When you’re a kid, it seems like adults are requesting that you do things you seriously do not want to do. Clean your room. Do your homework. Brush your teeth. Put on sunscreen.
It’s funny, though, because there comes a point in your life when – even though you may still feel like a kid at heart – you take a step back and realize that somewhere along the line… a shift occurred. You began to take matters into your own hands. You started taking care of yourself. You think about those dreaded things that your elders used to force you to do, and realize that you now happily do these things on your own.
I recently had a mini realization like this of my own, so I thought it’d be fun to list out some pieces of childhood advice that I – at the age of 26 – finally find myself following… and a couple pieces I still don’t. ;)Childhood Advice I Finally Follow
Eat your vegetables
Probably one of the oldest nags in the book. They knew we needed our vegetables, but we felt like we were doing some sort of terrible chore. Nowadays, I just can’t seem to get enough. Maybe it’s the fact that I get to choose which ones I eat and prepare them in fun new ways… maybe it’s the glow I get after juicing day after day – or how full of life I feel whenever I get my fill. Whatever the reason, I’m obsessed with vegetables these days… and I’m truly sorry for all the times I may have dissed them.
Stand up straight.
I’m a sloucher and I always have been. Recently, though, I’ve been taking note of my posture and correcting it right then and there. It probably has something to do with the fact that I live with a personal trainer… one that continuously reminds me of the dangers of avoiding proper posture. “Anteriorly tipped shoulders, if you want to get technical,” she just called in to me from the other room. Ha!
Don’t talk with your mouth full.
While this childhood advice likely had to do with manners, I find myself following it for a different reason: digestion. Talking with your mouth full usually means you’re taking in lots of air and rushing to eat – both of which can leave you with improperly digested food. And since more and more evidence seems to be showing a healthy gut as a major root of overall health (mentally and physically), I want to do everything I can to keep my digestion in check.
Go to sleep.
Oh my word, how difficult it is to get children to go to sleep at a decent hour. They just don’t want to. They have so much energy and are so eager to be up and about. These days I will put myself to bed within the 9 o’clock hour if I can. Sleep is the best – and the more you start to get, the less you start to need. When we sleep, our bodies are able to get to work at repairing and rejuvenating and overall healing. Ample sleep helps facilitate optimal health… and that equates to more of that childhood-level energy we all love to have.
So now I must share the two main pieces of advice I used to follow as a child… but follow no longer.
(Don’t) talk to strangers.
At age 5, no – you should certainly not talk to strangers. But when you’re in your 20s, 30s and beyond, meeting new people is so incredibly important. I try to talk to new people wherever I go. Even if it’s just a simple hello or a compliment when something strikes my eye, human connection is so important for emotional well-being. Plus, you never know what roles these “strangers” will grow to play in these crazy narratives we call our lives.
(Don’t) play with your food.
I am all about playing with my food. I’m constantly arranging and rearranging plates of food so I can capture the beauty with a lens of some sort. I guess our elders told us not to play with our food because it likely meant we weren’t going to eat it… but there’s no need to worry about that these days. After I get that photo, I’m eating it all. And I’ll probably have some more after that.
What about you guys – what childhood advice do you find yourself following (or not following) now that you’re older?