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How to Make Co-Parenting Work

Co-parenting between the separated parents means that both have to share the responsibilities of children’s upbringing. Parents, who decide to do this, must cooperate to make it work. Following the co-parenting plan can be a
good start. However, saying it is easier than doing it. Problems will always rise especially in the case where parents haven’t resolved their internal conflicts.

The most common problem arising is that children keep seeing the ongoing battle between parents after the separation process. It’s unfortunate for the children because it will harm them psychologically. If you experience this problem, use a holistic co-parenting – which consider the arrangement of the co-parenting and the emotional aspect of all parties involved – to solve it. Here are the steps to do it:

Lose your fear
The reason why you keep fighting with your ex is that you still hold pain, as the result of the separation, within you. The pain derives from fear or trauma.

Can you see it now?

So fear or trauma is your conflict’s source. Now that you’ve found it, you have to lose it.

Here are the simple steps to do it:

  • Let all your fear out by writing them down.
  • Deal all your fear one by one.

For example, you’re afraid that you can’t handle the car’s matter which your ex usually did it for you. To lose your fear, go to the mechanic and learn how to deal with it. Once you manage to do it, you’ll gain confidence and fear no more.

Remember past fear and how you’d overcome i

This path down memory lane will make you think, “Hey! I’d overcome my fear. So I’ll be able to deal with this separation too.” This thought will strengthen you.

Cry out loud

Crying will help you in the process of losing fear. After that, you’ll feel relieved and see clearly. Thus, you’ll build positive communication with your ex who will likely give positive feedback for it. Once you do this, you have started a healthy co-parenting.

Ask your friends and family’s support

The process of letting out fear and afterward will take times. You’ll go through the ups and downs of the process. During the time, it’s better to ask for support/help from your friends and family.

As an outsider, they’ll be able to see your problem rationally. Therefore, at times you feel down, they can make you better and help you back to the track where you need to be to do healthy co-parenting.

However, if you think that your friends or family can’t help you due to whatever reasons, get the experts’ help.

Discuss the co-parenting in detail and make the win-win solutions agreement. Conflicts can also happen because of other aspects of co-parenting which are the kind of parenting style which you and your ex use in raising children and the financial matter. Therefore it’s important to discuss both in details.

During the discussion, let out all your thoughts of how you want the arrangement to be. Let your ex do the same. If both of you have differences, find the win-win solutions. So no one will be dissatisfied. Therefore no conflicts arise in the future.

Then make the agreement proved by the court. It’s an important step to do in a holistic co-parenting. This way you, your ex and most importantly your child will get all the deserved rights legally. In the case of unwanted events happen, the law will protect you.

Get me time

The next process you need to go through is that you must get your own me time. Spare time to do enjoying activities such as doing your hobbies, hanging out with your friends, meeting new people, traveling, etc. Do it while your child is with your ex.

Doing fun activities will refresh and relax you. You’ll get positive energy which will make you happy. Suggest your ex to do the same while your child is with you. That way, your ex will be happy too. The act of supporting your ex in term related to co-parenting is necessary also.

Because if your ex is in a healthy emotional state as you do, both of you can make your child happy as well. And this is the core of a holistic co-parenting.

Evaluate the co-parenting you’ve done

If conflicts still happen after all the efforts you’ve done. It’s time to evaluate the co-parenting arrangement. Asking the experts’ help is one thing you and your ex can do. They can give an objective evaluation, help both of you to figure out what’s wrong, and give alternative suggestions. After this evaluation, both of you may have to make a new decision about the co-parenting and repeat the above steps.

If conflicts still happen after all the efforts you’ve done. It’s time to evaluate the co-parenting arrangement. Asking the experts’ help is one thing you and your ex can do. They can give an objective evaluation, help both of you to figure out what’s wrong, and give alternative suggestions. After this evaluation, both of you may have to make a new decision about the co-parenting and repeat the above steps.

It seems tedious to do so but parenting – co-parenting or not – is a life’s time work. Just keep in mind that it’s for your beloved child. That way you’ll feel the hard work of co-parenting is worth to do.

#coparenting #parenting #divorce #blendedfamily #love #family #dad #children #kids #mom #son #marriage #stepparents #stepmom #daughter #bonusmom #stepson #familycourt #stepdaughter #stepkids #stepparenting #child #stepparent #bonuskids #bonusdaughter #bonusfamily #relationship #stepchildren

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Forgiveness: You Have a Choice

Forgiveness is a powerful act in the human psyche. If we continue to think in an unforgiving way, we will always have resentment. If we are continually having angry and resentful thoughts, we will never be satisfied and find pleasure.

When we forgive, we are excusing ourselves. If we hold on to our negative emotions and try the justify our negative processes as the way out, we will be stuck in our own prison of shame, anger, and doubt. It is very telling in those situations that we believe we are trying our best to get out, but nothing is working. If you are feeling stuck, maybe you should ask if there is something that you have not forgiven.

When you do not move willingly with life in the present moment, it usually indicates you are leading from the past. Holding on to unforgiveness will consume the present moment. It’s only in the present that can you create your future. Your thoughts and words are powerful, so to not forgive means that you will be bringing your negative emotions into your future self.

When you blame another person for how you feel, give your own power away. You are putting the security for your emotions to someone else.

There is a difference between forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiving someone does not mean that you condone their behavior. The act of forgiveness takes place in your mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person. The truth of forgiveness lies in placing ourselves free from carrying the pain. It is a way of releasing yourself from a negative mindset.

Forgiveness does not mean allowing the painful actions of another to continue in your life. Sometimes forgiveness means letting go. When you forgive and take a stand to your emotions, it helps to set a healthy boundary. When you let it go, you free up some headspace to think of thoughts that make you feel stable. This new headspace may allow you to pay attention to the present moment and give you enough room to create a more positive construct for the future.

You have a choice.

#forgiveness #peace #love #spiritual #life #believe #hope #mindfulpractice #forgive #soul #compassion #wisdom #spirituality #trust #mind #worry #meditation #calm #faithful #destiny #guidance #meditate #thankful

Banana Bread

Yummy Banana Breakfast Bread

I had some time to spare and a few ripe bananas. I thought I would share the recipe that I use when making banana bread. It is super easy and is a great snack or part of your breakfast.

Whenever I get overwhelmed or need to focus, I find cooking does that for me. I loved cooking since I was tiny and experimented with all kinds of ingredients to feed my brothers and sisters. Sometimes the food came out fantastic and other times….well, not so much.

There is actually a movement for this type of therapy, which I will reference below that states:

Cooking and baking are pursuits that fit a type of therapy known as behavioral activation. The goal is to alleviate depression by boosting positive activity, increasing goal-oriented behavior and curbing procrastination and passivity.

If the activity is defined as personally rewarding or giving a sense of accomplishment or pleasure, or even seeing the joy of that pumpkin bread with chocolate chips making someone else happy, then it could improve a sense of well-being,” says Jacqueline Gollan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.”

So, if you need a pick me up, please try this recipe.

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar & 1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. To a large mixing bowl add, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  3. Combine and blend well together and set aside
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add 4 very ripe bananas and mash well with a fork until it looks like paste
  5. Add butter and room temperature eggs and combine all together with a fork until it is well-mixed.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and mix well
  7. To a greased loaf pan or use parchment paper (it’s up to you)
  8. Pour batter into pan
  9. Distribute evenly and press down on the mixture to remove any air bubbles
  10. Bake for 40-50 min (test with a toothpick around 40 min and it comes out cleanly, remove)
  11. Let cool on a wire rack

Eat and Enjoy!

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe? Do you enjoy cooking?

Please let me know.

A Road to Mental Health Through the Kitchen: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-road-to-mental-health-through-the-kitchen-1418059204

#bananabreadrecipe #bananabread #banana #sundaybaking #baking #nondietapproach #bakingrecipes #bananarecipes #nondiet #bananabreas #therapy #depression #selfove

How to Recognize A Toxic Person

For most of us, we like to assume in the best of people. Unfortunately, that can get us in trouble. Toxic people do exist, and chances are we’ve met one. Sometimes they might not even realize they’re causing harm to others. Other times, they are fully aware of the power they hold over other people and actively aim to do damage.

Fortunately, there are warning signs, so please be mindful when reading this post. It could be information in this piece to help you understand a difficult person in your life.

Toxic people play the victim, they are in a constant state of their tragic world. The people who struggle with the victim mentality doesn’t think they have power over their lives and they blame other people in the circumstances. This can be from being unhappy to avoid taking responsibility for their lives. Playing the victim can give someone the power to control another person. These type of people seem to prey on your feelings of compassion and goodwill. They usually do to see how much you are willing to surrender to make them happy. You will not make them happy and will end up wasting your time and energy.

A classic victim attitude is when they flip a situation to make it about them. They put themselves down while defensively blaming you for their life situation.

If you have caught someone lying several times about things that generally are ordinary, you might be dealing is a pathological liar.

Pathological liars are someone who continuously lies to protect their image. They are masters of manipulation. They tend to be impulsive people with a need to fascinate others. They might not always have a purpose to why they are lying.

The pathological liar can leave you feeling frustrated, misguided, and neurotic. It might even make you question your rationality. Pathological lying can also be a symptom of more severe problems of mental illness. Please ask for advice from a professional should you suspect mental illness.

Emotional abuse can be one of the most grievous forms of savagery. It creates marks that can last longer than physical ones and it’s challenging to detect. This type of toxic person can leave you with depression, demoralization, self-blame, and very low self-esteem.

Emotional abuse can be passive aggressive behavior, shouting, depreciating, judgment and be accusatory to your actions.

Certain people project their vulnerabilities and insecurities onto another person in the form of anger and bullying. They are ineffective of considering limits. They can’t process their own toxicity. They deal with it by putting it on to someone else. They will try to break your will. They need to make someone feel small, so they can feel big.

You are usually walking on eggshells around this person. The person can routinely mock you and dismiss your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. They will blame you for the problems in your relationship and tell you that is it your fault. If you find yourself in an emotionally abusive situation, please distance yourself. You are worth more than what you are being told.

Toxic people can be master manipulators, and they are smart about hiding their true intentions. They try to control people whether directly or indirectly. They need something from you and will work hard to make sure they get it. They might be utterly incapable of feeling remorse and recognizing their bad behavior.

A controlling person needs to know where you are at all times. They like to micromanage your work. They will try to pull you away from your loved ones and friends. They will try to keep you for themselves. If you are dealing with this type of personality, talk to them and if that doesn’t get through to them, gracious leave or distance yourself.

I mentioned a couple of times about toxic people and how we should try not to have them in our lives. A toxic person doesn’t have to be toxic to everyone, they could be using you. You may also find that you may fit into one of these definitions of a toxic person. Before you dump someone or truly start to doubt your existence, I would recommend talking to people and researching before many any decisions.

We all deserve to live in harmony. If you find yourself in one of
these situations, please take the necessary steps to make your life better.

Points of Reference:
Dealing With Toxic People You Can’t Just Cut Out Forever: https://www.scarymommy.com/dealing-with-toxic-people/

8 Strategies for Dealing With the Toxic People in Your Life:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201612/8-strategies-dealing-the-toxic-people-in-your-life

How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People: http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/How-Emotionally-Intelligent-People-Handle-Toxic-People-1028629190-p-1.html

Signs of a Toxic Person and How to Cut Those Toxic People out of Your Life: https://theartofcharm.com/empowerment/cut-toxic-people-life/

7 Types of Toxic People and How to Spot Them: https://www.scienceofpeople.com/toxic-people/

#selflove #psychopath #survivor #boundaries #selfcare #narcissism #divorce #nocontact #healing #npd #empath #fakelove #anxiety #domesticabuse #love #liar #cheater #narcissisticabusesurvivor #cptsd #narcissisticmother #depression #fraud #toxicrelationship #traumabonding #loveyourself #pathologicalliar #narcissisticpersonalitydisorder #awareness #motivationalquotes #recovery

Paying Down Debt in 2019

So, my last post for 2018 was one of the hardest things to think about or comprehend constructively. It is that lovely taboo topic called money management and debt.

When I quit my job, I quickly realized how much spending I was doing on a daily basis. The two significant factors were mindlessly spending on little things and just giving my money away because it felt good to help.

Starting my own business made me much more careful about how I was spending my money. So, I am not an expert in finances, and I will never claim to be because there is SO much more I need to learn.

However, in 2018, I did accomplish some goals as I became mindful with my relationship with money. The most significant accomplishment was paying off almost $10,000 in debt. I still have $31,000 left to pay off, but it does feel good to know my debt is going down rather than up. My debt really isn’t on any significant spending but rather a big student loan and medical bills.

For 2019, I am going to try to pay off at least $12,000 in it. I want to finish paying this off because I need to start spending more time with my loved ones. I miss having the ability to take my daughter out. I miss just having time. So, being mindful of my time and spending has hopefully help me with the ability to accomplish these goals.

Here are some approaches that I used in 2018 to help me reduce my working time and also to have the ability to pay things off. I hope to use these same skills to improve my outlook for 2019.

The biggest habit that I acquired in 2018 is making more intentional choices on how I spend my money. I also realized that I have people that I can ask for help whether that was with actual money or with time. I didn’t understand how closed off I had made myself until I needed help on the one thing I prided myself in doing.

The first thing I realized is that easy shopping was not my friend. These small purchases were too often and collectively impacting my life. There was a lot of mindless spending on a daily basis that indeed was inhibiting me from paying off my debt. I took for granted my “fixed” income and my “fixed” payments and used the rest of my money without overthinking on its impact.

I would tell myself that I wanted to save $200 at the end of the month, but when the month ended, I had zero money in my bank account. It didn’t take long for me to see that that was not a sustainable way of living. I wasn’t reaching any of my goals. I wasn’t happy with my spending habits.

I started embracing my reality and intention that I still was avoiding. It was easy for me to donate or sell my belongings, but it was harder not to replace them. I started to do small shopping bans like staying off of Amazon or only spending what I had in my wallet for a day, week or month. These little gestures really helped to have enough money to pay my bills.

For 2019, I really want to align my finance actions with my real value. This starts with having a conversation and writing about my intentions. My husband knows my plans and having someone who is understanding to your needs is excellent. I have no problem asking questions about money and researching about how to save. I thank him for that gift.

After realizing how I was spending and being comfortable with the idea of money. I started to take stock of the big money picture. I think that’s one of the scariest parts of personal finance and it has taken me a while to comprehend. I still continue to struggle with acknowledging the state of my money flow without judgment. I just know you have to start and I do see that I am getting better with paying attention to my spending and income. It only takes time and understanding that it’s not going to be perfect and it will never be perfect.

For me taking stock means logging into all of my accounts and writing down what the balances, both the positive or negative. The big picture is not about feeling good or bad about your situation. It’s especially hard if it’s a negative experience to log in and seeing all the negatives and zero numbers, but it’s not about just looking at the numbers. It’s looking at all the different accounts that you have and making peace with your current situation.

You just have to review it. When I took stock of all the accounts that I have, the next thing I thought of is what can I get rid of to save money. It’s not just about paying off debt right away, but how many accounts or subscriptions do you have that you don’t even use.

I try to have as few accounts as possible. I’m all for whatever works for you, but I think it’s easier to have fewer accounts. It makes my life more straightforward in my budgeting process. It’s just fewer things to track or to manage. It makes sense for me and my time and to not get overwhelmed by so much information that I am just trying to comprehend for the first time.

One of the biggest mistakes I make and guilty of so many times this year is mindlessly spending without keeping track of where my dollars are going. I know that this isn’t the most fun topic or the most fun task to think about but tracking my spending is essential. Not only does it open my eyes to my behavior with money but it gives me a small moment to check in to see if it aligns with my intention.

I do weekly check-ins. I look at all of the numbers and ask myself does it align with my goals and my value. If not, I ask what I can do for next week and really understand why I didn’t meet these goals. Keep things simple when doing this type of check-in and have it fit your daily flow. I do it Monday morning. I make coffee, I sit down, and I log into all of my accounts. I track my spending and then I double check all the balances on my accounts.

There are things you can do if you’re unhappy with what is happening to your accounts and cash flow. It helps me stay focus by taking small steps and trying to figure out what my goal is for the following week. I find I am slowly changing my mindset from I am “ok” to know precisely what I need to know about my finance and it feels good to see the progress that aligns with what I really want.

One of my favorite things about personal finance is that it’s personalized to you, so everyone’s numbers and decisions are going to look different. There is no judgment in that it’s just figuring out what makes you happiest what you’re okay with spending money on and then getting rid of everything else.

The things I spend money on I try to make sure those expenditures align with my values. The biggest question I ask myself and my final tip is before you make a purchase or pay off a bill, ask when or not it is worth your time to invest. After my basic needs are met, time is the most valuable resource.

I keep this question as a fundamental practice when making any decisions of spending. “Do I actually want to spend money on this item and it is worth my time to pay it off? “

I hope this makes some kind of sense to you. Again, I am new to understanding money, so if you have any advice, please share. I would love for all of us to pay down debt and live a more fruitful life in 2019.

Happy New Years!

#budget #debt #debtfreecommunity #finance #financialfreedom #help #livingsimple #minimalism #Money #moneyhacks #money savings #moneytips #personalfinance

10 Ways of Self-Love in 2019

I hope that 2018 was an excellent year for you but if it weren’t, a new year would be starting in a few days. I hope you are ready for 2019.

I have learned through my personal journey how vital self-love is to grow as a person. This is not natural for me, I have the tendency to blame myself for everything and take on damage because I deserve it. This year, I had to wake up and make an effort to love myself. It has been a journey and one that I still continue to do each day.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some ideas for 2019 shows you how to set up the new year to be more positive and kind to yourself.

Number One: Be Kind to Your Body

You can start by taking care of your body more than you have in the past. For example, adding in some nutrient-dense food into your diet. It will be an excellent gift for your mind and your body.

You can also be conscious of your movement to try to get some endorphins going. When you are doing activities that you like doing, like taking a walk in Central Park you are moving your body and getting fresh air. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel not only about yourself but also in your outlook on life.

Number Two: Start a Journal

Journaling this is a great way to build a relationship with yourself. I personally started journaling about a year into my journey for self-love and for dealing with significant changes in my life.

I have been making it a habit of waking up in the morning and writing in my journal. Even if it’s a simple sentence or a picture of a squirrel, it something that has helped me to connect with myself and my surrounds.

Start implementing a journal in your daily life and you may find that you had the answer all along or will get the answer you needed upon reflecting from your writings. I see that by making an effort to pay attention to me, my mind can come up with fantastic ideas and advice.

Number Three: Declutter Social Media

How many people are you following that when they post something and makes you feel bad about yourself? Are you comparing your body or your state of mind to them?

Yes, they can be inspirational, but also there’s a fine line between inspirational and comparison. Go through your social media and if you’re following anybody that makes you feel any type of negative feelings towards yourself or others, just click the unfollow button. You don’t have to see that in your feed every day.

You can instead find other people on social media to follow who are more like you or seem to help you want to grow as a person. It’s a great way to start working on self-love.

Number Four: Removing Toxic People

This is something that I did over the past year or so. If you don’t know what a toxic people is, it’s basically someone who it sucks all of your energy when you are around them. They make you feel bad about yourself while at the same time trying to bring you up to fit their mold.

For example, you may have a friend, and they are always talking about themselves and what they’re dealing with in their lives. They don’t take a moment to acknowledge you to see how you’re doing or what you’ve been dealing with you your life. It can also be someone who makes you feel not that great when you are done interacting with them. This friend or person could be a toxic person to you.

If you have anybody like this in your life, it is okay, and not selfish to set limits or just eliminate the time that you spend with them. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, like a family member or coworker, so try to limit the amount of time and pay attention to the positive things in your surroundings.

Number Five: Accept It For What it Was

Forgetting about yesterday is such a massive thing for me. I am not saying to avoid it or pretend it didn’t happen. I am speaking to acknowledge it, learn from it and try to move on from it.

My past does not define my future. It doesn’t determine what I am doing right now, so I try not to identify how I am feeling right now. The actions that you take on a daily basis is the focus. Try to focus on what you can do right now to better your relationship with yourself.

One thing I do in the morning when I am journalling is coming up with an affirmation and intention for that day. Doing a morning affirmation and intention keeps me present. It guides me into thinking on what I can do now. During the day, I reminded myself of that affirmation by setting a unique ring on my phone. When I hear it, I am now conditioned to think about my affirmation, my intention and what I have accomplished for the day.

Six: Meditate and Breath

When I sit for a moment and think of nothing but my breath, I feel so empowered. When I do meditate, it reflects in my daily routine, it reveals how I feel when going through challenges and triumphs. It’s just a really great way to get yourself in a constructive mindset.

Meditation and breathing have really changed my life. When I first started meditating I had it in my head that I needed to like to sit with my legs crossed and have some incense burning. However, that is not the case, there is no wrong way to meditate, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. For example, if you are on the subway, meditate by finding a spot on the floor to stare at and just focus on breathing.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed, or I have anxiety building up, I will stop what I’m doing, and I’ll just breathe. My breathing helps me by bringing me back to my center. It’s a great way to kind of stay calm and helps me to avoid having anxiety attacks.

Number Seven: Acknowledge Your Emotions Without Judgement

Don’t want to ignore your emotions that you’re having at any moment. However, it would be nice to sit with them and still feel at peace. Basically, you’re telling yourself that it’s okay to have anxiety and to feel. You are acknowledging them. You want to be able to recognize those emotions so you can accept them as a part of you.

When you take out the judgment from your feelings, they become simple and easy to acknowledge. They are valid emotions. Acknowledging your feelings without judgment will help not to let them dictate your day or actions. I like to think of it as giving yourself a hug when you need it.

Number Eight: Better Sleep

Try to commit to better sleep. This one is especially important because when you get better sleep, your mood improves, your body is, and you can think clearer. When our energy level is better, you can feel like you are ready to take on the day.

I need seven hours of sleep. I know that some people say you should have at least eight. However, I think they need it different for everyone. So, figure out what works for you and then make sure that you’re getting it every night.

One tip that I try to practice every night is to put my phone down an hour before bedtime. There’s a blue light on your phone, and that blue light has been shown to increases your brain activity. It makes it harder for you to fall asleep. For the hour before bed, try to get your brain into a relaxation mode like reading a book or listening to soothing music.

Number Nine: Write a Happy List

Write out a list of everything that makes you happy or everything that you love. This can be petting your dog to going to Paris. Then figure out a way to implement them into your life. Doing at least one of these items once a week will allow you to take time for yourself to do the things that you love. This will boost your overall well-being.

Number Ten: Unplug

We’re seemed always to be doing something digital. It would be perfect to take one day a week or a few hours in a day to just stay offline. When you start the practice of unplugging, you may begin to focus on the now.

It’s helpful for me to spend some quality time with my reality and not focusing on what’s going on online. There’s a lot of negativity in the news and online that does affect my mood and overall well being. I find unplugging from social media allows me to have the space to think. It allows me to create and love myself and family even more. I now appreciate my time away from social media.

So, these are the ten things that I have started but will continue to do in 2019. It has been a journey for me and will continue to be.

Please remember that you can do what you like to help yourself to love yourself just little more. The point of self-love is to be self-acceptant. If you set yourself up with unrealistic goals. You will fail. Set goals that are obtainable and have focus. You may find that setting up new habits are actually a lot easier if you start by taking small steps to the larger goal.

I love to hear from you. What actions for you take to give yourself a little self-love each day? What are you planning for the new year?

#selflove #love #selfcare #motivation #loveyourself  #inspiration #like #fitness #art #follow #quotes #happy #newyear #goals #mentalhealth #beautiful #happiness #health #life #positivevibes #beauty  #myself  #me #healing #2019 

Two Impactful Goals for 2019

Can you believe it?

2019 in less than a week away!

This year, was a pretty good year for me as I learned to change many of the habits that have held me back. With 2019 right around the corner, everyone is thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. I am seeing it on social media and even on the local news. No matter what you envision for next year, you probably have a few significant lifestyle changes in mind.

One of the things that I am passionate about is the environment. Climate change looks pretty scary when you read about it, and I for one started to take small steps to reduce my carbon footprint in this beautiful word. I have a daughter, and one of the best things that I can do for her is to give her skills to help salvage our environment.

One capsule I am trying to organize is my “Go Green” way of life. Last year, I reduced the amount of stuff I was buying, starting to composting and reused anything that could before discarding or recycling it. I also tried my best to buy things that were recyclable or biodegradable. I want 2019 to be more of the same only adding to my efforts to have a cleaner environment.

There is always something you can do to make the planet a better place.

To help you on your quest to be a little sustainable, I am going to share with you two environmentally sustainable resolutions I am committed to in 2019.

Stop Buying Fast Fashion

Fast fashion Is literally ruining our planet. Stores like H&M, Target, Zara, and Topshop participate in an industry known as fast fashion. Unfortunately, this creates an outrageously easy way of throwing out clothes that are cheaply made or just not in style for the new season. Throwing out clothes is the second most wasteful habit. The fashion products that we consume take up much as much of the landfills as other waste materials, like plastic. Some fast-fashion companies even participate in practices that are unethical to their workers.

Don’t get me wrong, I buy from these stores. It’s a great way to get an item you need for cheap or to fulfill a need or want. In 2018, I reduce my need to spend as I felt I had everything I needed. After watching some documentaries and reading some books, I realized how much I was hurting the environment. This scared me to take action. It has taken me a year to commit to not buying fast fashion. I had to find a system that worked for me. Starting in 2019, I will no longer buy from fast-fashion retail chains.

First, disclaimer, do not throw away your clothes if you have the use for them. They are suiting you well. The point of being sustainable is to be resourceful with what you have in your closet. However, if you have too much and you are just not wearing them. Please consider selling, giving them away or donating your clothes.

Second, buy second-hand. I live in NYC, so I know which stores have the best deals and the best clothes for me. Generally, you can find a shirt and pants for a few dollars that you may actually want to wear. I always make a list of the things I need and try to find places that can give me the best price. By making this habit, it creates a buffer from the time I want it to the time you buy it. Sometimes, I may find that I actually didn’t need the item anyway.

Finally, few fashion labels use sustainable materials and eco-friendly production practices, some of these companies include Everlane, People Tree, Reformation, and Eileen Fisher. Although these brands and others similar are more expensive than those in the fast fashion, we need to understand that saving up to purchase is sometimes worth the higher price. Some of these companies have durable clothing so the item will last you a long time, this gives you more bang for your buck. It also creates a buffer to provide you with the time to understand whether or not you actually need the item.

Limit The Use of Plastic

In an article on the National Geographic website, it stated that “a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.”

It takes plastic 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form. This is scary when you think about it, I mean, where is all of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste go? In 2015, it was estimated that every year about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans. This dumpage, in turn, affects wildlife, the coast, and ecosystems.

The goal for 2019 is to reduce my disposables consumption. A few easy ways that I am going to practice is to reduce the amount of waste by not using single-use plastic straws, grocery bags, to-go coffee cups, and plastic water bottles.

Reminder, this also took some time to get to this point in my sustainability lifestyle journey. I didn’t want to throw out what I had without using it first. I also had to get comfortable with asking stores to not give me a plastic bag for my sandwich or using my portable coffee cup instead of their throw away cup. Habits don’t form overnight, so if you are interested in doing this, I would say, take your time and do your research. The more you know, the better you will be at actively participating. Also, doing ger discourage if you can’t master this practice. Just trying each time in each moment is more than what others are currently doing.

So, what am I going to use to help reduce my likely hold of using these easily disposable items?

I made a kit. It is small enough to carry with me and to store or to take the items that I know I will be using for the day.

Here are the items in my kit:
1. a reusable shopping bag
2. a small reusable sandwich bag
3. a reusable water bottle
4. a reusable straw
5. a reusable coffee mug
6. a reusable hand towel

You can get all these things in many thrift stores. If you absolutely cannot find it, most of these can be found on Amazon or at your local store.

I do make it a point to carry this kit with me so I can avoid temptations of convenience. If I can avoid using these disposable items in my daily life, I know I can make a difference in the environment. It also makes a statement to the people who are around you. This means that customers, sellers, and your friends and family who see you using these reusable items may spark a conversation or give them permission to do the same.

I’m personally enthusiastic about the new year. I do think that the more we progress, the more progress we will see. I see it in my personal life. My small steps in change have become more significant, and these two goals of sustainability will have a positive impact on the environment.

Please remember to keep it simple and make an effort to sustain your practice in the long term. It takes hours of repetition to change old habits and ideas. Let me know if you have any advice on sustainability and what you are or will be doing to better your impact on the environment in 2019.

Thanks for reading!

Here are some more sites that you might be interested it reading:

Planet of Plastic? https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

Embrace These 5 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions For A Greener 2019 https://www.peacefuldumpling.com/5-sustainable-new-years-resolutions

Why fast fashion needs to slow down https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/blog-post/why-fast-fashion-needs-slow-down

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