" 'feel blue' also 'have the blues'
- to be sad or depressed
- to miss something or someone to a great extend "
" 'go green'
Things are changing. We are going through 'social distancing' and we no longer interact with each other in the way that we were used to. We had to switch habits that we used to have and adapt to a different lifestyle for a while. We had to find new ways of connecting with people.
We are facing a situation where we are forced to adapt to a new lifestyle. Sudden changes are challenging and for some people can get a bit overwhelming. Adapting it's not always an easy job and some of us can already feel like having the blues more often these days.
The situation that we are facing, and the uncertainty that comes with it - economically wise, can be as well a huge source of stress. It is a natural thing - both being socially active, connected, and having the need of feeling secure are natural things, especially that we have grown in a culture that promotes social acceptance and consumerism that feeds all sorts of 'external needs'.
To adapt, we have to surrender.
Surrender is not “giving up”, but rather, it is letting go. Surrender is the action of contentment and gratitude, and knowing when to surrender creates peace, well-being, and space for new experiences.
Living a more mindful lifestyle will help us to focus more on us and our real needs. Mindfulness can also encourage us to be more aware of social justice and injustice, and more sensitive to context. It can help cultivate compassion and our intrinsic moral values which, in turn, can be reflected in actions for the common good.
Now that we understand what it means and why ' the blue' has been raised into this article and most importantly.. felt recently in our lives.. let's see what the #green can do and why are these presented at the opposite ends.
Going green means caring for the environment by making a deliberate effort to be part of the change. It is about limiting our footprint on the environment. Going green is about making small adjustments in your daily life to achieve this goal.
Making environmental decisions can seem tricky at first. However, with at least baby steps, by changing our habits and just paying more attention to our choices, we can make a difference.
Going green creates a healthy living environment and also improves lifestyle. For this reason, we must make a commitment towards living a green life which requires collaborating with others, planning and some creativity. The process begins at first by understanding the impact that can have on us and the environment and turning on a switch and being more aware of US. ...it begins by small conscious actions towards a more 'connected' lifestyle.
You may just not care for the environment.. but I bet you care about yourself. The thing is.. that it's quite connected.
Whilst little sustainability research addresses mindfulness, there is scientific support for its positive influence on: subjective well-being; the activation of (intrinsic/ non-materialistic) core values; consumption and sustainable behaviour; the human–nature connection; equity issues; social activism; and deliberate, flexible, and adaptive responses to climate change.
Amid wild nature, we feel more connected. One of the worst things we can do for our psyches is exist in a state of isolation. “The root of most depression is a fear that you aren’t worthy or wanted, that you don’t belong, that you’re separate, not connected,” says psychotherapist Jodi Aman. She likes to take patients to the trailhead across the street from her practice in Rochester, New York, and have clients lie down on the earth, touch the nature, and, yes, sometimes literally hug trees. “When patients feel connected to nature in a general sense, that de-isolates them, and when you see things from a larger point of view, your small problems don’t seem so bad,” Aman says. “You’re less likely to take everything personally—you don’t see your existence as utter chaos, but rather as something that has greater connections.”
Rachel Kazez, a Chicago-based licensed clinical social worker, agrees that spending time in nature is a perfect antidote to tunnel vision. “Being in the world reminds us that there’s a lot going on—not just you and your job,” she says.
Kazez says the simple action of tending to a plant can be quite powerful. “Doing something to care for the earth helps you feel more cared for,” she explains, adding that patients who are grieving or battling eating disorders sometimes care for plants or pets as part of treatment. “You’re seeing how you’re a piece of the puzzle—that because you interact with the ecosystem, you’re important to that system.” Western society can be pretty consumption-focused, but eco-consciousness instructs us to take only what we need, and to engage, to some extent, with the concept of subsistence living. “It teaches you to live within your means, at a speed that’s healthy for the earth, and for you, and that helps us become a lot more mindful,” Kazez says.
To go green means you opt for a sustainable and renewable way of living. A green lifestyle focuses on reducing, reusing and recycling whenever possible. Going green is a gradual process of changing your lifestyle by using products that are considered to be green and ensuring that you reduce the imprint you and your family leave on the environment.
How many shades of green?
First of all, I am not saying to go waste free - eco friendly - buy all bio stuff - and get yourself a yoga mat and try some asanas. ( although in many cases may help connect a bit with ourself and live more into our bodies rather than in our minds) but it's not about that. Not all of it. More often than not, the. words :
'eco-living'; 'sustainability'; 'mindful living' ;' low footprint' ; 'toxic - free' ; 'cruelty-free' , 'clean living'...etc.. for many people, picture only one image..
"The patchouli-smelling hippies coming out of the bushes smoking joints and humming Puff the Magic Dragon, wearing rainbow tie-dye."
To me, sustainable living is a state of mind. It starts with the understanding that we are one part of an intricately connected earth, and, therefore, that each and every action we take has a consequence.
Buying plastic bags at the store, everything wrapped up very heavily in plastic containers and plastic wraps, cleaning products full of chemicals, using plastic bottle every time we are on the go, ordering in for every meal while we are at home, all the charges left plugged in, lights left on even when not needed..it all ads up.
While thinking only about ' just a salad in a plastic bag' or that beautiful flower bouquet that was wrapped in plastic may not seem like a big deal, but that empty plastic packaging can’t go in our home recycling bins and ends up contributing to landfill; at best taking over 400 years to degrade on land, at worst causing the death of sea turtles who’ve mistaken it for food in our oceans.
The cleaning products that we use, or the guilty pleasure chips that we are snaking on every night at a movie, that plugged in bug repellent plugged in the whole year.. all of them are full of toxins and chemicals... The human digestive tract is home to an enormous population of microbes, collectively referred to as the gut microbiome. Disruption to the microbiome by environmental toxins prevents gut microbes from performing their important functions and has serious consequences for our health. Over time, microbiome disruption may even lead to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, allergies, and gastrointestinal disorders. It is crucial that we take steps to protect our gut microbes by avoiding toxic environmental exposures and by optimising the detoxification capacity of our bodies.
If an image can define a lifestyle, instead of all the things. that may help and I think that most of us, actually have an idea of what can we switch in our lives and what simple steps we can take to a better lifestyle... a different idea should be first created in our minds, that will help us shift our perspective into this whole "hippie" , " all or nothing" concepts...
You don’t have to stop using your favourite products and to get rid of your favourite habits to live more sustainably. Every small step matters. There is no point in having an all or nothing attitude... and more ofter ending up with the 'nothing' part of that attitude..
It just about the small changes, that can make a difference. For all of us it's going to be different as we have different interests and pleasures.
Maybe you really enjoy fast fashion.. but you wouldn't mind walking around more ofter as you can take it as an advantage to show off your newly bought pair of boots. Or maybe you will actually enjoy to find a beautiful glass bottle to carry around and stop buying unaesthetic plastic ones.
Maybe you would like to stop buying plastic bags every time but you seem to always forget yours at home.. then maybe choose to go at a farmers market instead where you can buy produce as it is and not get any more additional plastic, or just go for the 'bio' section in the grocery store.
Just think about where it came from and what it’s wrapped in. Buy locally made products whenever you can, switch off at the power point when not in use, enjoy the diversity of clean eating foods more often, use the time you have now on you