Dear Readers: During these harrowing times, it's more important than ever to take care of yourself. In light of that, I'd like to share some tips for keeping your immune system performing at its highest capacity.
—Exercise, however you can. Exercise has been shown to improve immune system functioning.
—Eat your vegetables (and fruits and whole grains), and go easy on the highly processed foods.
—Avoid smoking or vaping, which cause chronic inflammation in your airways and compromise your immune system's ability to fight viruses. (Visit lung.org for more information.)
—Don't drink. And if you do drink, try to limit the amount. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair your body's ability to fight infection.
—Find ways to relax for 30 minutes every day, such as by meditating, taking a warm bath or enjoying a cup of herbal tea.
—Get plenty of sleep. For adults, that means seven hours at minimum, ideally eight.
You've no doubt heard some variations on this advice, I'm sure, but it bears repeating. These small measures can have bigtime benefits.
Dear Annie: When my friends and I got out of high school, we started a round robin letter that has traveled across the U.S. and kept us together. It starts with a numbered list of us with names, addresses and phone numbers. The way it works: Person No. 1 writes a letter and mails it to Person No. 2. No. 2 also writes a letter and sends both her letter and No. 1's letter to Person No. 3, and so on. When the letters get back to No. 1 she replaces her old letter with a new one, and on it goes. From time to time, the round robin gets lost and has to be restarted, but ours is still going. It began with 13 of us, and now there are just five left. This year, we will all be 90. — No. 1
Dear No. 1: I love this idea. I'm printing your letter in the hope it inspires a whole new flock of round robins.
Dear Annie: These days, everything is being streamed, and I have no idea how to even get started with that. I have an iPad. Can you tell me how to stream these movies and concerts that are being offered online? I'm sure I'm not the only over 60 that needs this answered. (I'd ask my adult kids, but they are at home with their kids, and I know they're too busy to help.) — Home for a While in Waco, Texas
Dear Home: There's a deluge of great shows to stream today. The most popular streaming services are Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, HBO Go and Disney+. They range from around $5 to $15. There's also Kanopy, a streaming service that is free if you have a library card.
Since you're planning to watch via your iPad, you can simply open the "App Store" on your iPad and search for any of those streaming platforms and download the corresponding app. Once you open it and attempt to log on, you'll be prompted to create an account and input your payment information (or, in the case of Kanopy, your library information).
Each service has different TV shows and movies available, but all have a broad enough selection to keep you entertained for umpteen hours.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]