5 Ways To Be More Conscious In 2022: According To marie claire’s Lifestyle Director

Your eco-friendly guide to prioritising health this year.

I’m at a marie claire photoshoot in December 2021 with a crew of stylists, hair and makeup artists and photographers who are much cooler than me. A normcore assistant takes drink orders.

Me: “latte… just normal”. Everyone else: “Oat milk flat white”.

That’s when I realise the world (or at least magazine land) had moved on. Must I move with it?

“It’s a health thing,” says the tuned-in assistant, “but also a sustainability thing. I used to do skim, then almond, but now I am onto oat”.

During the two years I spent juggling motherhood and career in a pandemic panic, the cool kids were amid on health and sustainability awakening. They tell me plant-based milks are known to use less water and have a relatively smaller global warming potential. I drop by the shops on the way home and grab a carton of unsweetened oat milk, then I set my intention to become more mindful about the way my habits impact body, mind, and climate… in the new year.

1. Smoothie transitions

Habits are key to achieving – or sabotaging – goals. So, I’ve decided to tackle all the usual dietary resolutions in one the daily ritual and tick it off first thing each morning. Eat more greens, drink more water (or in this case crunch more ice), reduce added sugar intake: they can all be achieved with a nutrient-charged smoothie.

I’m making mine with spinach, frozen berries, coconut yoghurt, ice and for creaminess, a good slurp of the So Good™ Oat Milk No Added Sugar that’s becoming a shopping trolley regular.

Getty Images
(Credit: Getty Images)

2. Practice climatetarianism

It’s like going plant based, but not all the time. Climatarians understand that small changes make a big difference as they base dietary decisions on environmental impact. This means choosing unprocessed, locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and going meat and dairy free more often.

According to the Food and Agriculture organizations of United Nations, livestock accounts for 14.5 per cent of greenhouse emissions. It makes meat free Mondays and plant-based alternatives even more appetising.

3. Farewell single-use plastics… finally

New CSIRO research tells us there’s currently 14 million tonnes of microplastics in the deep ocean. The statistics have been weighing on me, compelling me to do better. This year, I’m making a change.

From this point on, I’m keeping tote bags at hand for groceries, bringing my keep cup with me on the go and looking for bamboo alternatives when disposability is required. In practice, the shift away from plastic has sparked a chic glow up for my shelves. Buying natural cleaning products and dry foods in bulk and decanting into glass dispensers makes me feel lighter every time I swing open a cupboard door.

Getty Images
(Credit: Getty Images)

4. Track and feel

This year a sleek gold-coloured band is a fixture on my ring finger, a symbol of my commitment to a mindful lifestyle. My smart ring is loaded with sensors to monitor heart rate, sleep and activity and keep me accountable.

Apparently, after a few months use, it will even tell me when my period is due. Wellness wearables in all their iterations are motivational gamechangers. When my efforts are reflected at me in app form, I’m definitely more likely to take the stairs.

5. Prioritise sleep

As a parent with little kids, sleep hasn’t always been something I could control. But there’s nothing like five years of deprivation to make me treasure eight golden hours of restoration.

Science tells us sleep is determined by circadian rhythms. When we see daylight, which is blue, our brains tell our bodies to spark up. Golden light, from a sunset or fire, trigger a hormone called melatonin, which induces sleepiness. Problem is, watching screens, which emit blue light, disrupts the body clocks.

This year I’m changing up my night ritual to retreat to my bedroom earlier (9pm), swap out binge watching for podcasts in bed (I’m not a saint) and aim for sleep by 10pm. So far, the consistency has helped with sleep quality and it certainly makes a 6am wake-up less startling.

Brought to you by So Good.

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