Archive for the ‘Well Being’ Category

Eco-anxiety

Posted by: team sweet

January 20th, 2010 >> Green, Well Being

long way

Over the past few years, I’ve experienced little bouts of eco-anxiety. These consist of me worrying about where the planet is heading and how much I am doing (or moreover am not doing) to help fight against the earth’s demise. Oftentimes, I get into a bit of a panic, and sometimes I annoy others around me in the process. But what am I to do with this pent up anxiety? A quick google search lets me know that I am not alone in my worry but I have yet to find an eco-anxiety support group nearby, so for now it’s up to me to figure this out.

I am still learning how to cope with my environmental worries. Just this morning, I rang my mother to tell her I’d been searching the internet for ways to be a greener person. After spouting off a handful of things I could do to be a more eco-conscious individual, I had to take a breath and realize that all this worrying won’t actually solve anything. I need solid, actionable steps… and maybe a willing and ready ear to listen to me a few times a year.

So, where do I begin? I already have a pretty thorough recycling routine down. When I can afford it, I buy eco-friendly cleaners, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc. I make sure to bring my reusable shopping bags to the supermarket… but I know there is so much more to do and the commitment is a bit daunting.

When I look online there is a mountain of information and to be frank it is ridiculously overwhelming; it leaves me looking like a deer in headlights. So, I’ve realized slowly that I have to break it into bits.

If you’re looking to start somewhere or to do more, start with these websites:

Treehugger

Planet Green

They have a long list of guides on just about everything to help you go green. The long list of lists they provide are a bit scary at first, making you feel like you’ve done nothing to help, but like I said, take them in chunks. I’ve decided to start by greening my new apartment. Pick one subject area and then take a look at it. Don’t go through all of the lists, otherwise you’ll end up in a coma.

Make checklists in your own home with the steps you’re taking. I’ve started one and so far it lists shorter showers, making my own cleaners at home, switching over all my light bulbs and turning off/unplugging my computer and other electronic devices. Having the list around reminds me in a friendly, and step-oriented way of what I am focussing on.

Get inspired by looking at what other people are up to:

Check out Sleeping Naked is Green, a funny look at one woman’s year in green

and

The 100 Mile Diet – two peoples’ adventure in local eating

Go to a  green drinks and meet other people who are interested in the environment. These informal meet-ups are meant for people working in green industries but even if you aren’t involved directly, I am sure people wouldn’t be opposed to enthusiastic individuals dropping by.

If you’re looking to make a big purchase, check out the green buying guides at Treehugger.

Remember to breath. No one knows how all this is going to pan out, so just do the best you can and stay informed. And now we dance!

New Town, New Challenges

Posted by: team sweet

January 17th, 2010 >> Well Being

mailbox

I live in a town that is very new to me. I arrived knowing no one. I waver between feeling completely ridiculous for moving to a town where I have no friends, family or familiar places to turn to and feeling like I am challenging myself in a positive way.  I’ve done this a few times over though, so I’m starting to figure out how to make friends quickly and how to make myself more comfortable in a foreign setting.

Here are Team Sweet’s

“Ohmygoodness I have no friends and this doesn’t feel like home”

List of Remedies:

1. Find a coffee shop to frequent - Try to find one where the baristas are a bit smiley and happy to be serving up tasty coffee to you; Otherwise, you’ll end up feeling a bit disenchanted right off the bat. Take your laptop or a notebook there and draw, doodle, write and people watch. It feels way easier to sit at a coffee place than at a bar alone.

2. Find events to go to - Go to an event where there won’t be much lull between watching/listening, etc. I prefer concerts because you don’t have a lot of awkward alone time, other than the breaks between sets. Plus, you’re in a room full of people with a similar interest as you.

3. Be accessible - I love carrying around and listening to my ipod but  oftentimes I use it as a crutch if I’m feeling awkward, so try to forgo the music to make yourself easier to talk to.

4. Take a class, join a gym – Get out there and do activities where not everyone is going to know each other. If they’re all in a similar position to you, it’ll be easier to strike up a conversation.

5. Be chatty to people at boutiques, shops, video stores, etc. I’ve met a lot of awesome people doing this and I usually ask them about the town as well, so I gain some local knowledge too.

6. Get a job where you’ll be front of house, talking to people every day. I currently work at an art gallery/boutique and have met heaps of people. If you’re work situation is less conducive to meeting people, then think about volunteering at a place where you can have more face time with the public

7.  Don’t be hard on yourself – There’s nothing wrong with having a lack of friends in your new town when you first arrive. It takes time to adjust. Remember to chill out and be good to yourself. Relax!

8. Style it up, kids! I moved to a smaller town than I am used to. In the city, there are millions of people, so no one looks twice when you walk down the street in your high heels with a big ‘ol bow on your head. At first, being in this smaller town intimidated my fashion prowess but I decided to say ‘the hell with it!’ Now I strut my  stuff and have gotten a lot of compliments because of it. Having fun with fashion can open up the door to compliments and conversations about similar interests.

Go get ‘em!

Transition periods

Posted by: team sweet

July 16th, 2009 >> Well Being

Don't Rock the Ferris!When you’re standing in the middle of nowhere and have to make a choice but there’s no one around to influence you, is this what a life defining moment is all about? – You defining you? And if you’re choice is simply to continue moving forward, is that enough of a choice?

Right now, I’m sitting in a rocking chair on a balcony overlooking a suburban street, lined with historic homes with white columns and vast front porches.

Right now, I’m a person who has lost their beloved grandfather and is grieving the loss of an important relationship.

I’ve moved away from my job, my friends, a community I love. So, is this me without all of these defining attributes, the purest form of me? Whoever this is, whatever this is, it feels completely empty yet completely full at the same time. You have so much choice when there’s nothing but you to answer to. Other than just the standard questions we face on a daily basis… the “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” or “Fruit Loops” conundrum, there’s a much more resonating question: “Who will I be?”

Without anyone setting the boundaries for me, it all comes out a bit mysterious and overwhelming. But putting on my mental health hat, why not ask this question everyday – who do you want to be? Isn’t part of life creating that person? Even though it’s intimidating to be able to choose how to define my life from here, it is also freeing and exciting.

So who will you be? How will you create that?

Oh yeah, and remember to breathe. :)

(Thanks for reading!)

Pure Happiness

Posted by: team sweet

June 19th, 2009 >> Photography, Well Being

New Zealand, I love you.

New Zealand, I love you.

photo by Lisette de Jong, Mt. Eden, 2009