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9 Tips to Becoming a Better Person

case of the blues lately? here are 9 quick tips to getting back on track to being a better human being.

#1 GO OUTSIDE more, duh

Black Balsam Knob, Pisgah, 6,214'

If you have enough time to think about feeling down, then you have time to go outside and play.  Pick your whiny ass up and get outdoors.  Go for a bike ride.  Climb that mountain peak, even though it's an hour drive to get there.  If nothing else, walk out your front door and walk down the street; Embrace the mountain views in the distance knowing that with each breath of fresh air you will get up there to that peak when resources allow.

#2 recycle your trash

After complaining and ranting about global warming and climate change, one day I stopped and thought, "What am I even doing to contribute to being a good person for the sake of the world?"  My family was throwing out 3 bags of trash weekly without recycling!  So, we started recycling and now we take 75% of our trash compiled of cardboard, plastic, and tin down the road to the recycling dumpsters.  There are small things in our daily routines that can make all the difference in the kind of people we choose to be!  And now when I feel like complaining, I can redirect my rants to showing people how convenient and accessible the recycling area is!  Less crap to fill up the already filling up landfills and you can feel like a better person in the meantime.

#3 Stop hoarding stuff you don't need

While attempting to do laundry, I found myself wading through a sea of unused but totally usable things in our basement.  I felt really guilty that all of this "stuff" was just sitting down there when someone, somewhere out in the world could be using it.  So after a little research, I chose to give our donation items to the Boys & Girls Club of Johnson City.  This is a great organization that provides education and hobbies to children and youth.  I had tons of scrap-booking materials, school supplies, books, and clothing just sitting there in our basement.  Cleaning it out felt wonderful knowing that it would go to someone who would use it instead of hoard it in their basement selfishly as I was doing.  So I was inspired to go through my closet, too!  I came to find that I was hoarding a closet full of clothes that I never even wore!  So, I put those in the donation pile knowing they would go to someone who will use them!

#4  share your food

My family always has enough to eat, and there are several people in the world that sadly cannot say that.  We have been tossing out a lot of leftovers lately, and that same basement-hoarding guilt was surfacing.  I rummaged through our cabinets, and holy cow!  My family and I had more cans of chick peas than we knew what to do with.  So, another stack began to form.  Chick peas, soups, cereals, oatmeal, candy, and snacks that we had never eaten over the course of a year were tossed into several bags and are now on their way to the local soup kitchen.  Someone, somewhere out there can use these items and it is time to make ourselves more conscious of the small steps we can take in our personal lives to be better people and contribute to the good of humanity.  Let's help each other out.  I have been helped out in times that seemed impossible to get through alone, and I hope I can pass along the same vibe to someone, somewhere!

#5 Find a balance

Mt. Le Conte, GSNP, 6,594'

Between exercise and diet.  If you're one of those people that hike a new mountain peak every day and eat pizza and tacos every night for dinner, then congrats cause that is the balance I am trying to get back to!  Good on ya, mate!  But, if you are stuck in the self-pitying blues maybe from an unprecedented lifestyle change that threw your whole life into a new direction, I hope this helps you get back on track.  I am a new time mother trying to find that balance between my old life of travel and mountain exploration and my new life of sharing this grand adventure with a whole family.  It is balancing out, but it didn't happen overnight.  I have recently learned that when I cannot be out climbing a new peak each week as I once could, there has to be a balanced weekly diet.  Otherwise, the every-night pizza diet starts to take a toll on physical and mental well-being.  So you can find my personal health kick here, and how it is helping me get to the root problem of the blues and push them away one greek yogurt at a time. :)

#6 vote in local elections

Dude.  It's easy.  Register, research candidates, and show up.  That's all you have to do and together, we can vote in the leaders we want to represent our country.  Politics do matter, because our leaders have the power to do things like shrink national monuments and decrease the openness of public lands.  The government is there to represent the people, and we are the people.  Rather than sit back and gripe about what is going on, become an active advocate and stand up for what you believe in.  Your voice is heard through voting and electing in the members of our country to represent us all, as well as the sacred lands we all love to play in.  And if you want to go an extra step, shoot out an email to the local party committee in your town and attend meetings for free!

#7 Make a step towards your future

For me, I am back in school.  I have struggled with wondering if it will be worth it, but in the meantime I find purpose in the education itself feeling productive enough towards making me a better person.  Do something that makes you feel productive in the present and incorporate it towards your future.  It doesn't have to be education or work-related.  Invest into a business idea!  Finish that rap lyric you were writing months ago and upload it.  Draw something and enter it into a contest!  Do something that makes you feel worthy of yourself and your talent and invest it into your future in a creative way!

#8 GO ON A ROAD-TRIP

Sometimes, we just need to hit the reset button. And the next best thing is to hop in the car and immerse yourself in a new environment surrounded by new people and ideas. This is where the inspiration flows like a flock of cold geese. This is where ideas happen effortlessly. This is where you can be reminded that you have reign on your life and can take it where you wish with one simple choice. It's refreshing. Get. In. The. Car. And. Go.  Need ideas?  Check out my latest road trip to New York City!

#9 go outside again, and again

Human beings need Vitamin D.  Exercise releases happy endorphins.  And gah, don't you just feel like 100x better after a solid mind-cleansing hike in the woods?  Look up at the stars at night.  Catch the sunset in the evening.  Every single night, the sky paints a brilliant picture of orange and pink hues for us all to see.  Wake up earlier and catch the sunrise, bet you won't regret it.  Make the outdoors a priority for your health and well-being!  Just get up and get out.  What are you waiting for?

Stop making excuses, and work towards being a better person!

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