The one thing that comes natural to all of us is learning how to care. It comes easily especially when caring for your family or for your home. But why is this innate characteristic often absent for many when it comes to caring about, say, ocean plastic, climate change or Mother Earth? Isn’t this planet our home? Isn’t it the only place where we get our resources from to survive? So why then do we abuse it?
The chaotic existence of modern times seems to breed the attitude of carelessness when it comes to the environment. Humans seem obsessed with a race to be on top and consumed with this competition, have little time and mental capacity to consider environmental impact and climate change. The fast place of life means most choose convenience over exerting extra efforts such as bringing reusable water bottles or food containers.
Truth is, I have been there. This hectic world is addictive especially when you end your day with all the boxes on your to-do list ticked. You base your productivity on the number of boxes checked on this list and pat yourself at the back for conquering another intoxicatingly busy day. Much of the time, the only thing that conquers you is stress.
However, going through the day in slow motion is a luxury not everyone can afford. We think the only way to survive life in the fast lane is to become slaves of the clock and embrace the constant busyness of reality. So life is lived in a in a blur, choosing whatever is fast and easy. As a consequence, this self-obsessed throw-away society we’ve created only ends up hurting our home.
Mahatma Ghandi once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Rushing to get through the day loses the soul of the experience. Somehow, all the haste can make you miss the opportunity of enjoying a full and meaningful day.
So here are some ways you can embrace unbusyness and live a slower, greener, more intentional life:
Have a morning ritual
Your mornings should be sacred.
A slow, intentional morning routine can help you be more efficient and can lift your spirits up for the day. But it isn’t enough to just slow it down; you have to be mindful of what you are doing in the morning hours.
Set your alarm at a time that will allow you to pace in an unhurried fashion but will give you enough time to do all your morning rituals – whether you choose to start your mornings with a gratitude meditation, a yoga routine or walk around barefoot in your garden watering your plants, remember to enjoy the stillness and beauty of the quiet.
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Step outside if you can and immerse yourself in the fresh air or watch the beauty of the sunrise. Being the in present moment may help to increase your clarity and help you realize what is important. This simple ritual can also help foster a relationship with the planet and encourage you to see how you treat the environment. Take this opportunity to go back to nature. Be grateful for your existence and the world that was given to you.
Cook at home
Cooking with fresh and healthy plant-based ingredients is good for the body, soul and the environment. Here’s how:
Body – Home cooking empowers you to live a healthier life. You have the control to sift through the ingredients and decide which goes into the pot.
Soul – The simple joy of cooking can actually enrich the soul. It engages all your senses, you become more resourceful and let’s face it, when you create your dish to be served to your family, you care more about what you are doing. You care more about how it comes out. You care about the food you eat and the food your family eats. Cooking and dining together unites establishes family foundations in ways many activities can’t.
Environment – Cooking can help you lessen your carbon footprint. We live in a culture of convenience and it trains us to have pre-prepared or takeaway meals delivered to the doorstep or even choose food products that eliminates the need to chop, slice etc. Usually, these products are packed in plastic packaging which makes us produce more waste compared to just purchasing from the farmers market or produce section and cooking at home.
Social media detox
Social media can be toxic. Instead of practicing your gratitude meditation first thing, what do you do? You reach for the phone and scroll through your newsfeed. Some people have a better relationship with their phone than they do with human members of their family!
And how many claim to have ‘no time’ to segregate recyclables properly or compost, but have plenty of time posting on social media with the goings on of their busy lives?
Not to mention the comparison and competition it breeds within the community. Instead of being happy with what you have accomplished, you stress out and work double shifts or get a loan to be able to afford a trip overseas because everybody and their dog in your social network is traveling and doing the same.
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So disconnect. Unplug. Set a time for social media and stick to it. Track your usage if you have to. Delete apps if you must. But more importantly (and seemingly a lot harder to do for many), don’t measure your success by using someone else’s ruler.
Life is short. Commit to consciously slowing down and focus more on building relationships rather than winning the fictitious ‘success’ race. You shouldn’t aim to conquer the world, aim to fix our planet instead.
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- It’s Time to Stop the Glorification of Busy
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- Slow Fashion: Developing Artisanship for a Sustainable Fashion Industry
- 7 Mindful Living Apps That Monitor Social Media Usage And Help To Break Digital Addiction
- It’s OK to Have Some Time Out
- 30 Things You Can Do If You’re Feeling Helpless About Climate Change
- By Helping Them, You Help Yourself: Why Doctors Should Prescribe Volunteering
Feature image by Wesley Tingey via Unsplash.