Many years ago, when my family was the only year round family on remote Gotts Island I actually did "Black Friday." Black Friday is literally going to a mall after Thanksgiving and buying stuff. I believe it came about because I listened to a talk radio station out of Boston. This is long before talk radio was so political, of course the station talked national and local politics but also covered many human interest stories, food, psychology. For me, it was background conversation while I worked alone in my log cabin. I'm sure I was influenced by all the ads for Black Friday- it seemed the thing to do.
So we headed ashore- no easy task- involving boats and our car. I have no idea what we bought. Probably broccoli and other fresh vegetables. It was crowded, we ate at a fast food joint and by the time we got home we were all cross and grumpy. That's my one and only Black Friday adventure.
This year, celebrate sustainably and slow down. There is no need to pile the family in the car, deal with hordes of people to buy cheap stuff made in China. There are so many other things to do.
#OptOutside was started by the outdoor gear company REI a few years ago. They are closed for business the Friday after Thanksgiving. REI's mission is to connect people with each other and nature instead of spending time shopping for bargains.
Another alternative to Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day. This began in Canada to highlight overconsumption. Instead of shopping the idea is to slow down and participate in a community event, get outside or even spend a bit of time doing what you love. It's a perfect day for some self care.
Both #OptOutside and Buy Nothing Day are movements and philosophies. We're a small business which depends on sales to survive. We understand how complex the world and economies are. We also knowing making choices about your purchases is a way to vote for the kind of economies and world you want.
9 Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day
1. Take a walk no matter what the weather is. Bundle up, put on rain boots or rub in the sunscreen- just get outside.
2. While outside pick up trash. There's nothing like picking up lots od single use plastic to help you make better buying choices.
3. Clean out a closet, cupboard or room and donate useable items to your local charity shop.
4. Write letters, postcards or call family and friends far away.
5. Make holiday cookies or gifts.
6. Read a book, play cards or do a puzzle.
7. Get some ART and visit a museum or gallery.
8. Dedicate some time to self care, give your self a facial, a hot soak in the tub or simply a bit of time doing whatever you love most.
9. No matter how you spend the day- do an activity that nourishes you and helps your community and environment.
"We all have a Super Hero inside us" but sometimes that hero needs a bit of self care.
What exactly is self care? It's taking care of yourself. I find when I'm juggling home, family, job and now the fate of our country that "me" is the daily loser. When I get busy my yoga class and my daily recharge by the ocean dog walk are the first things to go. Next is eating good and good for me food.
I also have a low but constant level of anxiety that's hard to shake. Sh*t just keeps happening and it's hard to unplug. So much has happened in the past months that I forget about events, comments and laws that outraged me. Some new crisis overtakes the news, freaks me out and makes it hard for me to balance myself.
Here are some easy tips to help you take care of yourself so you can care for others and our country.
Sleep- routines can help, unplug electronics, try a few yoga stretches, brew a pot of herbal tea, read a bit of a book. One routine I love at night is massaging our Bring on the Z balm to the bottom of my feet once I'm in bed for good. It helps the essential oils get into your bloodstream and everyone's feet need a bit of love.
Unplug from the news- it's hard I know but try your best. Find a series on Netflix for some bing watching to help get some news relief.
Cook and tidy the house- making good healthy food and clearing away the clutter can help calm your mind and use up some of that nervous energy.
Get outside- this is so important, we need sunshine and nature to stay grounded.
Exercise- getting your body moving helps clear out the mental cobwebs.
Talk to folks and smile and strangers. We all need to feel connected.
We put together a "Self Care in the Age of Anxiety" kit filled with good for you products to help you de-stress and recharge. We have a special price for purchasing two, one for you and one for a fellow sister.
The kit contains-
"Girl Hold My Earrings" sticker
Sample Pack of Shower Shots- aromatherapy right in the shower and a scent for every mood.
#resist creme- #racism, #resist sexism, #resist wrinkles.
Be Kind Lip Treatment- because our words matter.
Too Much Botanical Oils- a bit of calm in our hectic world.
Hot and Healing Balm- after hitting the streets give your feet a treat.