Sustainability and Wellness
Professor Krista Baily
17 April 2016
Blog Two of Three
This past week I reconnected with my sister. I talked with my sister on the phone for two hours discussing our family and life in general. We had been estranged for three years and it has been nice reconnecting with her. We are taking small steps but this long conversation was a little bit of a bigger step because we actually discussed the trigger for the estrangement. When I have had issues with my family in the past, we have a tendency to not discuss what triggered the estrangement and this makes it difficult to move past the issue we have had. This time my sister and I had a level-headed discussion and resolved the issue. Also, I spent the weekend driving my niece around town for her softball training. We had a nice talk about teenage life which I confess is quite foreign to me. Since I have been blue zoning, I am making the effort to stay connected with my friends and get to know some new people. I have trouble staying connected with people, and the Right Tribe has been the most difficult area for me for me to make changes.
To Downshift I continue to use the “Stop, Breath, Think” app at bedtime, and I have also started to use the app while I am walking. There is walking mediation that makes you aware of the nature around you. This is quite nice because it keeps you in tune with the sounds and sights of nature.
This week when I was studying and became overwhelmed, I left my apartment and took a 20-30 minute walk. It was a great weekend for walks! I am trying to stay in tuned with the stress signals my body is giving me which is something I have never been able to do (so far I’ve been able to do this four times). In addition, I found that on my phone I have a function that tracks stress via my heart rate. So, this weekend, I started tracking my stress.
I planned to walk to the Garden Patch but was not able to make this goal as I helped my brother transport my niece around town for her softball training. I will say that I was a little relieved that I didn’t have to walk to the store as I have been very nervous about this goal. I may have to rethink my moving naturally goals or at least add another goal until I can walk to the Garden Patch which is totally out of the box for me. I have started to make a conscious effort to walk more by tracking my steps, time and miles on my phone. My goal is 60 minutes a day and 7,000 steps. I used to easily walk 10,000 steps a day but right now I need to work back up to 10,000 steps. My goal is to take a walk twice a day and move more the rest of the day. I will say that I have been walking around my apartment more in the evening to make the 7,000 steps. I am keeping the habits that I already have by parking further away and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Overall, I have been quite proud of the changes I have been making especially in the Right Tribe area as everything I have done in this area has been different for me. To keep developing the Blue Zone habits I believe I will have to keep myself focused on changing my behavior and make conscious decisions to keep on track toward my Blue Zone goals. Also, I believe that after I have one change down, I will need to start working on a new change. I think I need to make slow, gradual changes and concentrate on making these changes into habits. If I try too many things at once, I have a tendency to shut down and stop. With slow, gradual cognitive behavioral changes, I believe my Blue Zone goals will become habits.