Day 17

Wellness

PARTNERS

Guayaki
The Story of Stuff Project
The Story of Stuff Project

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

 

You stare at screens for hours, persevering through a variety of virtual assignments, trying to stay attentive during online lectures, pushing yourself to study digitally, and connecting remotely with classmates and friends. Your eyes are strained and neck aches, but you continue to push through to complete your to-do list. Does this situation sound familiar?

COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s routine, causing us to adapt to entirely new work and learning environments. These shifts can be stressful and draining amid unprecedented times and compounding challenges. So let’s take a step back, breathe, and prioritize our own wellness.

To care for the planet, you must first care for yourself. During PGC, we’ve asked you to think about the big picture: your impact on the world through multiple lenses of justice, ecological footprints, waste, food, fashion and more. But the actions you take to care for yourself are just as (if not more!) important as the actions you take to care for the earth and others. We need a healthy, balanced, sustained YOU now and for the long haul — with the robust energy and stamina to be an effective, 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, while feeling your best!

Today, we invite you to sustain yourself! Take a deep breath, clear your mind, celebrate your extraordinary accomplishments thus far in PGC, 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 ten simple ways you can choose health and well-being in daily life! 

  1. Eat well. You are what you eat, and eating healthy, FLOSN (fresh, local, organic, seasonal, nutritious) foods provides you with the proper fuel to stay energized throughout the day.
  2. Exercise. It’s important to schedule time to move your body, especially after sitting for extended periods of time. Find a way to stay active that you enjoy. Exercise has many physiological and mental benefits, including reduced risk of chronic disease, increased productivity, and boosted mood.
  3. Disconnect from electronics. You’ve most likely been spending more time on electronics than usual, so let your eyes and mind rest from digital stimulation. To reduce strain, try turning on the blue-filter on your devices, and find leisure activities like reading books (yes, actual books!) or crafts that don’t involve a screen.
  4. Get your zzzs. It is important to prioritize quality sleep, even when an all-nighter seems like the only option to accomplish everything on your agenda. Sleep helps you retain information and perform better, maintain a healthy metabolism, and strengthen your immune system. For optimal sleep, turn off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime, have a consistent sleep schedule, and practice a calming nighttime routine. 
  5. Study smart. Eliminate distractions when studying. Turning off your phone when hitting the books means you’ll be more productive, leaving extra free time to spend however you’d like. Try the Pomodoro method as a productivity tool or the Forest app, where you can plant trees while staying away from your phone! 
  6. Follow your bliss. Have fun! Carve out time to do something that brings you joy and helps you relax. Whether that means going for a walk, talking with an old friend, painting (or doodling!), or reading a good book, make conscious time to do what you love.
  7. Practice mindfulness. Being fully present and aware of the world around you has proven to help manage stress, increase memory and attention, and even boost immune systems! Try a simple meditation practice here or here or read this article to see how you can incorporate mindfulness into everyday activities.
  8. 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 2-minute video on the science of gratitude and how to integrate it into your life.
  9. 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.
  10. Reconnect with Mother Earth. Immerse yourself in nature! Find a space, whether it’s your backyard, an open or nearby trail, where you can sit and engage all senses. Spending just 2 hours weekly in nature has been proven to have positive results physically, mentally and emotionally! 

Our partners for today’s challenge share similar missions of looking after the wellness of people and planet through responsible practices. Natracare provides organic, sustainable, plastic-free products that champion health for people with periods and ecosystems worldwide. Women’s Voices for the Earth works to eliminate toxins harmful from 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

Health and wellness don’t just become a part of your life overnight. That’s why Project Green Challenge is not only one day; it’s thirty days back-to-back! No one has ever created or broken a habit instantly. It takes conscious thought and attention, so let’s focus our energies on wellness practices. During PGC, we’ve asked you to go outside, to explore, to get in touch with nature, to listen, to set intentions, to reflect, all of which connect us to ourselves and surroundings in meaningful ways. But how do we look up from our screens long enough to make those types of practices second nature, and therein improve health, concentration, happiness, even our bodies’ ability to heal? 

CHALLENGE 

Think about positive habits in your life, perhaps taking inspiration from what has undoubtedly shifted during Covid-19, like Natracare outlines. Sit comfortably, either inside or out, maybe even with your phone off (or at least on airplane mode to remove distractions!) and a notebook or upcycled piece of paper and pen in hand!. Consider your personal life and routines. 

Define wellness in your own terms. Now write down at least three habits, could-be habits or repeated activities that foster wellness and bring you joy. Now write three habits or go-to behaviors that you would like to change or let go of to be a healthier version of yourself physically and/or mentally.Create a visual depiction, doodle or word cloud of as many positive habits around WELLNESS as you can think of — using inspiration from the above Challenge introduction or anywhere else. Post it on Instagram with a brief caption of what wellness means to you, tagging @TurningGreenOrg and @Natracare in the image itself and the caption, plus #PGC2020.

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

  • 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_2020.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • Link to images, if possible
  • 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 #PGC2020
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 few of us make gratitude a daily practice. It’s never too late to start being thankful or put that into higher gear! Even though we may be social distancing, that does not mean we have to be socially disconnected!

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 (if possible), whether face-to-face, by phone, video call or even send it by snail mail. Take note of their reaction and how it made both of you feel.

Share your letter and their reaction. Write a short reflection on this experience.

We will post winning submissions, unless you would prefer to keep it private. If so, simply let us know and it will stay between you and our team! And if you feel comfortable, post about it on social media. We would love to see and hear to inspire gratitude practices far and wide. Tag us @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2020, like always. THANK YOU!

DELIVERABLES 

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

Submission Guidelines

  • 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_2020.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • Link to images, if possible
  • 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 #PGC2020
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 incarcerated people. While it may seem complex, mindfulness is simply practicing the art of creating space – to think, to breathe, to recognize connections between ourselves, reactions, others and surroundings. Mindfulness is a mental and spiritual practice, but dedicated physical space that supports the process is known to be very helpful. We hope that heightened self-awareness will help you think about and further develop a vision of how you seek to effect change in the community and world. 

CHALLENGE 

Create a self-care sanctuary for practicing mindfulness, self-connection and relaxation. Get creative and dream big! And remember to prioritize sustainability and health, with the key learnings from PGC around the impact of using plastics, excess waste and more.

  • Curate a photo collage or Pinterest board that includes at least 10 items you would choose for this space to enable you to best tap into mindfulness.
  • What would help you destress or create a soothing environment? Include a note about why you included each item.
  • With your imagination flowing, pick a space (however small and cozy!) in your room, home or yard to designate as that self-care-sanctuary.
  • Start transforming the space into a mini self-care sanctuary using pieces you have at home — even taking advantage of light or drawing your own art or incorporating plants or twigs! Be innovative! For inspiration, look over these tips.
  • Once complete, sit in it for a moment, breathe deeply and center yourself through a practice of your choice.
  • Afterwards, write a brief reflection on your experience. How did it feel creating a sanctuary? How do you plan on using it? 

Share a picture of the space you curated and/or a screenshot of your self-care sanctuary photo collage or Pinterest board on Instagram with a caption about why self-care matters and your experience focused on creating space for mindfulness. Tag @TurningGreenOrg and @Natracare, as well as #PGC2020.

DELIVERABLES 

Upload a PDF Document with your photo collage or Pinterest board, picture of your new space, reflection and a screenshot of your social media post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • 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_2020.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • Link to images, if possible
  • 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 #PGC2020
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

TODAY’S PRIZES

Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest outstanding submissions will be selected as winners.

Each Greener Winner will receive:

Collection of Natracare products: tampons, pads, liners and wipes made with organic cotton that are free from plastic, chlorine, and perfume.

A copy of Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier by Leah Segedie provided by Natracare.

$40 gift card for Boodywear for those who don’t menstruate 

Each Greenest Winner will receive:

Collection of Natracare products: tampons, pads, liners and wipes made with organic cotton that are free from plastic, chlorine, and perfume.

A copy of Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier by Leah Segedie provided by Natracare

$40 gift card for Boodywear for those who don’t menstruate 

Chronicle Books: Mindfulness Cards  

Pact organic cotton socks