Alcohol, Hugs, and Power Naps: 11 Ways Renée Leads a Balanced Life

Turning 50 a year and a half ago was a big milestone for me because it’s the halfway point to age 100. As long as I focus on living a healthy life, I might just make it to 100+ like my grandmother did—she even danced at her last birthday party as you can see in this video!

There is much awareness now about the healthy habits that research shows can help increase one’s longevity, and this is a topic I’ve always been really interested in. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned as well as what I’m currently doing for my health and wellness, my happiness, and to feel my very best. 

I got really inspired by this longevity research…

that I saw years ago on TV and can be viewed here. What was studied were the lifestyle habits that made people live to 90 and beyond, and it was eye-opening. I have incorporated some of those findings into my own life and will be referencing some of the habits I have adopted here in this post. 

1. The vitamins I take daily are…

  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids for healthy, strong capillaries and blood vessels
  • Vitamin D because I’m a bit deficient
  • Vitamin B12 for energy

Even though that research in that video revealed that taking basic vitamins didn’t have an effect on making someone live longer, I still feel like they are good ones to take. Can’t hurt, that’s for sure. 

2. I make an effort to drink alcohol daily…

because the research showed that it was a healthy daily habit for longevity. It was interesting that their findings showed that it didn’t matter what type of alcohol you drank, but just something daily in moderation. I don’t drink every day, but I certainly don’t feel guilty when I do since it seems like the key to a long life! I really do believe that indulging in things you enjoy, as long as it’s in moderation, is important to living a happy, fun life.

And as you can see in this post about my grandmother, she most definitely was a drinker and lived to 102. My drink of choice? Lately, I’ve been sipping on some mezcal.

3. I get exercise daily…

with an intense HIIT workout like doing hill sprints outside or simply a walk. I also do a workout three times a week with a trainer who uses a machine called The Neubie which uses electrical currents to keep my muscles toned and my metabolism high. It’s been a game-changer in so many ways. 

It’s no secret that movement is a key to longevity as well as living a happier and healthier life. I’ll definitely be one of those old ladies who still keep on moving. I love working out, and here are the details of my workout routine.

4. My diet includes many indulgences…

like ice cream and cookies—almost daily. While I do eat fairly healthy with a focus on high protein, veggies, and low carbohydrates, I do not deny myself to my sweet treats. I always think about both diet and exercise and what is the lesser of both evils. For me, the lesser of the two evils is to workout which allows me more food freedom than to have to skimp on delicious foods and not get in exercise. Both movement and delicious food are fuel for a good life!

5. Drinking water…

has always been important and you don’t have to twist my arm for me to get in more than enough every single day. I don’t drink soda, coffee or tea but I have just gotten in the habit of water being my go-to drink. Sure, the research doesn’t show it helps that much with your skin as I talk about in this post but it does help keep my under-eye puffiness to a minimum.

6. I recently completed a 30-day cold shower challenge…

and I loved it. I read about all its benefits in this post and decided to give it a try. I mainly did it to mentally help get me comfortable with being uncomfortable and it definitely accomplished that. The first five showers were super cold but after that, it didn’t feel as big of a deal, and I think it was that whole ‘fight or flight’ thing where my mind didn’t go as easily into panic/shock mode as I realized that there was not a true threat. I highly recommend that you try it to get your brain strong as well as some other benefits. 

7. Daily stretching…

is a must for me. For starters, I’m on the tall side and flexibility doesn’t come naturally. Plus, I know how important it is for injury prevention if my muscles aren’t too tight. I use a Rumbleroller a lot (hurts so good!) as well as taking hot baths with epsom salts, and I stretch while I’m soaking. I just feel so much better after stretching including knowing that I got a good boost of blood flow. 

8. I regularly get professional body massages…

at least twice a month, if not more. I prefer a deep tissue massage that really gets in there versus something relaxing to get in a nap. I get into the “no pain, no gain” philosophy but a good massage therapist knows just the right amount to give. I also just discovered a great Thai massage place here in Austin where I live which I have heard it referred to as the “lazy man’s yoga.” They basically stretch you and walk your legs while you lay there. Again, hurts so good!

9. I take daily power naps…

to recharge. My brain is going hard all day long and it gets tired out so around 4 pm every day, I’ll close my eyes for 20 minutes, which research shows is the perfect amount of time to sleep to give you a boost. It’s my secret weapon and no matter where I am (sometimes even pulling over in my car down a side street, if need be), I’ll get it in. Sleep is so necessary for me with all the busyness in my daily life. 

10. My life is filled with lots of hugs…

so I hug people every chance I get. (I’ll be hugging a bit harder once this pandemic is over). Hugs are known to increase the love hormone called oxytocin and decrease the secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone. Win/win! Back when I was married to my now-late husband, if we got in a fight, we would muster up the strength to break it with a hug, even when we wanted nothing more than to strangle each other. It would immediately calm us both down and put us back in a civil and loving place. When he got sick with cancer back in 2018, the tumors on his liver sent ammonia to his brain causing him to experience anger and rage. Medicine helped but when more was needed, a hug from me and his children would instantly settle him down. We called it his “hug bank” and we were constantly on a mission to keep it filled no matter how difficult of a time he was having. Hugs are miracles as far as I’m concerned and I’m all too aware of the healing power of touch through my 30 years of being an esthetician. Love on someone with a hug (even by video), will ya?

11. My work-life balance…

I have none and I don’t strive to get it. I think its simply that I love what I do, and making that thing happen is just so much more interesting than anything else. A lot of people feel guilty for overworking but I don’t sweat it. I just do whatever makes me feel fulfilled and happy and if that means working, so be it. (Although I certainly do take time for fun like riding my motorcycle, cliff jumping, and driving cars fast).

Speaking of happiness…

Here’s are more ways I stay happy!

I hope you enjoyed my tips and life lessons, wish me luck in my goal of living to 100!

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