As we hit midlife, our values tend to shift. This is usually a positive thing, and ultimately you feel great about it.
But during the transition, we tend to feel vaguely unhappy, often without thinking we have any reason to complain. It’s the feeling of dissatisfaction that comes with the realization that some of what we once pursued no longer means as much to us.
Now we’re seeing something similar happening across the generations, not just to those in their 40s and 50s. And that’s thanks to COVID-19.
New research reveals that thanks to the pandemic, values falling in importance are things like materialism, power, status, wealth, ambition and self-interest. This is the case across the age groups ranging from Baby Boomers to Gen Z.
Taking their place are values associated with family, interpersonal relationships, self-sufficiency, helpfulness, simplicity, and honesty. This is reminiscent of what people valued during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
At the same time, Americans now perceive wealth and financial stability differently than before the pandemic. In January, Charles Schwab surveyed 1,000 Americans aged 21 to 75 about their financial health and perspectives on money for its annual Modern Wealth report.
Schwab then surveyed Americans again between June 25 and July 2, and found that the bar has been drastically lowered in terms of what constitutes financial success. Both the markers of what would be “comfortable” and “wealthy” dropped significantly.
Interestingly, the Gen Xers who participated in the survey reported the largest adjustment to ideal comfort and wealth levels between January and June.
That may be because we were already in the process of reevaluating what matters to us due to the stage of life we’re at. Or, it could be that we’re staying true to our
cynical pragmatic selves.
Either way, it’s good to temper our expectations — because that gives us room to surprise ourselves and others.
Addicted to Success
Yes, even success is addictive. And while that may seem like a good problem, unfortunately some people sacrifice their links with others for their true love — the pursuit of achievement.
Gardening Against the Dying of the Light
People who live longer than most have one surprising commonality: they garden well into old age. That’s no coincidence, as there’s plenty of research to prove that gardening increases well-being and longevity.
“Most of us are familiar with this feeling: Thinking that once you reach the next milestone, then you will finally experience true happiness. It comes, you feel momentary bliss, and then it subsides.”
Scroll down for how yoga can boost your immune system and overall well-being. And in the Flashback, Courtney Love has issues with love. Shocking.
P.S. Two kids on YouTube listen to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins for the first time. Every Gen Xer knows what’s going to happen when one of the most famous drum breaks in history drops, but you gotta watch the whole thing for the suspense.
By Trudi Roth
I have a confession to make: even though I’m studying to be a meditation teacher, sometimes I find yoga to be a pain in the asana. Pre-pandemic especially, it often felt like a pricey, time-consuming commitment, even though post-class I always felt better.
But now that at-home fitness is all the rage, I’ve rediscovered the joy of stress release through online yoga. And I’m not the only one turning to child’s pose when I feel like crawling into a fetal position. Wellness app Mindbody reported a 230% surge in virtual classes in the first week of the pandemic alone, with yoga leading the pack as the most popular online workout.
With 5,000 years of efficacy and counting, it’s not a stretch to call yoga the top self-care option.
Yoga technically means “union,” coming from the Sanskrit word “yuj.” While there are several branches of yoga, including meditation (raja yoga), most Westerners think of hatha yoga — the practice of using poses (asanas) to build strength and endurance.
Today, this age-old technique to join body, mind, and spirit is scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-stress effects. With the advent of COVID-19, a team of researchers from the University of California-San Diego, Chopra Library for Integrative Studies, and Harvard University led by MIT’s William Bushnell, PhD, have found evidence from more than 100 different studies on yoga and immunity that the practice has solid potential as an adjunctive treatment option for COVID-19.
We have found that practicing meditation and yoga could boost sensory health. And as if to underscore it, doctors are having success placing patients into a prone posture akin to the yoga asanas in order to improve their respiration.
The benefits are not reserved for only those who are sick, but everyone plagued by the impact of the coronavirus. When you pair poses with deep breathing (pranayama), you also bring relief from anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Bring om into your home
Getting into a daily yoga practice has never been easier — or more personalized. If you’re a writer, chef, or runner, YouTube’s top yogini, Adriene Mishler (“Yoga With Adriene”) has just the class for you. There are 500+ videos for all levels, interests, and time commitments.
If reading about yoga is more your style, Yoga Journal has you covered. And if you’re looking for live online classes, chances are a nearby studio has a Zoom class available, so you can practice karma yoga by supporting a local small business.
Whether you think yoga is for you or not, be flexible: now’s the perfect time to go to the mat for your health and well-being.
Hole – Violet
Live Through This, 1994
Violet was released in 1994, but was written by Courtney Love in 1991 about her relationship with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, who Love called a “jerk.” Given how her marriage to Kurt Cobain turned out, maybe Courtney was part of the problem? (YouTube)
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