Life in Spain can help beat the blues. Here are seven excellent reasons to feel good if you’re lucky enough to be living in Spain…
January is behind us, spring is fast approaching and with longer days. If you’re in Spain, then you know that means more sun, too. And that’s a none too subtle hint as to one of the reasons why life in Spain has that feel good factor.
The winter months may have rain, high winds and snow (thank you Storm Filomena) but there’s also a good deal of sunshine. Giving us a healthy dose of Vitamin D, and generally lifting the mood, Spain’s weather is a big reason why people move to this beautiful country. There’s a lot less Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) here and for good reason, the warmth of the sun on your face is a great way to lift the spirits.
Research shows a diet rich in omega 3 – as you’ll find in oily fish – helps make you feel happier. Add in the known health benefits of olive oil and all the fruit and vegetables that grow in abundance here and you have a recipe for happiness.
In Spain, food is an important part of the culture and you’ll find a choice of eateries in even the smallest villages. Bury your toes in the sand as you dine on sardines cooked over an open fire at a chiringuito. Dine extravagantly in the country’s many Michelin-starred restaurants. And then there’s tapas – those morsels of flavour washed down with local wine or sherry.
You don’t have to fork out if you don’t want to. The Spanish eat like kings whatever their budget – you can too.
What is the key to happiness? It differs for many, but the Spanish seem to have it worked out. They are grateful for the small things in life. They enjoy the simple pleasures – walking with family along the promenade or enjoying a coffee with friends.
‘Live for the moment’ should be the Spanish motto.
Like many Mediterranean countries, family is treasured above all in Spain. Inter-generational meals and parties are commonplace. Rarely are grandparents deposited in old people’s homes and children are welcomed just about everywhere. In the long summer evenings, you’ll find the kids playing as parents and grandparents enjoy the end of a leisurely meal – not much call for babysitters.
Spain has one of the richest cultural heritages in the world. From the art of Velazquez and Picasso to the architecture of Gaudi’s Barcelona to Bilbao’s modern Guggenheim Museum, there’s so much to admire.
“Everything that can be imagined is real” Pablo Picasso said, and looking at his work and Gaudi’s masterpieces he wasn’t wrong.
There’s also the living cultural heritage – the flamenco, festivals and ferias. Speaking of which…
If you want to learn how to party, come to Spain. From village to city and countrywide, there are celebrations almost every month. While the coronavirus has put paid to many of them, there are still loads to look forward to:
- Semana Santa – holy week processions at Easter
- Tenerife’s carnival – second only to Rio in size
- Romerias – local pilgrimages with traditional costumes, horses and parties into the night
- Sevilla’s feria de Abril – a week-long fiesta celebrating everything Sevilliano
It’s probably a cumulative effect of all the above: Spaniards have the highest life expectancy in Europe. Their joy for life, healthy diet and love of family helps them feel good and live longer.