Downshifting with Self-Care for a Better Quality of Life

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Medical Wellness

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Stemming from Dan Buettner’s “Power 9®” principles, downshifting can be understood as a lifestyle choice to seek ways to manage stress levels – even Blue Zone residents are not spared from the various forms of stressors from everyday life and perhaps from conditions outside their control. Research has shown that stress activates inflammatory responses in our bodies, paving the way to numerous stress-related diseases. 

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In this article, we discuss the benefits of downshifting and share some ideas that could be adopted for a better quality of life for the general population. 

Create Bite-Sized Downshift Routines

For those who are unable to squeeze out precious time for self-care, do consider incorporating small moments to unwind in the midst of your busy schedule. 

  • Stretch those tensed muscles: Do quick neck and shoulder stretches if you are deskbound 
  • Step away from your workstation: For example, you could refill your mug with water periodically (instead of using a large water bottle) 
  • Create a calming workspace: Personalise your workspace with items that bring you joy, such as photos, plants, or inspirational quotes 
  • Connect with colleagues: Have a chat or grab a quick coffee with your co-workers – building positive relationships with your colleagues can help reduce stress and create a supportive work environment 

Applying Blue Zone Principles to Downshift: Work-life Balance

A 2023 survey across 44 countries by Deloitte shows that Gen Zs and millennials are striving for better work-life balance in the evolving employment landscape: 

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“The pandemic prompted a rethinking of the role work plays in their lives. While nearly half of Gen Zs and a majority of millennials say their job is still central to their identities, they place a strong focus on work/life balance—the top trait they admire in their peers, and their top consideration when choosing an employer.” 

A recent poll led by the Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living Shanghai reported that the Chinese are shifting their work-life balance focus toward ‘life’, where one’s quality of life activities are gaining significance for personal pursuits. 

Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between the time and effort allocated to work and other aspects of life, such as hobbies, personal development, family, social activities, and relaxation. It is also important to note that work-life balance is not static; it changes for individuals over time and will mean different things to different people.

Getting Started

Do you have any specific areas of special interest that pique your curiosity? Consider what you are passionate about, set some time for the activity and go for it. Whether it’s cooking, learning a new musical instrument, or picking up a new skill, a passion project offers a fulfilling way to focus your time and energy on something that can be fun and fulfilling. 

This article was produced solely for the purpose of healthcare and medical knowledge. Not all innovations are available or approved for clinical use. AsiaMD may receive financial or non-financial sponsorship from the companies or institutions involved in these innovations. However, AsiaMD does not endorse any specific product or services in the article, in addition to the Terms and Conditions for the use of our AsiaMD.com website. Please consult your healthcare professional if you need more information.

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