This is the ultimate aim: achieve a balanced life.
We need to juggle family, friends, work, exercise, meditation (and so on) without loosing it. The trick is establishing the priorities, defining the goals with achievable timmings and working inside out towards them in a conscientious manner. With enough time to reflect, evaluate and humility to recognise our flaws there is always room to improve.
Below are some ideas to ease the mind and (re)gain quality of life, all attainable whilst enjoying our beautiful country.
Focus on yourself
The social demands nowadays are brutal and our minds are full to the brim. It's urgent to take time. It's our generation's challenge: to make time.
We need to take care of ourselves and I don't mean it as wearing more foundation nor buying stuff, but working on our foundations and buying valuable time instead.
It's a very Portuguese thing to constantly reminisce about the past or worry about the inevitability of the future, but we ought to go against this tendency and focus on the present moment.
Mindfulness is the new trend and so it should be. This concept means paying full attention and focusing on the present. It's a "carpe diem" philosophy with a stress-relieve toolkit.
Portugal has a wide offer for those looking to take a break and reach within for "the tools".
Invest in healthier eating habits
The saying "we are what we eat" is real. Junk food and processed produce have a tremendous negative impact in our bodies and, consequently, in our health and well being. During many years food industry has provided way too many unhealthy options which are available at lower prices, luring people into making wrong choices.
Thankfully, lately there has been a noticeable shift on the Portuguese population eating habits. People are more educated on the harm of added sugar, preservatives, pesticides and other additives. The food companies are closely monitored and have stricter regulations. There has been an investment in bio farming and national seasonal vegetables and fruits are available in all the supermarkets. Many farm-to-table restaurants have open doors. There's even a new project started by a young couple who intend to open the first restaurant without a bin, where everything is reused and transformed aiming for zero waste.
In our country there are many small producers and farmers who highlight quality over quantity, animals have many hectares to roam freely, particularly in the countryside, and old traditional cooking is a real deal. Read this article we wrote earlier this year where we explain why Portugal is a foodie.
Everyones is aware of the benefits of physical exercise. It regulates body weight, helps relieve stress and anxiety, develops social skills, promotes human interaction... It basically shapes the body and eases the mind, pretty much what the roman poet Juvenal defended it should be the aim in life: "mens sana in corpore sano".
There are endless options, from more intense sports like crossfit and kickboxing, to lighter individual exercise such as yoga. Apart from that, we have the privilege of having access to fantastic parks, forests, beaches, promenades and other outdoor public spaces where we can exercise for free. There's really no excuse.
A sedentary life leads to a wide array of complications and we need to make our lives easier, right?
There are many Natural Parks throughout the country, each with its own charms, which are a delight to explore - you can read about some of our favourite here. Hiking is one of the most sought activities in the country and it merges exercise of the body and the mind like no other. If hiking is your thing have a look at the post we wrote about Rota Vicentina, considered one of the best hiking trails in Europe. If, on the other hand, you're a fan of the seaside, the long Portuguese coast is another bonus. Water sports are a given, from surf to kitesurf, sail to SUP... you name it, we do it.
Portuguese retreats to focus on yourself
Portugal has a wide array of places perfect to unplug and get immersed with nature, where time seems to tick at a slower pace, inviting you to do exactly the same: slow down and take time.
From country house estates to beach huts, from idyllic island retreats to glamping sites; some with their own vegetable patches and orchards, others with a fresh fish and seafood supply; ones in the middle of natural parks, others located just above sand dunes where you fall asleep to the soothing sound of waves... Sounds dreamy, doesn't it?
If you're already thinking about your next escape in Portugal, but haven't figured out the destination we'd be delighted to help. Just get in touch and we'll send you our recommendation for the best places to relax and unwind.
In the meantime get your inspiration going here :)