This last year especially, I took greater steps to prioritise certain things in my life. For the last two years, I’ve been gradually working on healing my mental and emotional health after a mental breakdown and miscarriage shortly after. I’ve also been prioritising my physical health more as well.
I’ve started to properly do what people around me have been telling me for years: put myself first. Find things that make me feel good and that I find calming, grounding and healing. Above all, what I enjoy. As well as taking time out for myself, I find things that in the long run, can potentially help others and the planet as well, beneficial for my mental and emotional health.
For a while now, I’ve been purchasing the majority of my clothes from charity shops, as it’s a more ethical way to shop. It goes towards a good cause, it’s second hand, thus avoiding fast fashion, which not only has very questionable labour practices, but is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Plus, it saves money in the long run.
Recently however, I’ve upped my transitioning to living a more (hopefully, anyway) sustainable, lower waste lifestyle. Let’s face it, climate change is real and it’s happening. Measures are now becoming more accessible to reduce our carbon footprint in whatever ways we can. Food waste, plastics and non-recyclable waste is a real problem. I recently discovered, to my shock, that only 9% of plastic waste is actually properly recycled.
I’ve started using Ecosia (not sponsored, by the way). It’s a search engine that with approx. every 45 searches, a tree is planted in one of their designated sites. So far I’ve planted two trees. The engine as a whole has planted over 80 million trees from internet searches and ad revenue. It’s completely free and helps the planet. What more could you ask for?
I’m cutting down on buying products I don’t need (let’s face it, I don’t need the latest eyeshadow palette and I have been guilty of throwing things out before using them up), decluttering and donating what I don’t need to charity or giving these items to people that will use them. I’m lucky enough to live near multiple charity and antique stores, even a zero waste business, but I understand many do not have this accessibility.
As my plastic toothbrush was on its last legs, I’ve bought a bamboo toothbrush (which is compostable material) and reusable products, such as reusable shopping/produce bags, cotton rounds etc. I’ve also increased my upcycling of items I’ve used up, if I find they could have a second purpose. Along with using other plastic free items that I’ve experimented with in the past, such as affordable shampoo and conditioner bars from sustainable companies.
After much deliberation, I took the plunge and invested in a menstrual cup from Mooncup. I’ve recently switched to using organic cotton pads and tampons, but I’ve found them not to be as absorbent, despite helping somewhat with the environmental issues surrounding regular pads and tampons. Given their price point, it can be a bit risky if you’re on a budget, unless you can get them on the cheap. I’m yet to try the cup, but when my next cycle comes, you bet I’m going to be writing about it!
Over the long-term, I’m looking into cloth pads, low waste dish soap, eco-friendly laundry detergents and investing in a compost bin when me and my boyfriend purchase a house together.
And on that note…
PURCHASING A HOUSE
Me and my boyfriend are looking to buy our first home together soon. We’ve been working hard and saving up, and even had a little look online at what’s within our budget right now. Exciting! For those of you who don’t live in the UK, the housing market isn’t particularly great here. From my understanding, it’s not much better in the USA either.
With the cost of living rising while the wage bracket is staying the same, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to save up enough just even for a deposit. Not that it’s an easy task to begin with, but it’s much more difficult right now. So I’m happy, excited and proud that potentially soon, a place to call our own might be on the cards.
MIND, BODY AND SOUL
Now I know the title may seem what some call ‘hippy dippy’, but I totally own by self-proclaimed hippy-dippy-ness. I’ve been doing yoga almost every day over the seasonal period to keep up my exercise in between the long work hours, as well as taking walks weather depending. I also enjoy Pilates and high intensity cardio workouts and keeping a relatively balanced diet for general health and to manage my IBS.
Since the summer, I’ve shed around a stone. Hooray! Just got to keep at it and I’ll be back to where I feel most comfortable. I enjoy taking care of my physical health, and find it helps to clear my head too.
I’d like to prioritise journaling, reading more when I have the time to, and knitting. As you know, I’m agnostic but find reading and studying religious scriptures very calming, and something that tends to my spiritual side. While I may not follow any one particular faith, that doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate positive teachings or appreciate the beauty and poetry in its verses.
On the sexual front, I want to lessen any pressure I put on myself to either have orgasms or ‘perform’ a certain way. Performance anxiety is a very real thing, and I kind of see this period in time, where me and my boyfriend are finding different ways of intimacy together, as almost a sexual reset button for myself to re-explore my sexuality.
These aren’t much New Year’s Resolutions per se. I’m one of those people that if I don’t do everything I list on January 1st by the end of the year, I feel like I’ve failed. This I see as more of a continuation and growth of what I want to do, as opposed to what I feel I have do to feel more socially accepted.
Doing what little bits I enjoy and that can to help others and the planet, two big priorities of mine to begin with, has given me a newfound sense of peace in myself. Double-whammy in a good way!
I’m enjoying reading what others have put and hope what I’ve written helps others, and I sincerely hope you all have a good 2020.
*Photo – CJ Anderson