Updated: Dec 21, 2021
…mindfully and eco-consciously.
Here are a few gentle reminders and handy tips to get you feeling like a new you in the new year:
Plan backwards - if you have taken some time off from work, how do you want to feel when you get back to the office in the new year?
Pursuing a fixation to our screens results in more fatigue. Instead commit to a 20 minute walk daily or find other ways to enjoy more outdoor time, reconnect with old hobbies or take up new ones. This is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, more optimistic and productive when you return back to work.
Expect less - from yourself and from others. The fewer expectations you have, the fewer disappointments and stresses there will be. Look at your Todo list - now throw it away. Or at least cut it down to the bare minimum - like shopping for food.
If you must, make and give organic gifts that will find a use and have a much lower carbon footprint. Giving without the expectation of receiving is the secret to happiness during this busy time.
Give more - many families struggle to make ends meet at this time of the year. Could they use some of your spare groceries or maybe some toys to gift their kids? Maybe the soup kitchen or the op shop is in need of an extra pair of hands?
Due the impending pandemic quite a few people have lost loved ones to the COVID virus. Could they use some your company so that they don't feel too alone or isolated due to their loss? Perhaps a home cooked meal? Or an invitation to join you for dinner?
This is also the most stressful time of the year for animal shelter while they are overwhelmed with intakes and are left with no room. Volunteering or donating to them could help them keep their doors open to more strays. Adoption is even better!
Have you figured out how to turn paper bags into gift wrap yet?
Or using scrap paper to create perfectly imperfect greeting cards?
Have you discovered seeded paper? You can gift it as a greeting card and then plant it.
Mindfulness starts here - there are quite a few mindful living philosophies we can learn from our Japanese counterparts:
Kintsugi - finding beauty in flaws. Repairing what's broken rather than replacing it
Furoshiki - using fabric scraps as gift wrap
Wagashi - creating beautiful items from scrap elements
Origami - paper folding to make beautiful and compostable gifts
Ikigai - this is a big one! Finding your purpose in life removes the need to fill our spaces and our lives with more things.
Kaizen - improving your journey towards sustainable living with small and consistent efforts
Shojin ryori - simple temple food is an approach towards changing how we eat and how we feel after we eat large, decadent meals
Konmari - arguably the most popular in recent years on adopting a life that only includes things that make you happy.
There are some amazing resources on Pinterest and Instagram that will give you endless ideas on diving deeper into these subjects.
Also see The Green Hub blog on sustainable gift wrapping.
What does being eco-conscious look like?
Consider the source of each item you buy and where it will end up:
Gifts you buy
Gifts you receive
These documentaries illustrate the impacts of the Christmas aftermath on our planet:
The True Cost
A Plastic Ocean
I empathise how daunting and discomforting it may feel to challenge tradition and start doing things differently - more thoughtfully and selflessly. But let's ask ourselves this...
Have our traditions become too materialistic?
Is Christmas about the short-lived instant gratification of presents?
Or is it about togetherness and building deeper connections?
Is this an opportunity to think about and serve those less fortunate than us?
Sending you loads of positive vibes and good karma,