Self Care - Wellness - Adventure

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My 5 Favorite Self-Care Products: All-Natural + Nontoxic

My 5 Favorite Self-Care Products: All-Natural + Nontoxic

Looking for items to add to your self-care routine? Or, simply wondering where to begin? Either way, you’ve come to the right place. I’m sharing 5 of my ride or die, tried and true self-care products. These products are the best of the best – […]

How to Stop being a People Pleaser

How to Stop being a People Pleaser

If you’re a people pleaser, you know that saying ‘yes’ to everyone can compromise your well-being. People pleasing can lead to feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and rundown. Start saying ‘yes’ to the things that ignite the fire in your soul – and ‘no’ to everything else. […]

Journaling for Stress Relief + Relaxation

Journaling for Stress Relief + Relaxation

Have you ever felt like you were boiling over? Like there’s so much on your plate that taking a moment to take care of YOU is totally out of the question? Well, what if small moments of self care each day could prevent stress? What if you made it a habit to do one nice thing for yourself each day?

That’s what journaling is for me, and a lot of people. Truthfully, most of us don’t have time for an intense self care practice. A bath, 20-minute face mask, and exercise? Yea, right. That’s why I love journaling. 3 minutes – that’s it. We all have 3 minutes to set aside for ourselves.

Journaling is about taking a few minutes each day to de-stress and release what’s on your mind – no judgement, no one giving advice. And, this isn’t some woo-woo, hippy self care practice. This study found that journaling or diary writing among college students was helpful for reducing stress. Cool, right?!

Journaling will force you to put your phone down and focus on one thing – writing. Do you look at your phone first thing in the morning? AND right before bed? Me too. But, I’m trying to break the habit by picking up my journal when I wake up. This allows me to start my day off in a slow, gentle way – versus being bombarded with notifications.

Self care isn’t only for stressful moments. Taking care of yourself can stop the mind-numbing stress before it happens. Adding journaling to your self care practice will help you feel happier, more grateful, and organized.

If you’re looking for more journal ideas, check out 10+ Journaling Prompts + Why Journaling is the Ultimate Self Care Practice.

Venting for stress relief

Sometimes you just need to VENT. The nasty customer from this morning, your annoying coworker, or maybe life is just hard lately (you’ll get through it, I promise). Your journal can be an outlet for anger, sadness, and frustration. Let your negative thoughts spill onto the page.

When you vent to a friend, you can unintentionally bring that negative energy into their life. Also, journaling is the perfect outlet to complain without having to listen to someone’s advice. There’s times when we just need someone to listen – not give advice and tips and tricks and whatnot. Your journal can be that for you.

Release any tension into your notebook. Maybe you bit your tongue at work today and it’s been bothering you all day – write about it. Or you got in a fight with your husband – express your feelings through writing. This way, when it’s time to have a conversation, you’ve already said all the negative things you need to and can focus on the positive.

Planning ahead

It may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. We’ve all been there. Stress often comes from having way too much on your plate.

Make a list of your priorities. This will allow you to focus throughout your day. One thing at a time. Then, you can cross it off once the task is complete. Doesn’t that feel great?!

When I am feeling overwhelmed, my journaling time sometimes turns into a page of lists. Daily plans, grocery lists, to-do lists. You name it. And even though I’m not venting about my feelings or setting goals, I’m getting what’s on my mind down onto a piece of paper. My thoughts become tangible and I can see what I need to focus on.

I review my plans throughout the day/week and reevaluate. My -a million and one things to do- are now on a piece of paper. It feels good to organize the mumbo-jumbo that is happening in our brains.

Taking time for you

Self care x 100000. It’s so important! I’m constantly practicing how to chill out, take time for myself, and not feel guilty about it. Self care is not selfish.

 

Set a goal to write for 3 minutes each day. Some days, 3 minutes is all you need. Other days, you may find yourself word vomiting for 30 minutes. Either way, it’s time that you have specifically set aside for YOU.

There may not be enough hours in the day, but if you make journaling a habit, you will ALWAYS have at least a few minutes to yourself. This could be time to just sit in silence, unwind, and breathe. Or, it could be time to jot down all the thoughts buzzing around your mind. Either way, it’s designated “me” time. And you can’t cancel an appointment with yourself!

If you do have an extra few minutes, check out my favorite DIY Natural Face Masks or pin it for later. The more self care, the better!

Showing gratitude

There are times when journaling isn’t about venting or making lists. Gratitude lists are helpful in times when you’re incredibly overwhelmed OR incredibly calm. Either way, you have something to be thankful for.

When you’re stressed, it can be really difficult to take a step back and realize “Wow, there’s a lot of good in my life.” We are constantly thinking about the ‘what’s next?’ that we don’t realize the amazing things we already have.

Gratitude lists are a huge stress relief for me. It helps me to realize that even if I don’t get every single task accomplished today – I still have an awesome family, a home, and access to nourishing foods.

It doesn’t have to be deep. You can be grateful for your morning cup of coffee and that’s it. It’s something.

Take a step back from the million things on your plate. Vent about your crabby coworker. Make a plan to get shit done. Take care of yourself.

Through journaling every day, you will feel prepared when stressful times come around. Now, you have a daily, positive, stress relieving practice.

notebook-journal

Interested in starting your own journaling practice? I’ve linked a few adorable journals/notebooks to help you get started!

*This lemon covered, Kate Spade journal is too cute for words! I have a few notebooks, but my daily journal is full sized. This way I can get all my ideas out on one page without having to constantly flip, flip, flip.

*This list building, journal of weekly prompts will give you something to write about each week. This is great for starting out or if you want to journal for creative purposes.

*A planner-journal combo is ideal if you have three million thoughts racing through your brain at every given moment. You can plan, write, organize, and be creative in one place. Also, inspirational quotes are scattered throughout (and I’m a sucker for quotes)!

Don’t let your mindful journey stop here – pop on over to How Sustainability Will Improve Your Life or Eco Friendly Travel Tips.

Do you practice self care daily? What are some of your favorite ways to relieve stress? Let me know in the comments below. And, connect with me on social media!

I’m considering setting up a Journaling Challenge to start off 2018… 30 days of journaling, including daily prompts AND a Facebook community for inspiration. Anyone interested?! If so, “like” The Mindful Mile Facebook page and let me know. Or, join my email list for weekly updates. Or, BOTH!

That’s all for now. Do me a favor and go do something nice for yourself, mmkay?!

Prepare Your Garden for Winter

Prepare Your Garden for Winter

It’s that time of year, again. We hope that it will come later and later each year. We pray for a few more days of sunshine and warm breezes. We wear flip flops until our toes our numb. But, it’s about time we admit it. […]

DIY – Humidify Your Home this Winter

DIY – Humidify Your Home this Winter

Humidify your home without spending a dime! Colorado has officially welcomed its first snow flurry!! I know so many people that despise winter, but I am NOT one of those people. Bring on the shorter days, snow flurries, and hot chocolate. The snowier, the better! […]

How Sustainability Will Improve Your Life

How Sustainability Will Improve Your Life

green-living-zero-wasteFriends! Hi! I’ve missed you! Hello! Wow, sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. My computer had a complete meltdown which set me up for a complete blogging meltdown. Blah. BUT, I’m back!! Back on my green living, sustainability, and adventurous shiz.

And, I’ve had a bit of an epiphany as far as sustainability is concerned…

Here’s the deal – we all want to live a life where we can feel good, make a positive impact, and have fun. That’s what it’s all about, right? And, realistically, it’s not that simple – but parts of it can be.

Green living ties all that good stuff together. Seriously. If you don’t believe me, I’m more than happy to spell it out for you.

I feel like green living sometimes gets a bad rap. When I say that I have a degree in Environmental Studies people think I’m about to get on a soap box and talk about veganism and solar panels. And while I love to garden, and make homecooked meals, and walk to the store (exercise, hullo!), I will NEVER lecture you about it.

I don’t have dreadlocks or drive a Prius or live out of a tent (at the moment). I am environmentally conscious…but I still taking piping hot baths, drive an SUV, and own way too many shoes.

The point is – I am not the perfect, green consumer. And you probably aren’t either. But there are so many tiny things we can do to change for the better!

Maybe someday I’ll be living in the mountains with my solar panels and goats, but until then…let’s take baby steps together.

Make an IMPACT

First, transitioning to a less wasteful lifestyle has a positive impact on the world. Not only are you reducing the number of landfills, but you’ll also be saving beautiful beaches, mountains, and wildlife.purple-rose-sustainable-living

Every week I go on a hike and find trash. It’s incredible (and not in a good way). If I am finding trash on hiking trails near hippy dippy Boulder, then I can’t even imagine the amount of trash that piles up in other cities. Luckily, Boulder hippies and nature lovers pick up the trash eventually for proper disposal. This prevents it from being eaten by an innocent animal or eventually releasing toxins into our soil (uh, where we grow food – gross).

There are unvisited beaches that have trash on their shores. It sounds unbelievable, but I am so serious. Instead of getting overwhelmed by this information, do something! Make a change. Take action. Make your impact on this world a positive one. I want to leave the earth in better condition than when I came into it.

If you’re wondering how you can start your positive journey, take a look at my blog archives. The Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste and Steps to Reduce Produce Waste are great places to start.

Feel GOOD!

Once you start making tiny, positive changes that you know are helping our planet, you’ll probably feel pretty good about it! You’re saving the environment, saving animals, composting up a storm, etc. But it’s more than that. Sustainability can have underlying health benefits, too.

vegetables-garden-go-green-sustainability

Let’s use an example, eh? Let’s say that on your sustainability mission you have begun shopping at your local farmers market. Awesome! The food your buying is nourishing, local, and probably organic. You have 1. Provided your body with some good ish *cue happy gut* 2. Reduced your food miles and therefore reduced pollution *mother nature clapping* and 3. Supported a local family *feel good butterflies in your heart*

By taking this one action, you are improving your life both physically and mentally. It trickles down, too. You are voting with each dollar you spend. Vote for the small farmer, the loving family, the creative woman.

Feel good about what you’re doing because you are supporting people LIKE YOU! Feel good in your body because you are finally properly nourished! It’s not rocket science – it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Have FUN

Life is about FUN and enjoyment. I’m about to save you years of soul-searching….Having fun is literally the meaning of life. I’m 100% serious.

If you’re not enjoying yourself, then what is the freakin’ point?! Nothing has value unless it is enjoyable. Why do you think people love vacation? And spending time with friends? And shopping? Because it is fun!

So, now that I’ve made that crystal clear. It’s time to make everything in your life more fun – including sustainability!

This is where my passion stems from. I have made my green lifestyle such a blast that I wouldn’t want to live any other way. I enjoy my time gardening – when my first chili peppers are ready in the summer, I feel like a kid on Christmas.

Getting creative in the kitchen brings me joy. I love making homecooked meals and baked goods. I haven’t always felt this way, but I’ve made it…you guessed it, fun. Put on some Dave Matthews Band, get your groove on, and get cooking!

Go for a walk with friends instead of going shopping. Make your own face mask and r.e.l.a.x.

vegetable-garden-happy-girl

Chances are – you’re already making sustainable choices without even realizing it! Take it a step further and have a blast with it. If you’re making a green choice, you are inherently making a positive impact on the environment which should make you feel good. So, make it fun, too! If gardening isn’t your jam, try something else.

Sustainability is not “one size fits all.” And as I mentioned before, you don’t have to start protesting and driving a Prius to go green. Baby steps make a big difference. What if every single person on this planet stopped using plastic bags? That would be HUGE!

That’s what sustainability is about. Positive change. Feeling good. Having fun. Community.

What green choices have you made lately? Let me know in the comments. I finally ran out of coffee filters and bought a reusable filter for $5. Yay! Let’s celebrate our small wins together <3

Feeling inspired? Pop on over to my Zero Waste Lifestyle Guide, Eco Friendly Travel Tips, or 28 Tips to Reduce Plastic Use.

Best Zero Waste Kitchen Swaps (to save you money!)

Best Zero Waste Kitchen Swaps (to save you money!)

Time to talk about the kitchen. It’s either your favorite room in the house – or your least favorite. I have a love-hate relationship with this space. For one, my kitchen always needs to be cleaned. Crumbs somehow appear after I’ve finished an entire sanitation session […]

Make Your Favorite Fall Activities More Sustainable

Make Your Favorite Fall Activities More Sustainable

Happy October, y’all! Are we excited or what?! I know that fall officially started a few weeks ago, but September is a summer month in my book. So, now that October is here, I can finally embrace all things fall – cool weather, changing leaves, […]

How to Avoid and Prevent Produce Waste

How to Avoid and Prevent Produce Waste

avoid-produce-wasteFood can bring people together in so many ways. Typical sustainable food choices center around buying from local, organic sources. While these can be great options, there is a super easy, super green tip that won’t break the bank.

Avoid produce waste.

If there is one thing that humans can agree on, it’s that we all love food. And I mean everyone. It could be homemade pizza in the oven, fresh chocolate chip cookies, or anything in between – even the smell of food makes me giddy.

Most of us have specific food memories, too. For me, a crockpot of chili brings me right back to my dad’s couch. On Sunday’s my entire family would cuddle up and watch the Chicago Bears throw yet another interception. Most of us roll our eyes, my brother tosses out a few curse words, and then we all laugh and say, “At least Chicago has the Blackhawks,” while drowning our sorrows in a delicious, piping hot bowl of chili. Even a faint smell of chili reminds me of those cozy days.

I have so many memories centered around food – even food traditions. Summer fish fries, Thanksgiving at Mom’s house, soup after a long day of snowboarding – the list goes on and on. What are some of your favorite food memories? Do any smells bring you back to “that one time when…”?

For the purpose of keeping things more blog-y and less novel-y, I’ll focus on produce waste, for now. Meat scraps and grease are a whole different ball game.

avoid-and-prevent-produce-waste

Wow, so many sports references today. Anyways!

Reducing your produce waste is a great way to start making sustainable food choices. Especially if you don’t have the budget for local, organic food (or you’re just not into it. Hi organic movement, I see you, and I’m not totally on board). Avoiding waste will also save you money. Lots and lots of money.

Because everything that you were tossing can now be reused, or stored differently, or simply composted. I’m sure everyone knows by now that composting is my favorite. I love it.

Let’s get started on the rest of it.

Check out these Eco Friendly Travel Tips for more ways to reduce your environmental impact. If you’re looking for easy ways to live a sustainable lifestyle, start with this Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste and 28 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

Plan ahead

I like to have a few meals in mind while I am making my grocery list. This way, I know the exact ingredients I need and I won’t buy too much OR too little. Each item has a purpose. Also, I prefer to coordinate my meals to use some of the same items. Chances are that you won’t use a whole bundle of cilantro for one meal. If tacos are on your meal list, put together a homemade salsa or salad to use the rest of the cilantro. Make two (or more) recipes that require that same ingredient so it doesn’t go to waste.

Take inventory of what you already have

We’re all guilty of it. I’ve come home with a bunch of bananas only to find an entire bunch still sitting on my counter from last week. What does one do with a dozen bananas (banana bread, anyone)? So, take inventory of everything you already have – produce, meats, dairy, grains, all of it. Try to plan your meals around this list, and then only buy what you really need. This way you won’t end up with a heap of bananas.

Buy produce twice a week

If you find that your fruits and veggies are losing their crunch after the first few days, only buy a little at a time. This is much more important when the seasons change and winter sets in. During the summer, most fruits are in season and will last an entire week. But, when the leaves start to change, my berries and plums go bad within days because their growing season is over. So, when the temperature gets a little cooler, take this into consideration. If you want berries later in the week, you may need to make a quick run to the store on Wednesday, instead of stocking up with everything on the weekend. Or, you can…

Eat according to the seasons

Shopping at a farmer’s market makes this super easy. Farmers only supply what is seasonally available. Garlic and potatoes may be available year-round, but peaches? Forget about it. Even if you live in a seasonally-challenged area (hey Florida friends), keep in mind that the weather is changing elsewhere. I often fall short in this area, but it’s something I am constantly working on. It is tough to resist strawberries in February when you are desperately craving some sweet, berry goodness. But from experience, the prices are jacked way up and the berries aren’t nearly as sweet as they were in July. If you eat with the seasons, your produce will last longer and taste fresher.

Store your food properly

This can be tricky, but there is a proven, and best, way to store your produce. Ideal conditions vary, but temperature and light exposure are two factors to keep in mind. For a proper produce storage list, check this out. Also, don’t forget to keep half cut onions, peppers, zucchini, etc. I generally don’t use an entire pepper when making dinner for two, so, I store the extra half in the fridge. These glass containers will work wonders.

Make your produce visible

A refrigerator stocked full of produce is such a beautiful sight. Don’t cram all your veggies into the “produce drawer.” Let them breathe! Make your produce visible so you know exactly what you have. Keep your peppers in the produce drawer and let the rest of your produce hang out on the shelves. You won’t forget to use up those beautiful vegetables when they’re staring right at you.

Freeze fruits that are going bad

It’s not a lost cause if you notice your berries going bad halfway through the week. Rinse ‘em off, chop ‘em up, and pop ‘em in the freezer. These storage containers are awesome if you want separate storage compartments. I plop frozen fruit into a blender each morning for a green, yet fruity, smoothie. Frozen fruit can often be used for baking, too. Make sure you’re not keeping fruit that is already bad, though. Mold is always a no go.

Make vegetable stock

Sometimes your veggies start to go bad, too. Vegetable stock is an awesome option in that case. Vegetable stock is also a good way to use up veggie scraps like carrot ends, onion middles, and tomato pieces. Try freezing your almost-bad-veggies and scraps instead of tossing them straight into the compost pile. Mix your veggies into boiling water, sprinkle salt and pepper, let simmer, and TA DA! Your very own vegetable stock. Save the earth, save some money, and save your conscience, too.

Compost

This is a bonus. If all else fails, you can always compost your produce waste. Make some nutritious plant food for next year’s garden, or someone else’s garden (in my case). Because who wants free, nutrient dense soil for next year’s garden? Everyone – that’s who. For the low down on composting, even in an apartment, check out my How-To Guide on Composting. And how cool is this adorable apartment composter?! Definitely adding it to my wish list.

While the kitchen is a great place to start, don’t forget to check out Zero Waste Bathroom Tips to make your entire home greener.

So, at your next dinner party, date night, or even while making a homecooked meal just for you (I love those!), think about how you can reduce, reuse, or recycle/compost your produce. I love diving more into sustainable living and I’ve saved so much money in the process.

Green living isn’t just for hippies or stay-at-home moms anymore, it’s for you, AND YOU, and me, too!

Tell me about your favorite food memory. And I’d love to know how you avoid produce waste in your own home. What works best for you? Lastly, I’m searching for zero waste (or darn near close) restaurants/stores. Or any restaurant that has an awesome environmental mission. If you know of any, please spread the word, and let me know in the comments!

Reduce Plastic Use + Plastic Waste

Reduce Plastic Use + Plastic Waste

Hey hey! What’s new, guys? There is so much craziness happening in the world lately, and I’m feeling a little bogged down by it. Can anyone relate? I can’t go on social media or the internet without hearing about a protest, disagreement, or new, drastic […]