Self-care is traditionally an act one person does to take care of his/her mental, physical, and emotional health. How you love yourself reflects strongly on your relationships with others, the quality of work you do, and every other aspect of your life. While we highly recommend incorporating self-care into your daily routine, and can’t stress enough how important this is to your overall well being, we want to encourage a slightly different version that also prioritizes the health of our planet.
1. Use natural, eco-friendly, and waste free beauty products - Somehow we’ve been programmed to think that natural products don’t work, where in fact it’s the exact opposite. There’s a plethora of brands out there that offer products that work as good (if not better) but are good for both you and the environment. Don’t forget to recycle your empties through recycling programs like Terracycle.
2. Running, hiking, and being out in nature - grab your headsets, listen to your favourite music or podcast and spend a few minutes in the morning out with nature. Starting your day this way refreshes your mind while it prepares your body for the day’s work. Plus points if you use workout clothes from sustainable brands like Tentree, a brand that offers ethically and sustainably made clothing, and plants 10 trees for every purchase made! Additionally, Tentree also has a Climate+ initiative that offers packages to plant trees that offset your daily pleasures from long showers, to weekend getaways. So no need to feel guilty for the long bath you took after a rough day.
3. Gardening - gardening is a very meditative activity. Not only does it give you a closer relationship to nature, it also relaxes your mind, and allows you to grow your own organic food. Some vegetables that are easy to regrow from scraps are: green onions, celery, romaine lettuce, carrots, garlic, potato, and herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, and cilantro.
4. Switch off and disconnect - Never mind the carbon footprint left by manufacturing technology, and the hazardous materials left by e-waste. What’s surprising is how not a lot of people know that simply using your phone and other electronic devices has a major impact on our environment. Switching off and disconnecting not only helps the planet, it also gives you the much needed time away from the negative impacts of the internet to mental health. Less tech equals less energy equals better mental health.
5. Reading a book - not only does this help you switch off electronic devices, it is also one of the many activities that stimulates neurogenesis. You can give your brain some love and spend a few minutes each day learning something new. We recommend reading books that give you a better understanding about climate and our planet, like The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. If this book does not inspire you to take care of our environment, nothing will.