The Blue Zone is not a new concept. It's been around for years and a National Geographic writer discovered there are "Blue Zones" or communities in the world where longevity and quality of life exists, which led to him writing an article on, "The Secrets of a Long Life."
In my opinion, life is about quality, not quantity. Although many people desire to live a long life. They should want a long, healthy life. A long life in pain and suffering is not enjoyable, and thats where wellness comes into play.
Most people have heard the same old wellness tips over and over again, but ironically Blue Zones is proof that a life surrounded by various realms of wellness works! The author talked about nine lessons in his book that included:
Through his observations of Blue Zones throughout the world he recognized commonalities amongst the communities, which included:
It doesn't take much to adopt some of these qualities into your life. In fact, rearranging or preparing your "Blue Zone" space in your home is nothing new. It almost follows some aspects Feng Shui that promotes rearranging the home to have positive energy flow.
In my opinion, Blue Zones reiterate that the NATURAL ways of living trumps the ARTIFICIAL or engineered ways of eating, living and thinking.
So how do you do it? It's really easy and these tips are available for every - body.
Bring Nature into the Home or Build a Sanctuary
Plants have energy that is deep and wise. It doesn't take much effort to "dressage" a window sill or end table with plants, succulents or a vase of flowers. We are calm in nature and can find our indoor spaces filled with positive energy through the simple glory of flowers and plants.
Some people prefer to build a sanctuary with plants or other aesthetically pleasing home decors like candles, end tables chocked full of old books or antiques. Whatever you find pleasing, bring it into your home. This helps reduce stress and enhances the down shifting atmosphere in your space.
This space can be used for creative pursuits, to reduce stress, to connect to God, do a yoga class, or just to read a good book. Whatever you find pleasurable bring a little peace, love and Om, to your home.
For those who live in a house and have access to a yard, now is the time to build a garden! Gardens are part of blue zone communities and raised bed gardens are perfect for city homes. Not only are you getting in touch with the earth, but you'll have healthy produce to eat too!
Reduce Tech Use
I understand this is my judgment, but so far humans have not done well living in a life of hyper connectivity of social media and technology use. It is natural for us to feel or want something natural, whether that'd be a walk in the park or a coffee with friends.
I am not sure how much positive benefit Alexa has done for us, but it is important to reduce your access or usage of technology. One way to "Blue Zone" your bedroom is by removing the television. Between staring at a phone screen and a tv, the artificial light hinders our circadian rhythm, which is our sleep-wake cycle.
It is possible for us to retrain our brains to sleep naturally versus having to take sleeping meds all the time. And that first step is to reduce artificial light filtering into our eyes before bed.
Cook More Plant-Based Meals
Most people right now during COVID 19 are cooking from home. Instead of the easy-bake pizza or the bag of pop chips, reinvent your meals by simply adding more produce to them. Once this becomes easy or pallatable, trying cooking plant-based meals to incorporate more "Blue Zone" worthy recipes through the consumption of legumes, and plants.
Need inspiration? Check out my dairy-free recipe archive.
Or try these immune-boosting recipes that use up your pantry items!
Find Your Tribe
In today's world, it is easy to find social things to do, but difficult to make solid friends. The world is changing and so are people. However, support systems are necessary for emotional wellbeing. Most people don't need tons of friends, but maybe a good, solid one or two.
In lockdown, it is difficult to meet people in real person., but luckily online groups and zoom meet ups are still happening. So, you can meet people while in the comfort of your home. It is not easy to pop onto a new group during this digital time, but why not take a leap of faith and try it?
If there is one thing we've learned about COVID 19 it is that we are social creatures who crave interactions.
It will certainly get you out of your comfort zone.
Inspire Your Mind
Blue Zones are basically the old, natural way of living pre technology. I believe the natural ways of living are engrained in our DNA. Try to something weekly or daily that inspires your mind.
Maybe it's music you love, or reading quotes, or maybe listening to an inspirational talk on YouTube. Whatever it is, spend 2-3 minutes distressing your mind and body. For me, during tough times I began reading quotes to retrain my brain, and there are tons of quotes you can rummage on my Sunspiraiton page.
Whether you want to read quotes, or create a vision board, inspire yourself with optimal encouragement daily, or when you can.
Blue Zones are known for moving naturally. This is not via a scheduled, or regimen fitness workout, but by moving like walking or biking for commuting, planting a garden, or cleaning the house / sweeping sidewalks. In general, they are less sedentary.
Right now during COVID 19, being stuck inside still allows you to move with access to hundreds of free virtual fitness classes that are online. But, you can still move by cleaning (ahem, spring cleaning)NEAT or Non exercise thermogenesis activity. This includes anything like vacuuming, scrubbing, mowing the lawn etc. - really anything where you are upright and moving.
Sit less, move more. This doesn't mean lifting weights or doing 3 fitness classes per day. But NEAT allows us to organize our space while staying active outside of normal fitness routines.
Blue Zones are about bringing optimal wellbeing concepts into your home, and life.
Is your space Blue Zone worthy? If so, let us know what you do, or how your space is arranged to give other readers tips and ideas! Stay healthy! Let's Connect!
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com