Blue Zone Inspiration
Today, let’s find routine ways to shed stress by resting in ways that will reconnect us to our peaceful, effortless self.
“Even people in the Blue Zones experience stress. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. What the world’s longest-lived people have that we [North Americans] don’t are routines to shed that stress. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour.” 
 Dan Buettner. Power 9® – Reverse Engineering Longevity. https://bluezones.com/2016/11/power-9/
Affirmation2 minI am rested because it helps me down-throttle stress and reconnect with what’s important. When I care for myself and get an appropriate amount of rest, I gain divine perspective that informs my soul towards greater health. I hold myself with self-compassion in order to abandon and forgive certain behaviors. When I am feeling loved and cared for, I am empowered to create my greatest work. It is only when I am rested that I can properly care for and serve others.
Studies Show15 minHaving a self-care practice ingrained into our daily lifestyle is essential to overall health and well-being. A study by The British Journal of General Practice found that “self-care behaviour of patients is relevant not only for preventing future health problems, such as heart disease and lung cancer, but also in mediating the course of long-term conditions.”  The same study concluded that “self-care affects health outcomes through several pathways: adherence to treatment regimes; maintenance of good physical health through lifestyle choices (for example, diet, not smoking); monitoring symptoms to inform treatment/self-care decisions; monitoring and managing stress and/or emotional consequences of illness; interacting effectively with health professionals to ensure that patients' needs are expressed and addressed; and using social support networks to help to achieve the above.” The rippling effects of prioritizing self-care are paramount. The consensus of research from a landmark study, entitled "5 Dimensions of Self-Caring that Heal Healthcare” revealed that a healing experience happens and improves as a result of practicing self-care in all aspects of life. "You simply can't provide a healing and healthy experience for others unless you take care of yourself," said Cindy Bultena, RN, vice president, Patient Experience at Woodwinds Hospital, St. Paul, Minn.  Dawn Bazarko, the senior vice-president at Center for Nursing Advancement at United Health Group stated in the same study, "My ability to be more centered and focused expands my capacity to give to others and ultimately be more effective as an employee and human being."  REFERENCES  Greaves, Colin J, and John L Campbell. “Supporting Self-Care in General Practice.” The British Journal of General Practice 57.543 (2007): 814–821.  Experience In Motion. “5 Dimensions of Self-caring that Heal Healthcare: The foundation of an experience management strategy”. (February 2010)
Mantra2 minVisit yourself regularly.
Healthy Habit20 minToday, let's look at how rest can be incorporated into our daily lifestyle. Could it be that the reason we get over-stressed and depressed is that we have gone too long without deep rest? ‘Depressed’ … ‘deep rest’. Is that homophone just a coincidence? What Self-Care Really Looks Like If time and money are the biggest barriers to giving yourself adequate self-care, we need to be reminded what self-care really is. It may sometimes seem like a challenge to make time for self-care, but we can learn to adopt micro self-care habits that simply become part of how we naturally operate. Although a spa day doesn’t hurt, it’s a means to an end when it comes to what self-care is all about. Self-care is coming home to who we are right now. It does not require getting some treatment or an altered state that ought to change us into some fabulous new person. Self-care is unlearning and remembering who we are at our core. Who were were as kids before we allowed our job, society, and external influence to define who were are? Self-care is creating a safe space where you can get real with yourself. A space filled with grace for what is good and true. It naturally provides a margin for leisure, rest, and recovery. Take 10 Minutes for You If taking time for self-care is not already a habit and we don’t plan it, it will never happen. First, we need to decide to make regular visits with ourselves, even if just for a few minutes. It’s a matter of finding small ways to give yourself extra personal space that works for you. That could look like showing up extra early to appointments so you’re forced to wait, with yourself. Or perhaps setting a morning alarm 10 minutes earlier than you usually wake up. Once we have that extra bit of space set aside, it’s all us in how we want to give love and attention to the body, mind, and soul. However it’s hard to know what we most need until we have entered that quite space. Once we’re in that nourishing space, only then, will we know how to best engage (or more like not engage) in a way that will provide quality self-care. You might feel like journaling, taking a nap, meditating, read a book, making art … Trust yourself. Quiet … listen … you already know what you need.
Quote4 minIn this high place it is as simple as this, leave everything you know behind. Step toward the cold surface, say the old prayer of rough love and open both arms. Those who come with empty hands will stare into the lake astonished, there, in the cold light reflecting pure snow, the true shape of your own face. – "Tilicho Lake" by David Whyte (Where Many Rivers Meet)
Journal Prompt2 minBring to mind activities that makes your heart feel at rest and at peace. … What simple lifestyle habit can you do every day, no matter what, to reconnect with yourself and experience that peace?