As I slow down in life and seek to make beautiful moments out of the ordinary, I wondered what I could learn about unhurried living in countries across the world. I’ve been on a wave of consuming more varieties of vibrant vegetables and I find myself saving a lot of Greek meat and veggie inspiration recipes on my Pinterest lately. So I wanted to explore how the people of Greece make the most out of leisure and every day life.
They Remain Close As a Family
Many Americans enjoy individualism and spreading out after marriage but the people of Greece are very family-oriented. They treasure family and traditions, especially honoring loved ones during Greek Orthodox Easter. They enjoy gathering as much as possible with loved ones and extended family, creating an environment of mutual familial support. Like Indian families —or many families today considering high home prices— it’s not uncommon for multiple generations to live in a single household, with two-thirds of Greeks aged 18-34 still living with their parents. Many of the country’s businesses are family-run and this structure has put a slow burn on modernization, creating a community of exchanged favors and referral business.
They Eat Their Meals Together
It’s not just family pride that keeps Greek families together, they also like to slow down and enjoy meals in togetherness. They savor a cup of coffee at a local cafe often and it becomes a ritual of discussing life, sports, and politics. It’s said that engaging in regular social meals improves communication skills, raises self-esteem, and promotes sensible eating habits.
They Eat a Variety of Foods
The Mediterranean diet is historically one of the healthiest diets that exist today. It’s rich in anti-inflammatory foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, olives, seafood, and meat. Greeks enjoy a holistic lifestyle of eating local, fresh, and seasonal foods that prioritizes enjoying a meal over having an anxious relationship with food. Greeks eat healthy fats and avoid processed fats and foods like refined carbs which are high in sugar and can clog arteries. It’s been said that a Mediterranean diet can reduce heart disease, help prevent cognitive decline, and help with weight loss.
They Enjoy a Glass of Wine
Wine in moderation contributes to heart, gut, and brain health. Some red wines have antioxidants, increase good cholesterol, and reduce anxiety. Greece is the eighth highest wine consumer in the European continent. Almost half of Greeks choose wine as their drink of choice during meals. Greece adopts a minimalist winemaking technique that creates organic, earthy, and low sugar flavored wines which are relatively new to the world wine market. It’s lovely to swirl a glass of wine slowly to release the aromas, observe the color, and savor the taste mindfully. It’s recommended that you should take 35-45 minutes to really enjoy one glass of wine!
They Appreciate a Daily, Steady Walk
With such beautiful scenery, beaches, and mountain trails, it’s no surprise that Greeks enjoy spending time outdoors. They embrace nine months of summer and sunshine, adopting a tradition called volta where they enjoy a leisurely walk up and down the shore of a small town or village at sunset. It’s known that walking for 30 minutes a day in nature can help maintain a healthy weight and improve mental and emotional health.
And there you have it, the Greeks really know how to hold on to family bonds, relish a meal together, and take mindful walks under a sprawling coastal sunset.