Physical And Mental Wellness As One Ages Needs A Plan

By Donald A. Collins | 6 January 2022
Church and State

(Image by Susanne Pälmer from Pixabay)

Today’s extreme political disarray doubtless affects most of us regardless of which view of our future democracy you favor.

My readers know that I believe what the non-governing Republicans offer is a strong step toward authoritarian government, while many of Trump’s core supporters think freedom with no rules will not evolve into government repression. Many non-Jewish Germans bought that line from Hitler in the Thirties.

Keeping a comfortable daily routine is never easy but one is now especially useful.

I daily at 91 count my blessings for the good luck of my present circumstances: 1. Loving wife and family, 2. Adequate help and the physical ability to participate in many activities.

What more do I need? The answer for me is what has been and now is especially important, a regular routine which allows me to focus and accomplish daily things I deem life sustaining and enhancing.

In short it is helpful to have a simple systematic way to guide your daily activities.

At our family’s holiday gatherings this year my daughter in law shared with me her simple and effective guide points which she has summarized with a five letter combination she calls WORKS which you can read in her own words here:

Hi, Don. As promised, here is my daily list that has really really been a big help to my mental fitness and well as physical fitness in Covid times. This was my New Year’s resolution for 2021 and I am happy to report it WORKS. I never missed a day but I did fail on an item or two, which helped me understand what I needed to do to keep on working!


W is for workout, which can be a gym (zoom) class or at least 5 mile walk.

O is for ANYTHING outside. Good to feel the sun/wind/rain on ones face and bathe in nature!

R is for reach out to someone out of your normal friends or reading (not the newspaper!)

K is really a C and is for creative. Can be painting, pottery, baking or any other thing that gives you a pat on the back.

A new one for me is S, which stands for “sort stuff out”. Can clean a drawer out, a closet, my mind, the studio, my email etc.

So glad you like my plan.


Her super ideas about what is important may of course vary in specific lettering for everyone, as for me and for all of us you may want to find your own mantra, although I find hers an especially apt combination.

Wikipedia defines “mantra” as a religious chant, but I see it as a secular way to repeat positive routines without having to ponder what the exact steps are. For example, my daughter in law’s WORKS set—take the W for Work—doing some physical exercise has for me not been a walk but spending 30 minutes each morning on my stationary bike and walking up and down stairs often during the day. Her letters offer other positive ways to keep up ones mental and physical strengths. At my age, this becomes more important than at hers, but depression is not reserved for the super elderly like me.

But you may want to accomplish the other key tasks daily she advocates as they add balance and purpose to your life and to your self-esteem.

There are too many American citizens I have dubbed “dull bulbs” who won’t get vaccinated for the COVID 19 pandemic!

What can you do? Get all your shots and wear your mask everywhere.

AND be sure you vote in the midterms. At 91 I know my tenure on Planet Earth is likely shorter than for most people, but I found enjoyable the 145 death quotes from many wise elders you can read here.

One quote I found particularly apt for me came from the French-Cuban-American diarist, the late Anais Nin, who said, “People living deeply have no fear of death.”

And to me my daughter in law’s suggested daily life activities makes life clearer and easier.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?” and “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?: Leaders Commit to Reduce Human Population”.

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