit the Farmer’s Market for fresh fruits and vegetables. Increasing your activity will burn more calories.

Our town is full of activities during the Spring and Summer to help you increase your exercise and have fun while doing it. How about a family walk after dinner? A walk down Main Street is always fun! We have the North Country Trail run right through our town. Some of the views are spectacular. We have access to paved trails and bike paths. Pickleball is a growing sport and we have wonderful Pickleball courts in the park behind Walgreen’s. You can start with a relatively inexpensive racket and balls. This is a sport that children, teens, adults and seniors can all enjoy. In June, Tia Chi and Yoga lessons will be taught in the evenings on

the Riverwalk. This is a great opportunity to try them. We have the Sizzling Summer Concerts that are free. Just bring your own chair and enjoy some great music. Music is always good for the soul. You can even dance if you are so moved. Some come down on kayaks or pontoons to watch the concerts. Don’t forget to attend the Riverwalk Festival in July! There will be a family friendly kayak race. How lucky are we to have our own river right here in the middle of town. The Flat River is an excellent river to kayak on. Here in the city the flow is slower so you can easily paddle upstream.

So with Spring here and Summer only days away, it is a good time to feed our minds, bodies and souls. After being apart for so long, let’s enjoy the beauty and opportunities that are right here in our hometown that will be fun and good for our overall health.

-Maureen Pawloski, RN, MSN, ANP

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