In Other Words: Community, Connection, and Fun
Written by: Bridget Eastep, Health Coach
Hi! I’m Bridget Eastep, WellnessIQ’s Health Coach. At work, I spend time chatting with clients about goals that support their physical and emotional wellness. The first step is always having a conversation about their purpose, or in other words what motivates and really matters most to them. For me, its prioritizing my happiness, health, and laughter while I bring those same things to people that value me.
What does this have to do with cultivating social well-being? I say all of this because living with purpose just so happens to be a central principle in Blue Zones – Blue Zones are specific regions in the world where individuals tend to live exceptionally long, healthy lives, attributed to tenets such as strong social bonds, active lifestyles, and cultural practices that contribute to overall well-being. And who doesn’t want that?! I sure do. I choose to prioritize these three tenets of Blue Zone life – community🏊♀️, connection🦈, and fun🍇.
In Other Words: Community
A magical part of Blue Zones communities is that they’re a place where neighbors become pals, and everybody has each other’s backs. They’re all about supporting each other and finding a sense of belonging. This has looked different for me depending on what “phase” of life I’m in – circling together a group of moms when my kids were teensy to try to figure out what the hell we were doing (or commiserate about not knowing), bringing that full circle now that my kids aren’t teensy anymore to volunteer with a postpartum organization, or in the phase between those two grabbing a friend and joining a water aerobics group with the common goal of… laughing at ourselves doing water aerobics.🏊♀️😂💪 I’m not making any sweeping assumptions (I saw it firsthand being the youngest in our water aerobics class by about 40+ years), but this is a good place for a reminder that regularly spending time with the elderly can add years to your life, as proven in the Blue Zones!
In Other Words: Connection
We all need those connections that feel like (or literally are!) a big squeeze from someone we love. Blue Zones folks totally get that! They invest in building deep, meaningful relationships, with the added benefit that strong connections do wonders for our mental and physical health. (Lower rates of depression, anxiety, and chronic diseases). It’s all about genuine empathy, trust, and being there for each other. For me, this could be calling a friend in tears because I feel completely overwhelmed and just need someone to listen. Or it could be staying up late on a weeknight watching The Meg with my 12 year old son who looks over and says “thanks for watching that with me mom” after a huge shark eats another huge shark.🦈🤗😂 I just love how these moments are secretly creating bonds that make life brighter for everyone involved.
A Frozen Blueberry
In Other Words: Fun!
Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Blue Zones residents (and I) do! They focus on finding joy in the little things, not holding back a laugh, and throwing epic celebrations. Why not find moments of pure happiness every day!? Just this morning my kids and I laughed (they didn’t know that laughter was enhancing their intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulating their heart, and increasing their endorphins… joke’s on them!) at a frozen blueberry stuck to our puppy’s face – solid proof that it doesn’t have to be SNL-level comedy.🐶🍇*🧊 *Turns out there isn’t a blueberry emoji. Don’t give your dogs grapes, okay?
Circling back to purpose, I’m on a mission every day for happiness, health, and laughter, and conveniently enough it just so happens that social well-being wraps all of those together. Inspired by the Blue Zones, I’ve learned that community, connection, and just having a good, old-fashioned blast is where I can be best aligned with my purpose. So, let’s grab our water weights (or build our sense of community, you choose), get our tickets for The Meg 2 (aka create and maintain meaningful connection), and point and laugh at our dogs (let yourself laugh!)… that sounds like a pretty great day to me!
For more information or coaching on any of the above topics, reach out to email@example.com.