Column 3 – Good Riddance Waste

Waste is all around us and an accumulation of waste is a risk to ageing well. To be at our best we need to rid ourselves of excess waste. I know you are thinking what I am thinking, “excess” is in the eye of the beholder, but truly if you have not used something in a year and you have no plans on using it; do you really need it cluttering your space? I know, I know there are people who would say, “I might need that someday” and if they have a garage or workspace that allows them to keep that type of stuff and it is not in their living space, they might get away with that. I know in my home we do because it has been proven time and time again that we do indeed use that extra piece of whatever to make repairs around the home, or someone else’s home.
When people do get better organized they feel a good sense of “letting go” of clutter which then can bring an improved emotional state. Just like when you de-clutter your mind and you give your thoughts room to “breathe”, when you de-clutter your space you can feel healthier. It is a process and once you go through the process the overwhelming feeling of dreading the process is gone and our muddled thoughts can become clear. Also we can feel livelier and be safer.
The digestive system is another example of a part of us that we need to be sure is working well and ridding our body of waste. When our digestion is not working well and when it leads to our bowels not working well we can become severely distressed. Pooping well is an extraordinary important part of health and there are a number of things people need to do to be sure the bowels are able to do the job. The human body needs to have water, water, water, fiber, fiber, fiber, exercise, exercise, exercise and relaxation. Stress can bring on a number of problems and yes, constipation can be one of those things. When we do not get enough water into our system, and we are eating too many processed foods we can have bowel problems.
On the other hand when digestion is functioning well, it is very efficient and carries out an organized sorting process. A healthy digestive system knows what to keep to help our bodies, where to send all the good things like nutrients, and it gets rid of the waste. Like good digestion we also need to know what to keep that helps us and what to get rid of because it is bogging us down. Our minds and bodies get slowed down, just like our bowels if we do not keep what is good for us around us.
Believe it or not it has been shown that when we de-clutter and organize our living space our bodies react in a more healthy way. Some health benefits that have been stated are better blood flow and less soreness, and an improved ability to fight diseases. Just like in the bowels, the right nutrients can get to the right place. All the health benefits of de-cluttering our lives can help us beat back chronic conditions such as cancers, diabetes, heart disease and depression. When we are able to think clearly and more efficiently, our energy lasts longer and our health profits.
As we enter spring and warmer weather it is a good time to start purging unused items. Maybe someone else can benefit from our unneeded treasures. Maybe you need some help in getting your house back in order? Perhaps there are people who can assist who pick up donations, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Helping others brings joy. Also, there are companies you can hire that will help provide heavy cleaning, there are services that can offer help, check out the yellow pages under Garbage Collection.
Patricia is the Executive Director of the Westford Nursing Home in Port Elgin. She is an advocate for sharing information about aging well and enjoys promoting important aspects that will support our older population to age well. Patricia can be reached at executivedirector@westfordnursinghome.com.

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