In considering sustainability and wellness we must view it two ways. Through one lens, we understand that our practices must be sustained over time if we are to benefit from them. We must eat well, exercise, sleep, relax, pray…etc. with some regularity over time to truly create our healthiest selves. Through another lens, the healthiest version of our environment must be sustained for us to optimize our individual health. Our systems operate best with clean air, clean water, and clean food.
Our environment can support or hinder our wellbeing. An optimal environment is often one with the healthiest natural elements. It offers water, sun, plants, earth, vegetation, and views…exactly what we as humans need to live. Every day we are presented with choices to show our dedication to sustainability of both our environment and our own individual wellness.
Ultimately, sustainability is an exercise in mindfulness. Consider these questions in your own daily practices:
- When you’re exercising, do you enjoy the environment you’re in? Do you choose activities you truly enjoy? Might you incorporate a contribution to your community through your exercise program? Ex: Pick up trash along your walk or participate in a fundraising race.
- When you’re eating, do you choose foods that taste good and nourish you? Do you share meals with people you enjoy in an environment that feels healthy? Might you make an effort to choose food vendors whose growth, delivery, and service practices you admire? Ex: Seek out Earth friendly restaurants or purchase local and organic when you can.
- When relieving stress, do you consider the nature and effects of any chemicals and/or substances on your health? Do you find time and places which refresh and relax you? Might you discover ways to involve appreciation for your environment in stress relief? Ex: Take ten deeps breaths of our clean mountain air every day.
Every choice we make impacts someone, some thing, or some place. Every choice is an opportunity to be mindful of our impact. Every little step toward sustainability is a step toward wellness for our environment, our community, our family, and ourselves as individuals.