The beginning of the year is a time of reflection and making resolutions for a fresh start. A fresh start isn’t always a new year or a new place. Rather, it’s a mindset.

In our 3ème-2nde English Language Acquisition Class, we have been practising the art of resetting the mind to allow for inspiration and small daily wonders. Since the early days of January, we have been focusing on the big question, ‘What determines health?’ We define health as a holistic state of mind, body and soul, existing in a harmonious relationship with our environment. The students have reflected on their own lifestyle and daily habits in order to recognise and shed unhealthy habits and replace these with positive, healthy practises. They have read critically about the guidelines and information available about what constitutes a healthy choice, and pondered the sources of such information as well as social beliefs about health.

A passionate debate arose out of the question of whether or not it would be beneficial to live to 100. We learnt about the Blue Zones:longevity hotspots around the world, where many more centenarians live per capita than elsewhere on the Planet. Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder, is a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author. He has discovered five places in the world – dubbed blue zones – where people live the longest, and are healthiest: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California.

The students were especially impressed by the exemplary health and longevity of people living in certain villages in Sardinia, an island in Southern Italy; hence, they decided they would aim to adopt their principles. Residents of this area are geographically and culturally isolated; and they continue to have a very traditional, healthy lifestyle. Sardinians still hunt, fish and harvest the food they eat. They remain close with nature, friends and family throughout their lives. They laugh and drink wine together.

The 3ème-2nde English Language Acquisition Class are proud to adopt a more simple, organic and slow approach to living life and taking the time to notice the healing making of daily instances of happiness. We will create a school poster with the objective to inform our friends and teachers, too.

By Angela B.