by Winnie Saunders
In the wake of the economic recession, there has been a renewed focus on living well – maintain health, establishing meaningful relationships, helping the environment and being happy. This pull back towards the values that matter is a backlash to the rampant consumerism and blatant materialism of the past. The financial crisis is an opportunity to revamp your lifestyle, and to live well. These four actions show the path to good living.
Eat better, but eat less.
Food is at the forefront of many issues- emotional, physical and environmental. For many, food is tied to an emotional payout or to self esteem issues. To achieve good living, you must discover for yourself how food affects your mood. Experiment at meal times Eat less fatty foods, more vegetables. Chew your food properly. Try something different. Reduce the portions but plump for better quality. Being conscious of the details of what you eat and how much you eat has a ripple effect on how you feel and look.
Be a pessimist (for five minutes)
Far from being bad for you, always looking on the darker side of things can actually help you feel better. Star teach day by contemplating the worst that could possibly happen. The Greek philosopher Zeno the Stoic prescribed this practice. Give yourself just five minutes to ponder the possibilities of the day – do not mull over it! Anticipating the worst, acknowledging it as a possibility, then moving on, allows us to embrace the day instead of constantly worrying about it.
Take a technology break
The constant chum of emails, blogs, tweets and wall posts can take it s toll. It is far too easy to fritter away your leisure time in front of the computer. In fact, studies have shown that overexposure to social networking sites can result in addiction and all its complications. Instead of constantly connected, allow yourself one full day away from any internet technology. Power off the computer and switch your Blackberry or iPhone to silent mode. Go for a walk, make a coffee date with a friend, read a book or take up a craft. Engage with the real world instead of constantly being plugged into the virtual one.
Talk to strangers
Perhaps the biggest change of all in the last century is social attitudes towards others. In a world of increasing connectivity via websites, telephones and email, many urbanites don’t even know what their neighbours look like, much less what they sound like, or their names. Take the time to get to know your community, to smile at familiar faces and to take an interest. It may open up opportunities, widen horizons or at worst, make you a new friend.