As a parting gift, a few things to think about

Health MattersDecember 1, 2013 

As I look over the hundreds of articles that I have written, I realize that I will no longer have this chance to regularly inform you, caution you or nag you into protecting yourself and staying healthier.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you for the past 23 years. I look forward to still being a part of this active, vibrant, wonderful community.

One of the main responsibilities of public health is keeping people informed so that they can make the appropriate decisions. So I will leave you with a list of things to think about, things that you can do to stay healthy. Cut this article out, and look at it periodically. Imagine my smiling face asking you to take care of yourself, protect your family and serve your community.

You are the public in public health. You have the power to make a difference — in your life and the lives of others. From this day forward:

n Be prepared for emergencies.
n Be safe.
n Wear your seat belt.
n Drive safely.
n Enjoy driving, and don’t be distracted by talking or texting on the phone.
n Get a full night’s sleep.
n Have fun. Laughter is the best medicine.
n Be more physically active.
n Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
n Cut down on drinking, smoking or taking drugs.
n Move more — walk, climb stairs, pick things up.
n Use a helmet when you ride a bike or motorbike.
n Be a mentor.
n Set an example for your kids.
n Have safe sex.
n Update your vaccinations, and get flu shots.
n Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
n Get an annual physical and dental checkup.
n Play with your kids; talk to your kids; dine with your family.
n Spend time with family and friends.
n Make sure you have “me” time. Relax.
n Help protect the Earth and our environment.
n Go out and meet new friends.
n Be part of the community.
n Give to your community.
Over the years, I have learned to give little “sound bites,” or short messages. Here are some of my favorites:
n Today I will do better than I did yesterday. I will do even better tomorrow.
n Walk your talk.
n Remember that every oops is an opp(ortunity for improvement).
n Whatever you are doing, remember: The kids are watching!
n Don’t sweat the small stuff.
n Live, laugh and dance to your inner music.
n Feel the moment.
n Living life fully means not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance between raindrops.
n Wash your hands!
Dr. Diana T. Yu is retiring from her job as health officer of Thurston County. She will continue to work one day a week as Mason County’s health officer. Reach her at or @yu4health on Twitter.

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