January 8, 2016

Take a cue from Grandma and Grandpa; they know a thing or two about healthy living.

  1. Grandma and Grandpa know how to have fun — without electronics. For most of their lives they didn’t have smartphones or cable TV to keep them occupied. Books and puzzles were an obvious go-to, but your grandparents can teach you fun games that only require a deck of cards (popular in the South are Rook, bridge, bunco and pinochle). Our gadgets emit a blue light that can hinder our bodies’ production of melatonin — and therefore interfere with sleep. So unplug and bask in the glow of your grandparents’ unconditional love instead.


  1. Your grandparents have mad skills! Especially if they grew up rural, they likely know how to sew, quilt, craft, woodwork, change the oil and bake from scratch. Find out what skills they possess, and ask them to teach you. You may discover a talent you didn’t know you had that you can turn into a small business. (Nashville’s artisan boutiques are booming!) If nothing else, a new hobby can build confidence and give you a way to blow off steam.


  1. Grandma and Grandpa know how to upcycle. Their frugal Great Depression (or even post-Depression roots) taught them to save everything — even if it was broken, torn or stained. They learned how to repair old furniture or turn it into something else useful. Nowadays, we like to repurpose to prevent items from ending up in the landfill, and our grandparents can show us how it’s done.


  1. Your grandparents could survive the zombie apocalypse. OK, despite what TV tells us, it’s unlikely that zombies will take over the world, but sustainability and self-reliance skills like gardening, canning, hunting and fishing should still be passed on from generation to generation. Growing your own garden ensures you get chemical-free produce, and canning helps you preserve items for use over winter. In many Tennessee families, going on the fall deer hunt is a rite of passage. Even if you don’t have the need to grow or preserve food, joining your grandparents in these activities can be a fun bonding experience.
While your grandma probably has a go-to muffin recipe, consider picking out a new recipe to try baking together.