Midweek Mental Greening
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” – John Muir.
It’s Earth Day my friends, and I have 10 ways to celebrate that will help take care of both Mother Nature and your mental wellness.
1. Back away from the treadmill.
Lately, the weather here has been pretty rainy (and even snowy and sleety at times!), so my treadmill has gotten a lot of use. However, it’s warming up now, which means morning walks or jogs – and less electricity – are on the horizon.
2. Break ground on your garden.
April is a big month for turning your vegetable garden plan into a reality. Growing your own veggies is good for your brain, your soul, and the planet.
3. Talk with your doctor about alternatives to prescription medication.
Yes, I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but for some alternatives like exercise, talk therapy, and natural remedies work just as well as what comes out of those little bottles. Need some ideas? Check out yoga and sports therapies.
4. Take part in any of the Earth Day Network Policy Initiatives.
Clean air, green schools, and healthy food? They all sound like winners to me.
5. Donate your old gadgets.
Keep your old but usable electronics and technology like cell phones, computers, and fax machines, out of landfills by donating it to a person in need or a nonprofit organization. You can even ask if they could use your old office furniture.
6. Donate anything, actually.
Clothes, toys, that game console your kid had to have but hasn’t touched in two Christmases – make today a day of rounding it all up and bringing it to your local thrift shop or Salvation Army. Keep in out of the trash and let it help others.
7. Get crafty.
Engage your mind and foster creativity with crafts that help the planet. Need some ideas? Think about using the fabric from a tired pair of jeans to create a reusable shopping bag, or recycling and decorating an old laundry detergent container to use as a dry pet food scoop (just remember to clean it well!).
8. Clean something.
Something outside. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s Earth Day. Get outside and clean her up.
9. Shop locally.
You’ll hear this time and time again (you’ve probably already heard it a million times), but shopping locally is both good for the planet and helps keep local sellers in business. And remember, shopping locally doesn’t apply just to farmers markets and produce – there’s a massive “flea market”-style event in my area that runs from March until October, and it attracts many artisans as well. Your area might have something similar.
10. Be quiet.
If you do nothing else this Earth Day, make sure you set aside some time to pick a spot outside, relax, and take in your surroundings. Whether your environment consists of mountains, the beach, the countryside, or a busy city, there is beauty. Find it, be still, and appreciate it.
Remember, Earth Day is all about moving toward a healthy, sustainable planet, and you obviously want the same thing for your mind, right? Keep in mind there’s no reason to limit these efforts to once-a-year endeavors, though; taking care of the planet and ourselves is a lifelong mission.
Do you have any ideas or plans for Earth Day activities? Feel free to share ‘em in the comments!
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Sparks, A. (2009). 10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/22/10-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day/