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Top 10 ways to care for yourself as you care for the planet

I am guessing that you have felt it too, the burden of caring for the planet and wanting to work towards a better world can be pretty tough on our souls, especially when we know the gravity of the situation that we face. Sadness and overwhelm can come easily with this territory, especially for those of us who tend to be very empathic.

We need to care for ourselves along the way to support our wellbeing - after all, we are beings of the earth, and we all know the saying, in case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. This is how you do that!

Yep, it is sometimes just that simple. breathe. It helps in the moment, both physically and mentally supporting us to slow down, find calm and be more present. Here are some simple breathing techniques to apply.

The practice of caring for ourselves in a sustainable way to produce wellbeing that extends beyond just our lives, but also into the community and the environment is what Sustainable Wellbeing is all about. Learn how to generate it in your life.

Even though much of the work we do is in the support of ecological function, greener cities and biodiversity, we still need to remind ourselves that us spending time in nature is truly restorative. And the science backs that up. This is what you need to know about how nature benefits our bodies and minds.

When considering happiness and how to have more in our lives, it can be very useful to take a long-held teaching about finding the "Middle Path", where we don't just think of happiness as joy or pleasures in the moment, but rather as life satisfaction, and how to build contentment and peacefulness. Spend some time with Episode 07: The Middle Path to Happiness, on the Live. Well, Green. podcast to deepen your life satisfaction.

We don't have to do it all - and the more we realize that, the more effective we can be. When we pare down to what matters most, we feel calmer, and even find that our time becomes less strained when we are living with greater intention. Episode 39: Simplify to Amplify lays out how to live more intentionally and with greater impact as a result.

It is downright shocking how EASY it is to change your mood and overall happiness with the very simple act of expressing gratitude. I love the science behind this and I have felt the impact myself. I use this regularly, and when I have been low, this is one technique that has always helped. These are the tricks to get the most out of a gratitude practice, turning it into a simple way to improve your life.


"I am because we are." This African concept of Ubuntu can help us to remember that all living things are connected, and we rely on that connection in order to thrive. Considering how our actions will affect others, nourishing the relationships that are meaningful, and relating to others on a level of our shared humanity brings us together and feeds our souls. This is how to bring Ubuntu into your days.

Our bodies are meant to move, and when I allow myself to move in joy, with ease, and for sheer fun, the result is more joy, ease and happiness. Remember, these bodies of ours are physical, natural organisms that are made of the elements of the earth and beautifully varied and adaptable meant for physical connection, experiencing the wind in our hair, sunlight on our back and the ground beneath us. It is our connection to the physical, and that in itself can be a spiritual gift. Consider moving more simply for the joy of it!

As an added boost, when we move our bodies outdoors, appreciating nature and the elements, we get even more benefits. Now, I know it can be difficult to be outdoors in harsh weather, but there are plenty of ways to integrate a little movement outside without it being a 4-day trek into the wilderness! In Episode 28, of Live. Well. Green., I give you a whole slew of ideas that I like to implement to get active in nature in under an hour!

Well, I know that mindfulness and meditation are talked about quite a bit these days, but for good reason. These practices help us to step back and observe our thoughts, and for me, it has helped me to just "get out of my head" when I am too involved in spiraling thoughts, and it has also helped me to remember the common humanity that we all share. There are plenty of techniques to build mindfulness - try one and you just might find yourself 10 percent happier!

Yes, very often caring for ourselves means taking some time to slow things down, live more intentionally and just have some time off. In fact, there is an entire movement helping folks who feel caught up in the hectic pace of their lives, professions and the news cycle, to just s-l-o-w down a bit. This has so many benefits, from allowing us to focus more on what matters, to living more intentionally, and with greater depth and purpose. More is not always better. More is just more. In Episode 23, I chat with Carl Honoré, a leading voice in the slow movement, about living slower and bolder as we age.

 Ok, I know I said 10 ways, but I couldn't help giving you a little something extra...a final idea to help you care for yourself. Please, just remember that doing even small things, when they are in the right direction, can have real benefits. And any action that aligns with your values is worthwhile doing. For some inspiration here are some small acts that can get big wins!

Remember the words of Audre Lorde:

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

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