The Art of Senior Living
The healthy guide by a Mexican lady
By Carmen Rioja
Why does the design of our interior environment matter and how is it directly related to health? If you are a permanent resident or an accomplished traveler passing through, even for a few days, it is important to appreciate the environment and choose body-friendly materials. There is a golden rule of ancient times that says that we must leave the places we pass better than how we found them. And if we also learn to enjoy them with a sustainable approach, health will undoubtedly benefit.
The inner environment in which we spend most of our time has direct implications for our mood, vital functions and the development of our personality and our general state of well-being. So, we can spend half an hour each morning to make the bed and tidy the room, add a fresh flower to the table or desk, have a cup of hot tea, or use a sheet of white paper and a pencil to draw a vignette. A plant next to the radio or tools when working can be a great companion. Daylight is necessary for the synthesis of vitamins and nutrients. If we can get more natural light where we spend most of our time, let’s do it! Although we must also remember that in the semi-desert, what we need at noon is a good shade. A way to modulate the heat that is coming in April and May can be achieved with natural fiber screens like those of the artist Mónica Ramírez Valerio on reed paper, papyrus, onions and all kinds of fibers and wool.
The elements that make up the environment–light, materials, textures, colors, aromas, sounds–coupled with the sensation of space, modulate our experience in the physical world. You will be surprised to know that one of the world powers in design and art is San Miguel de Allende, which has an avant-garde and humanistic orientation. And it has been enriched by the new generations of the world concerned and busy offering sustainable alternatives, with a highly aesthetic-artistic standard. A tour of the galleries and shops of the Fábrica La Aurora artistic center can give you an idea of the enormous talent that is in this city.
Also, the outer environment, the routes and destinations that we choose will have direct ramifications on our general state of well-being.
When you visit the Ignacio Ramírez Market, you will see that they have sanitary filters and extraordinary handicrafts and food. Famous artists from around the globe such as Deborah Turbeville, were impressed by the surrealism of the Mexican scene that she so widely documented in the 1970s in black and white gelatin silver photographs. Her colleague and Mexican student, the photographer Norma Suárez, cataloged an extensive collection of images belonging to chapels and haciendas throughout the country, in addition to his famous fashion photographs for Valentino, Chanel and Vogue.
When you travel the sacred city, you can observe its urban layout made to emulate the path of the pilgrim always in search of God. Religious urban architecture can be understood by walking from the Oratory to the Parish as if it were a journey through time.
Another wonderful success in San Miguel de Allende is the Gorditas de Don Ciro, at the entrance to Taboada, on the road to Dolores Hidalgo. They started their business at a humble table under a majestic huizache. No one, over the years, could resist the delicious invitation to spend some time in that shade, cool off with a lemon water and replenish energy with a cob of broken corn, nopales and molcajeteada sauce. Since then, they have worked hard, and now they have two additional locations made of the most welcoming reed structure.
We recommended walking mostly in silence, in small groups, without disturbing the landscape. Refresh yourself in a spring and eat lightly, at La Hija del Manantial in Correo and continue walking while you enjoy the sunset. Immerse yourself in the filters created by the semi-desert dust color of the glowing clouds of these lands that make each sunset one of the greatest shows of the Bajío.
Once it’s time to rest, we recommend reducing the light and dispense with all kinds of screens and artificial light at least one hour before the time we are supposed to sleep. This is the time it takes for the brain to make the changes to the nightly resting phase in which most tissues are rebuilt and endocrinological and general functions are rebalanced in addition to recharging energy, for which a good nightly sleep is so necessary and restorative.
Carmen Rioja, Mexican artist who specialized in restoration of archaeological materials, and creative workshops. She likes to write stories and poems and throw them in imaginary bottles into the sea. Carmen has published the books La Muerte Niña and Rojo 43.