Blue Zones Lesson #6 is very apt for many of us during this crazy, hectic time of year.

Unfortunately, our way of life tends to value busy-ness and constantly ‘doing’ over taking time to just ‘be’. Relaxation isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ though, it’s crucial to our health and wellbeing (see this article too), helping brain function and memory, protecting us from illnesses like depression and heart disease, and even against weight gain.

People living in Blue Zones communities work hard (mostly physical work) but time out and relaxation are a priority.

So how can you slow down, stress less and live more like someone in a Blue Zone?

  • Aim to arrive 15 minutes early to every appointment to help minimise stress from traffic, getting lost or underestimating travel time. If you constantly rush from one appointment to another, can you rethink your commitments (delegate, reschedule, remove from your diary)?
  • Take an honest look at how much time you spend online. It all creates ‘noise’ that’s counterproductive to slowing down. If you’re serious about finding quiet time – a key component of all of longevity lifestyles – set aside time each day or week to turn off devices and spend that time with family and friends, or enjoy some “me time”.
  • Turn off all devices off at least an hour before bed and instead listen to relaxing music, read, have a warm Epsom salts bath, do gentle yoga, meditate or write in a gratitude journal.
  • Set aside or create space where you can spend quiet time. Try to establish a regular daily routine: start with five or 10 minutes and aim to build up to 20 minutes if you can.
  • Take a look at the Slow Living Movement for ideas on other ways to slow down: http://www.slowmovement.com/slow_living.php or http://www.create-the-good-life.com/slow_movement.html

If you’d like help implementing Blue Zones tips, or staying motivated and inspired to achieve your health and wellness goals, please get in touch.

Source: The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.