Sustainability of Commitments: Personal Care and Self-Preservation

by | Jul 4, 2021

Sustainability is a prevailing topic right now. We focus on sustainability for the sake of Earth, but there are facets of sustainability that we do not necessarily give so much consideration.

We investigate and advocate for the sustainability of fuels, of brands, of business practices, and more, but how often do we dedicate time, attention, and intention to the sustainability of ourselves–our actions, our habits, our careers, and our relationships.

Are our choices and actions sustainable, productive, and buildable, or are they unmanageable, draining, and damaging? Commitments can be powerful, positive things when they are right for us, but commitments must be considered through a lens of self-awareness and personal care.

Some questions for considering the sustainability of commitments:

  • Can I routinely do this and still have all areas of my needs met?
  • Will this hinder my ability to eat foods that fuel my life?
  • Will this take away space for sleep, exercise, creativity, or socialization?
  • If I commit to this, will I be placing any area of my life on the back burner? If so, how will that impact me in a week, and how will that impact me in two months? How about a year?
  • Where does this fit into my life? If it doesn’t, is there something that needs to be traded for it? Is the trade worth the reward?
  • Why am I making this commitment?
  • Is this good for me? How? How not?

Something being good does not equal something being for you specifically.  A practice being sustainable for one person does not mean that the same practice is sustainable for someone else.

We are all different people with different commitments, different responsibilities, different strengths, and different availability. Sustainable behaviors and routines will be different for each of us.

One person might benefit from 15 houseplants and thrive with them.

One person might have the time, energy, and overall resources to maintain one houseplant. Both of these are productive practices, but they have been scaled to a level of sustainability for each individual person.

One person might walk for thirty minutes a day, and another person might run half-marathons. Both of these are productive self-care practices, and each individual chooses a method that is sustainable for them within their abilities, their resources, and their schedule.

One person might journal every day, and one person might journal three days a week.

One person might work 40 hours per week, and one person might work 15 hours per week.

One person might work from home, and one person might commute two hours.

We are not the same—we have entirely varying circumstances.  Self-awareness, knowledge of resources (think of much more than financial resources—consider energy, social support systems, health, time, etc.), and evaluation of sustainability can merge, helping us to structure our habits, our daily routines, and our lives in sustainable ways for each of us.

Writing by Merrell Miles Westerman, Intern

Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

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