BLUE ZONES: Changing gears

BLUE ZONES: Changing gears

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There are times throughout life where transition may attempt to throw a curveball impacting your health and well-being. Blue Zones Project knows that people's environment, more specifically, their life radius, the five to ten miles where they spend 90% of their time, can impact their choices. So what happens when your environment changes?

A move or new job can alter your health and well-being for the better or worse. My daughter Tyrah has moved from Dodge County to Los Angeles, California, for college. She also just completed a midterm research paper on the topic of Blue Zones Project, so with her fresh in-depth understanding, I asked her to reflect on the Power 9 Principles and how she has noticed change since her life radius has changed. Below are some of her observations:

Move Naturally: I don't have a car in LA. Having to pay for public transportation, I walk whenever possible. I walk to campus, the grocery store, to meet new friends for coffee (Friends at Five). I have been walking way more than ever. The warm weather and simple navigation downtown makes it easy in LA.

Plant Slant: I have a sensitivity to gluten and dairy and I observe a plant-based diet. I'm sure it's no surprise that eating within those parameters in Dodge County was sometimes tough. In LA, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are super easy to find at every restaurant and surprisingly affordable on a college student's budget. I also don't feel like the odd one out at mealtime, as many people in LA tend to eat a more plant-heavy diet like I do.

Purpose: I have been working toward the goal of attending this school for what feels like so long. Even with its challenges, it feels like I'm really starting to live my life's purpose. Also, having responsibilities and having to go to my classes and already finding and starting a job in my field feels next level adult.

Family First and Right Tribe: These two are areas where I feel most out of balance since moving. I have such a great support system of family and friends back home and adjusting to daily life without them has really challenged my feelings of emotional well-being. However, because they are so important to me, I have made it a priority to stay connected through alternative communication. I am so grateful for Face Time!

Downshift: I have found that taking time to downshift is more important than ever. My apartment has a great roof top deck and it is so refreshing to spend quiet time up there. Journaling, doing self-care like yoga or a facemask has really helped me not to get completely stressed. It is my goal to make the most of my experience, so I’m working to stay grounded and focused and downshifting helps me do that in a healthy way.”

Watch for free upcoming Purpose Workshops to help you navigate some of the changes you may be working through in your own life. With Blue Zones Project here to help, you are not alone.

Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through improvements to a city’s environment, policies, and social networks. Blue Zones Project is brought to Dodge County through sponsorship by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals a member of Marshfield Clinic Health Systems, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC. Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the state. For more information, email or visit

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