Last Updated on May 11, 2020
If you’ve been around my website or Instagram for a while, then you know one of my favorite tag-lines and words that I use to describe myself is a ‘climate optimist.’
Being a climate optimist is all about finding joy in life. Even when things look bleak, it’s believing that together we can turn things around!
This post was sponsored by Josie Maran, all thoughts and opinions are my own for more information please see my disclosure policy.
On my instagram, @going.zero.waste, I run a series where I round up positive environmental news stories each week.
I’m sure you wouldn’t think positive news is controversial, but – oh, boy. I’ve caught quite a bit of flack for seeing the glass half full and choosing to focus on positivity.
A lot of people see that series as naive and harmful – yes, the word harmful has been used.
They’re afraid if people see positives, then they’ll stop trying to make a difference or quit pushing for change.
For me, it’s just the opposite. When I read depressing climate news, I would feel sad and hopeless. It made me feel like giving up… like what I did, didn’t matter at all.
But after reading good news, it encouraged me to keep fighting and proved that my actions do, in fact, matter.
Focusing on the positive fills me with joy and makes me more productive.
These past few weeks have been stressful, and one of the main ways I’ve been reducing stress is setting aside a little bit of time to pamper myself.
One of the brands that’s helping me do that, all while having a great impact on the environment is Josie Maran.
Josie Maran’s argan oil comes from a UNESCO-protected region to help prevent deforestation and over-harvesting.
A single argan tree can live for more than 600 years and produce fruit throughout its entire lifecycle!
For every argan oil purchase through Sephora, they’re donating $5 towards One Tree Planted, and on top of that they’re doing a $10 give-back donation to first responders – which I think is amazing!
Most of their products are sold in glass bottles and jars which are perfect for upcycling. But they take full responsibility over all of their packaging because Josie Maran is partnered with TerraCycle to take back all of those empties.
find what brings you joy:
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with one of my friends about how I was feeling really down.
I was in a general funk, and this friend, who happens to be a psychologist asked me a really important question…
“What things do you do regularly that bring you joy?”
I kind a looked at her blankly because I couldn’t think of a single thing!
The only thing that came to mind was working. It was amazing to realize how much of my self-worth was tied up in my career and business.
When things started to taper off (like they have for a lot of businesses during this time) I felt lost.
Now was the time to start finding joy in other (healthier) places.
So, I started a practice documenting five things that bring joy into everyday life.
This should be a no-pressure exercise. These things don’t have to be earth-shattering – heck, they don’t even have to be different.
If wearing your favorite lipstick
brings you joy today and tomorrow and the next day, take a mental note of it every day.
As you’re going throughout your day, find the small moments that bring you joy and happiness.
Try it for a week, and if you notice things repeating, try and make time for those things especially on days when you’re not feeling 100.
I’ve been doing this practice for over a month and it’s been so eye-opening!
I’ve listed a few of my favorites below, but make sure to check out my YouTube video to see even more!
- house plants
- putting on lipstick <—- I am in LOVE with the color ‘LOVE IT’ from Josie Maran!
- fancy drinks
- pampering my skin
- walks with my family
- dancing to my favorite tunes
- hot water
- spending time with friends (currently via facetime)
learn to celebrate all the things:
I stopped celebrating a long time ago. Big or small, the celebrations ceased to focus on more “productive” tasks.
Instead of feeling proud, I’d jump straight into the next project and never give myself a second thought.
One way I’ve brought more joy and happiness into my life has been celebrating the small things.
So whenever I do something I’m proud of like putting up all of my laundry instead of letting it linger in the basket for five weeks, reformating all 600 of my blog posts, or finishing a chapter in my third book, I take a few moments to recognize the accomplishment and congratulate myself!
For too long, I’ve waited on recognition from others instead of giving it to myself.
Try it out this week! Allow yourself a moment or two to say, “Good job!” Pat yourself on the back, and allow yourself to enjoy that feeling of accomplishment.
I’m congratulating myself right now. Because damn girl. I’m proud of you! Look at you. You’re almost done writing this blog post and it’s FABULOUS.
This one should come as absolutely no surprise, but expressing gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness.
But, don’t just take my word for it, here’s the research.
Practicing gratitude shifts your perspective and changes the way you interpret situations.
It allows you to focus on the good instead of the bad, which will automatically help you have a better and happier day.
When you get into a gracious mindset and intentionally start looking for the good, the easier it becomes to both find it and recognize it.
Thankfully, it was pretty easy to find all of the good Josie Maran’s doing when it comes to the planet!
They have some ambitious goals, and are already on their way to achieving them! By next year:
- All boxes will be made using 100% recycled material
- Their materials will be both Green e-certified and FSC-certified, meaning it’s always held to the highest social and environmental standards
- Their product boxes will be printed in completely carbon-neutral facility
- An even greater reduction of waste in manufacturing
you have to choose happiness:
People ask me all the time, how I continue to stay positive even when the outcome seems bleak, and the answer is simple.
I am an optimist because I choose to be optimistic. I’m not just finding joy in life, I’m actively looking for it.
While some of us might be natural-born optimists, most of us have to train ourselves to seek out the good.
I used to dwell on a lot of negative emotions like sadness, jealousy, and anger, but everything shifted when I heard this Buddha quote, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
All of the negative emotions I had bottled up weren’t solving my problems, and the only person I was hurting was myself.
I honestly thought, if I worried enough or were upset enough or if I CARED enough then I could solve the world’s problems, but it’s just not true. You don’t have to feel bad every day to prove that you care.
Related: 5 Tips for Dealing with Eco-Anxiety
Lastly, I’ve been finding joy in the slow and small moments. Being busy is overrated.
Worrying is one of my brain’s ways of feeling productive and active during ‘downtime’ (you can read more about that here) because I’ve become so tied to the idea that my worth = my productivity.
Logically, I know that’s false, but it’s going to take time for my subconscious to catch up.
Slowing down encompasses so many of the things we’ve already talked about in this post.
It’s about taking time to celebrate the small things, focusing on what brings you joy, and taking a deep breath to focus on the present world.
It’s amazing how shallow I breathe when I’m not paying attention or living in the moment, but when I take a deep breath it’s so much easier to bring myself back into the present moment.
So when my mind starts to wander into the future or thinking about what comes next, I just take a minute to slow down and focus on the task that’s right in front of me whether that’s doing the dishes, watching a movie with Justin or getting ready for the day and putting on my favorite lipstick.
I would like to thank Josie Maran for sponsoring this post
If you’d like snap up a bottle of their beloved argan oil, I want to remind you that they’re donating $5 towards One Tree Planted, and offering a $10 give-back donation to first responders this month!