Be Challenged, Be Empowered, Be Fit, Be Nourished, Blog

February-palooza!

Hard to believe, but here we are, the last week of February! Of course, this last week has our special, once every four years because the math doesn’t quite work out, freebie day. If I was in, you know, global planning or something, I would make sure we took full advantage of this day, and gave it proper due. There would be community wide feasts, movie marathons, plant-a-thons, and so many volunteers that social service agencies would have to plan new projects just to use them all. It’s a universal holiday and a chance to take a deep breath. We spent four years saving snippits of moments to build this day, we’ve earned a full day of recharging. Since I’m not in global planning, I’ll go to work. But I’ll be daydreaming about Leap Day as it could be.

Along with Leap Day, February is home to African American/Black history month, where we are encouraged to take time to understand the legacies of our country’s people of color, and appreciate their contributions to our cultures and communities. I am not a person of color, so I my observance this month is to learn, respect and acknowledge. There are a ton of amazing stories, resources, and ways to join the community in this celebration, and I encourage you to check them out! Here are a few:

https://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/

Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s Origins of Black History Month

Military.com’s History of African Americans and the US military

https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/knowing-past-opens-door-future-continuing-importance-black-history-month

Some little known facts about African American history.

And the National Archives collection of African American history

 

February is also, admittedly more simplistically, dedicated to a focus on heart health. While we may spend our entire lives exploring and navigating the world of race, learning to judge less, listen more, appreciate and respect each other and our mutual journeys, there are only three things you need to know to have a healthier heart…

 

Stress less.

Eat better.

Move more.

 

Pretty simple, huh?

Meditate, buy a journal, listen to Vivaldi. Make a salad, eat some broccoli, make your own French fries. Take a walk. Dance to your favorite song. Play pass.

People and magazines will try to tell you it’s very complicated. Actually, let’s be honest, it’s mostly magazines. It starts with the Woman’s World that Janice happened to pick up in the grocery store check-out line, and ends with you trying to find a way to eat 3 pounds of under but somehow also over-cooked artichokes. There are lots of ways people think you can make your heart healthier, but they’re all deviations and attempts to jazz up one of these three true behaviors.

If you want to get a great head start on the first one, ditch the Woman’s World. Make yourself a casserole. Take a lap around the pool, or play some tennis. Breathe deep, nourish yourself, and get your boogie on.

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