Day 19

Wellness

SPONSORED BY NATRACARE

OVERVIEW

“When we walk like we’re rushing, we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth. Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master

It’s 2 a.m. and you’re cramming for an exam. You’ve been up for 24 hours straight. You’re running on nothing but caffeine and potato chips. You’re craving much needed shut-eye. But that final waits for no one. So you stay up in attempt to study, sacrificing health and well-being to pass the test. Sound familiar? 

Now consider a radical alternative: you put yourself first. What would that look like? 

During PGC, we’ve asked you to think about the big picture: your ecological footprint, waste you generate, food you eat and more. Given all of this information, it can be easy to forget to care for yourself. But YOU are everything, the key piece to any larger picture. 

To care for the planet, you must first care for yourself. 

Making wellness a part of your lifestyle helps ensure that you have the energy and stamina to be an effective and enduring changemaker. In moments of high stress, wellness may feel like a low priority. But with a toolbox of techniques and commitment to prioritizing health, you can actually accomplish a lot more in all aspects of life. 

Today, we invite you to sustain yourself! Take time to celebrate what you have accomplished over the past couple of weeks.It’s quite extraordinary. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, feel your feet on the earth.With that, let’s get started on your daily dose of wellness.

Here are eight easy ways you can begin improving your health and well-being! 

  1. Eat well. You are what you eat, and eating healthy, FLOSN (Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal, Non-GMO) foods not only takes care of your body, but the planet too. It’s a win-win!
  2. Exercise. It’s important to schedule time to move your body, even with a lot on your plate! Everyone is different, so find a way of keeping active that you enjoy, be it running, weight-lifting, doing yoga, biking, playing frisbee or your favorite sport. Exercise has many physiological and mental benefits, which include reducing risk of chronic disease, increasing productivity and boosting mood.
  3. Get your zzzzz’s. You know you need your sleep, but sometimes an all-nighter seems like the only option to accomplish everything on your overpacked agenda. Instead, prioritize a good night’s sleep. It helps you retain information and perform better, strengthen your immune system and maintain a healthy metabolism. If you find it challenging to fall asleep, try to stop using electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime, have a regularly consistent sleep schedule, and develop a calming nightly routine. 
  4. Study smart. Eliminate distractions when studying. Turning off your phone when hitting the books means less hours aimlessly scrolling social media feeds or checking notifications and more time hanging out with friends in person or sleeping! Try the Pomodoro method as a productivity tool. 
  5. Follow your bliss. Have fun! Carve out time in your schedule to do something that brings you joy and helps you to relax. Whether going for a walk, talking with an old friend, painting, or reading a good book, take some time to do something you love.
  6. Practice mindfulness. Being fully present and aware of the world around you has proven to help manage stress, increase memory and attention, fight depression and anxiety, and even boost the immune system! Where to start? Try a simple meditation practice here or here.
  7. Practice gratitude. Be thankful and show appreciation for your life and those around you. Similar to mindfulness, gratitude has been shown to increase happiness, reduce blood pressure, improve sleep patterns and even prolong life! Check out this short 2-minute video on the science of gratitude and how you to integrate it into your own life.
  8. Explore holistic alternatives. Holistic medicine helps people regain balance in life by considering the whole person: body, mind, spirit and emotions. Consider natural remedies and preventive self-care.

Our partners for today’s challenge are on the front lines of looking after the wellness of people and planet through business practices and missions. Natracare provides organic, plastic-free personal care products that champion health for women, societies and ecosystems worldwide. Women’s Voices for the Earth works to eliminate toxins harmful to women’s bodies and the environment. Made Safe is the first third-party certified non-toxic seal for daily use products.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

THINK

Throughout PGC, we’ve learned a lot about what we can do for the planet that does so much for us. By taking time outside to experience all Mother Nature has to offer, we can better appreciate our interconnectedness. Being in nature has also proven to improve concentration, increase happiness and even boost our bodies’ ability to heal!

We know it’s hard (and somewhat ironic), but let’s all try to be more aware of the world around us, instead of solely having our heads buried in tiny screens!

CHALLENGE 

Practice disconnecting. Turn your phone off or put it on airplane mode to leave distractions behind. Get outside in a place you enjoy. It may be as simple as stepping outside your building, finding a trail, or strolling a nearby garden, field or park. Observe your surroundings with particular note to nature. Tune in to your senses: what do you see, smell, feel and hear? When you have returned from your walk, here are some things to think about:

  • Did you notice anything new, even if it is a walk you do often? (50 words)
  • Write five words describing how you felt after your walk. 

DELIVERABLES 

Upload a PDF Document with your responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greener

40 POINTS

THINK 

Showing appreciation for life and those around us is one of the simplest ways to improve well-being. Yet so few of us make gratitude a daily practice. It’s never too late to start being thankful, so today’s challenge will help you kickstart that or put it in higher gear!

CHALLENGE

Start by watching “An Experiment in Gratitude: The Science of Happiness” video. After reflecting on this video, think of a person for whom you are grateful. Write a letter to this person detailing why you are grateful. Include at least 5 ways they have positively contributed to your life. Be personal, intentional and genuine. 

After you have written your letter, read it to that person face-to-face, by phone, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype or send by snail mail. Take note of their reaction and how it made you feel. 

Share your letter and their reaction (submissions will be kept private for this challenge). Write a short reflection on this experience.

DELIVERABLES 

Upload a PDF Document with a copy of the letter. Share how they responded and also how you felt. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greenest

60 POINTS

THINK

The benefits of mindfulness are widely known, promoted by health professionals, celebrities, self-help gurus, even marines and inmates. While it may seem difficult, mindfulness is simply practicing the art of creating space for ourselves – to think, to breathe, to recognize connections between ourselves, reactions, others and surroundings. We hope that heightening of self-awareness will help you think about and develop a clearer vision of how you want to make change in the world. 

CHALLENGE 

Read this “Mindfulness Techniques to Reduce Stress” article. Check out this infographic for a more in-depth explanation of those practices. Throughout the course of today, make time to try at least two of the mindfulness practices. After practicing mindfulness for the day, tell us:

  • What did you notice about your emotions and thoughts before and after each practice? Was there any difference?
  • Which practice did you prefer and why?
  • Were there any external or internal barriers that impeded you from having an effective mindfulness session? How might you eliminate those barriers in the future? 

Share your experience and encourage others to practice mindfulness with a social media post. Tag @TurningGreenOrg and @Natracare with #PGC2019.

DELIVERABLES 

Upload a PDF Document with your responses and a screenshot of your social media post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Extra Credit

75 POINTS

Extra Credit due on October 24 @ 6am PT.

Up to 100 bonus points awarded for outstanding work.

THINK

Now that you have thought about wellness in your own life, it’s time to think about wellness on your campus.

CHALLENGE

Look through the following campaigns from today’s partners:

Think about each of these campaigns in the context of your school. Are you exposed to any of these toxic, wasteful products on your campus? Select a campaign and do some research on where your school stands.

Next, gather fellow students to educate and empower your peers around the campaign. Consider starting a petition!

Lastly, put together an overview report of how you rallied on your campus. What actions did you take? Was it successful? For next time, what would you suggest on doing differently or improving?

DELIVERABLES 

Upload a PDF Document with your responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_extracredit_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org

TODAY’S PRIZES

Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest of the most outstanding submissions will be chosen as winners and awarded prize points to redeem in the PGC Prize Store. Greener wins = 75 prize points, Greenest wins = 100 prize points. Check the Winners page to see if you’re selected!

5 submissions will be randomly selected to receive:

Natracare “Green Enough” by Leah Segedie
Wish Garden Deep Stress Tea

Option 1:
Natracare Organic Cotton Tampons, Ultra Pads, Panty Liners
Natracare Organic Cotton Makeup Removal Wipes, Reusable Tote Bag

Option 2:
Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Cotton T-Shirt, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Balm

Each time you submit a challenge, you get an entry. Complete Green, Greener, and Greenest to triple your chances!

Extended deadlines and extra credits do not apply.