Remedies, Wellness & Cures


January 7, 2013, Washington, DC: Country music played on the radio and the clean white lines of the Memorial Bridge stretched over the Potomac River at low tide as I snaked alongside it Saturday morning and wound my way up Rock Creek Park. I was on my way to say goodbye to a friend moving to New York City, where a fresh start in a new city would await. Something about those moments of transition, whether mine or someone else's, make me nostalgic and appreciative and sharpen my senses all at once. The city looked truly alive that morning -- bright and happy and healthy. It looked and felt well, better than ever, and the feeling was magnified given that I felt well too. After spending several days buried under the deep fog of flu, I was finally ready to emerge and embrace the New Year. Early January is a natural time to take stock of our wellness. With a fresh beginning upon us, we are full of resolve to be well and happy and healthy in the days ahead. For me, that includes taking note of how our homes, neighborhoods and cities impact on our own well-being. Does where you live make you feel good? Do your surroundings provide you with what you need to feel mentally, physically and emotionally well? Do you fill your home with elements that make you feel healthy and happy and dispose of those that ail you? Do you seek out places that facilitate a healthy lifestyle? And have you ever packed your bags certain the remedy was someplace else?

Finding cures and remedies in the spaces we inhabit can be therapeutic, according to both an article in Sunday's New York Times that examined the notion of relocation therapy and this week's blog posts on Apartment Therapy that walked us through the steps of a "January Cure" intent on organizing our homes. I heard a musician Saturday night call blues "the remedy to sadness," as he urged people not just to listen on earphones, but to share songs in the home among friends and "let the music breathe."

Inspired by all of the above, I will let the music play today and appreciate a fresh batch of flowers sitting by the window of my apartment as reminders of a commitment to wellness. I will get out for a jog along the Potomac River or the National Mall as the air warms, finally feeling well enough to enjoy the scenery. This year in this place, we will strive to be well.

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