Sustainable Self Care for the Modern Mom
Let’s clean it up. For 2020, how many of us have resolutions that we’re finding hard to keep? Caring for ourselves, our kids and the planet keeps us very busy.
Personally, I have only a few #selfcare resolutions for this year. I set the bar super low for myself: Showering AND blow drying my hair, eating full meals, breathing. You know, the little things. Doing the big things like – gasp – sticking to a gym routine seem out of my grasp at the moment. Being a mom and an entrepreneur can make getting in a few steps and snack feel like a real feat.
Photography by Cristina Burns
And yet, there are four principals that taking care of the planet has helped me understand about taking care of myself. There may be "no planet B," but perhaps more importantly, there is only one YOU and we must take care of her, first. Here are four sustainable self care tips that I am committing to in 2020 and beyond. They involve a mental shift only – no heavy lifting required.
1. CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET
Your mental closet, that is. This means taking time to pause your mind from the daily churn. Instead of filling our empty spaces in between this and that with screens, take that time to look around, notice beautiful things around us, and breath. Just five minutes of breathing and thinking about that breath (ie, meditation!) makes me feel so much happier and lighter. Know how when your closet is cluttered it’s hard to fit new things in? Same with your brain. It needs a rest in order to generate new materials and stimulate creative ideas. And as moms, we need peak creativity. Motherhood is pure strategy: Getting a million things done at once while keeping everyone happy requires our brains to be at their best. We can accomplish so much more with ease and grace when we give our mind a few minutes a day to refresh.
2. GO PLASTIC FREE
As Janis from Mean Girls says, “You got your... Desperate wannabes, Burnouts… the greatest people you will ever meet and the worst: Beware of plastics.” As moms, we have so little space in our lives. We need to make sure to fill our world with people who are authentic, who help make us feel whole, who add value. Friends who we can trust to have our backs. When we prioritize these people over "the plastics," we leave the conversation feeling lifted and fulfilled.
Image credit: Imgur
3. GO ZERO WASTE
Wasted time, that is. I have absolutely fallen prey to the misguided belief that I will find something life-enhancing by scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or even the NY Times in the rare free moments that I have. False. Those minutes become dull, wasted time. For 2020, I am vowing to stop the waste and make it count. Not just food waste or disposable waste, but wasted time. Instead, I will be more present with my twins, call my momma, or just… breath.
4. MAKE IT CIRCULAR
A circular economy flips the current take-make-waste industrial model into one in which waste is eliminated and resources are instead preserved and circulated. It's just what we are doing at Shop Tomorrows. Instead of your kids' outgrown clothes wasting away in basement bins, those clothes are being reloved back into the family ecosystem, keeping them out of landfills. The same can be said for the love and energy we put forth and consume. In the words of The Beatles, "And in the end... the love we take is equal to the love we make..." Love is circular. In marriage and motherhood, friendships and relationships, the love we give generates love. It's hard to keep that principal in mind when tensions are high with a spouse or we are tempering a toddler tantrum. As I enter 2020 as a mom of two-year old twins, I want my guiding light for all relationships to be this statement: Just love them. How can you go wrong with this one?
Magical realism captured by Doan Ly.
The beauty of the four sustainable self-care principals above is that they require only the effort of the mind and the heart. Which isn't always easy. But nothing worth doing ever is.