January is the month of making resolutions and finding the motivation to start doing things we’ve been putting off. But what about the things we don't want to do anymore? There are 11 things I told myself to stop doing, and I'm excited to share them with you.
Here they come...
1. I want to stop rushing to work. Some months ago, I quit my stable, well-paid job to do something I'm passionate about. This job was not in line with my beliefs and I became more exhausted every day. It became harder to step out of bed and I ended up rushing to work. The rushing made me feel more stressed, tired, and so a vicious circle started. Now I wake up without an alarm clock, and am ready (and even excited!) to face the day.
2. I want to stop skipping breakfast. In Spanish, there is the saying; "Have breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and dine like a beggar". Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to gives us energy for the rest of the day. Because I had to rush to work, I never took time to eat breakfast which only resulted in more exhaustion. Now my morning tea and cereals are a must. And when I have friends over, we go all-in as you can see in the pic!
3. I want to stop drinking cow milk. I used to be a big consumer of milk. I could easily drink one liter a day. That is until I saw the documentaries Food Inc. and What The Health. I realized that it's actually not healthy to drink cow milk, and that the cow milk industry violates many rights to a good life for these animals. Now, I only drink cruelty-free rice or soy milk.
4. I want to stop buying meat. The documentary What The Health also made me realize that we don't actually need to eat meat to be healthy and energetic. We get all the same nutrients in sufficient amount from a plant-based diet. It's important to listen to and understand our bodies. In my case, I have iron insufficiency so I need to make sure to eat iron-rich foods.
5. I want to stop buying items wrapped in plastic packaging. Plastic packages is the plague of our time. This is a real challenge because practically 90% supermarket products are wrapped in plastic. I’ve been going to zero-waste shops to avoid it as much as possible, but some plastic packaging (such as for cleaning products) don’t have an alternative way of packaging yet. That's why I want to start to make my own cleaning products.
6. I want to stop buying clothes at fast fashion stores like Zara and H&M. Fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It's also rampant with human rights labor violations. When I'm in the mood to try something new, I browse vintage stores. There are lots of clothes there that are just worn once. This way I give a nice, abandoned item a new life. Besides, it’s fun to bring some character and creativity to your wardrobe by avoiding items everyone else gets at the fast fashion stores.
7. I want to stop buying cotton earwax cleaners. They seem so inconsequential but they're not, such as the picture below illustrates (yes, it's a real picture!). They are of one-off use which gives them a very short life time. And most importantly, they take forever to decompose and pose a risk of ending up in the stomachs of animals. I found this solution; it has the same function but with a longer usage time.
8. I want to stop accepting plastic straws in my drink. For the same reason as number 7. It has a short usage time and takes a long time to decompose.
9. I want to stop using paper tissues. Just like plastic straws and ear cleaners, paper tissues are an ecological burden. It's better to go back to the good old times of textile tissues. I haven’t found out where to buy textile tissues yet so I'm thinking to DIY with old shirts. Win-win!
10. I want to stop not making time for yoga. Some months ago, I went to a yoga retreat and it did wonders for me. It helped me to rediscover a good mental balance and to cope with stress. It also helped me to physically recover energy. I believe doing yoga is the best way to start the day before eating breakfast. Now I try to do my routine as often as possible, when my lazy side doesn't take over.
11. I want to stop thinking that my actions doesn't matter. What would happen if all 7 billion of us in the world would think: "My plastic bottles are not going to make a difference". We would very soon have to abandon Earth and live in a spaceship, like in the movie Wall-E. But seriously, it matters. Even though, from the perspective of a single person like yourself it may not seem like it.
Now, what do YOU want to stop doing?