14 Easy, Sustainable Self-Care Ideas
sustainable self-care for stressful times
Practicing self-care is so important in keeping some level of sanity during times of stress. Many of us have experienced stress, with the pandemic and lockdowns all over the globe. We don´t seem to have enough hours in a day to balance homeschooling, work, household tasks and the little social life that we have left. But even with little time, or I should say, now even more, we need to take care of ourselves as well. It´s important to schedule some me-time every day and it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are so many small things that are good for ourselves, and our planet. Let me share some sustainable self-care tips with you so you´ll have some conscious me-time!
eco-friendly self-care routines
- Get up early and do some yoga, meditation, stretching or whatever you feel gives you the calmness to start the day right. Starting your day early improves your concentration and helps you enjoy some quiet time. Research also suggests that early risers are more successful.
- Eat healthy. Eating a variety of wholesome, healthy foods (not processed food) boosts your immune system, can lead to weight loss, is good for your heart and reduces the risk of cancer.
- Prepare yourself a hot drink, like a cup of golden milk (which has many great benefits), a cup of hot water with lemon and ginger or a cup of herbal tea.
- Consciously enjoy. Try to slow down and connect consciously with the present. Spend some time every day to practice this and simply look at life without allowing your mind to interfere.
- Walking. Walking not only has physical benefits, such as improving mood, preventing weight gain and improving circulation. It also has mental benefits. It increases creativity, boosts your mood and relieves anxiety. So, put on those shoes and go outside!
- Face mask. Make your own face mask from oats and honey or yogurt, honey and turmeric (check here for more DIY recipes). Whether you are looking for glowing skin, or want to soothe your skin, there are so many options for the result you´re looking for. Put it on, close your eyes and dream away for 10 minutes…
- Take a hot bath. A hot bath reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure. Add some Epsom salt, essential oils, oats, flower petals or sliced oranges and lemons. All natural and great for your skin!
- Declutter. Decluttering is much more than just the physical activity of getting rid of stuff that “doesn’t spark joy” as tidying expert Marie Kondo puts it. Decluttering alleviates anxiety, it helps you sleep better and cultivates a happy environment. Plus it goes hand in hand with living more sustainably and with less material items in your life.
- Dance. Dancing improves your condition, increases muscular strength and improves your coordination and agility. It also boosts your mood, sharpens your mind and you can do it alone or with others (it´s great for bonding with your kids).
- Call a friend. Talking to someone you know and trust is a great way of getting stuff off your chest. Of course, it´s also great if you just want to have a laugh and lift your mood. Sharing experiences through talking increases your sense of belonging and can help you cope with difficult times.
- Journaling. For most, like me, it takes a bit of effort to start journaling. That step to push yourself to write something every day. But once you have it implemented in your routine, it´s a great way to start, or finish, the day. A few benefits of journaling are: healing faster mentally, reducing stress and helping you learn from past experiences.
- Put your phone away. We are so focused on our screens every day. We can be contacted anywhere, at any time, via multiple channels. This creates restlessness in our lives and decreases concentration. Especially before bed time it is important to go screen-free, but anywhere during the day it´s beneficial to put your phone away for a bit.
- Practicing gratitude. Cultivating gratitude is easy to implement, yet we often overlook doing it. Try to list three things every day that you are grateful for and keep doing it. The benefits can have a profound impact on your life! While practicing gratitude you familiarize yourself with using positive words, which not only benefits yourself but also the ones surrounding you.
- Take care of the planet. Caring for the environment helps you boost your self-confidence and sense of community. You notice that even small steps can have an impact and that you can make a difference. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness.
Self-care is so important and I hope by sharing these tips you will be able to implement one or more of them in your daily life. Stay safe and healthy!
Founder of My Green Goodiebag , Arlette Diederiks is a Dutch mother, environmentalist and water woman residing in Portugal. She started her company to help people transform their lifestyles into a more sustainable, healthy ones. With information on ingredients, materials, and environmental problems and a directory of eco-friendly products and brands, she hopes to inspire everyone to make a small step towards a more eco-conscious life. “Because even a small change can make a difference. You don´t have to rearrange your whole life. Step by step you can integrate more durable products into your life and hopefully inspire others to do the same.”