Being a climate activist is a big part of many people’s lives — be it through having difficult conversations about the environment, taking steps to reduce your plastic consumption and carbon footprint, writing letters, or volunteering with NGOs. Sometimes, being a climate activist can feel overwhelming and difficult, so it is incredibly important to focus on self-care as part of your activism journey. It is important to remind ourselves that we cannot take care of the planet without taking care of ourselves first. Below is a guide of self-care techniques that help you feel recharged and replenished so you can take on the world (literally).
Journaling is a great way to give yourself time to reflect and unload when you are feeling overwhelmed. Writing a journal can look different for everyone and it can be great to experiment with different ways of journaling – writing letters, drawing pictures, making webs, writing down keywords, or any other ideas you can think of. We have added some prompt ideas below to try in your next journal.
1. Write a journal about things you love about yourself and things you are proud of
2. Write about a time you overcame a challenge in your life, how you did it, and how it felt
3. Write about things you are grateful for in your life and why they make you feel grateful
4. Write a letter to your future self – tell them about your life, your aspirations, things you have learned or things you want them to remember
5. Draw things that are making you feel overwhelmed to put them out on paper
5-Minute Morning Routine
Create a short morning routine that gives you a moment to spend time with yourself and relax before starting your day. This could include reading a few pages of a book, listening to your favourite song, doing a five-minute meditation or yoga, writing daily gratitudes or any other activity that suits you. Having the consistency of starting every morning with a positive and calming routine is an awesome strategy to pave the way for a great day.
Create a Clean Space
Try lighting a candle and putting on a movie, podcast or music, and cleaning your space. When you are feeling overwhelmed, having a clean space can reduce anxiety and tidy up your brain. Cleaning your room can also improve your day by saving time to look for things, making it easier to fall asleep, and making you feel more social.
Cook Something New
Cooking is a great way to take some time to yourself, nourish your body and mind, and learn something new. Try a cuisine you don’t normally eat for something different and exciting. Here are a few content creators you can check out for some recipe inspiration.
Take Yourself on a Date
Is there a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try? A coffee shop you keep walking past? A massage you’ve been dreaming of getting? Take yourself out. We all deserve a treat, and taking yourself out can be a nice way to encourage ourselves to enjoy our own company and to do something special for us.
Try a New Skill
Self-care can look like trying something new that we normally wouldn’t make time for. This could be trying a new form of art, taking up knitting, learning a new language, taking a course or trying a new sport. Learning a new skill can help build a routine of self-care and help you focus on self-improvement.
Go to a Museum
Going to a museum is a great interactive way to learn and experience something new. It could be an art, science or history museum – whatever you feel like.
Spending time outside can sometimes be a part of our to-do list to get in exercise, and while it is always good for our health, it’s great to be outside without any expectations other than just being. Try going for a mindfulness walk – doing little things like looking for different colours in nature or trying to spot an animal can help you be more present while being outside. Simply spending time sitting outside and taking deep breaths is also an excellent way to care for oneself, and lower the stress hormone, cortisol.
Caring about the climate also means caring about yourself. It’s important to focus on having guilt-free time for self-care, for as little as 10 minutes a day, that helps you rest, re-energize and feel more inspired. Take the time you need to prioritize your own well-being. Find a routine that works for you and encourage those around you to guiltlessly rest and recuperate.