A compendium of simple, solid advice from the past 50 issues of our beloved monthly newsletter, The Harvest.
TAKE A WALK
Heading to work? Running to the shop? Let’s walk and talk – outside. You can turn any walk (even from your car to the office) into a chance to connect with nature, simply by being mindful. Take a moment to notice the leaves rustling in the breeze, the flowers growing in the sidewalk cracks, the sun on your skin. Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix, says: “My own weird eccentric habit is that I crumble leaves in my hand as I walk, even in the city, and take in the scents . . . sometimes I can imagine them boosting my immune system and lightening my mood.”
Legendary psychiatrist Milton Erickson’s unconventional treatment for depression: Counting chimney pots. The simple act of looking up toward the sky, instead of down toward the ground, worked wonders, according to his patients. Have you given this a try? What do you think?
This is pretty much the secret to achieving anything. It’s less Benjamin Franklin (“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”) and more Henry Ford (“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”) Start small — and celebrate small victories along the way!
Guacamole is one of those things that makes life worth living, but avocados sure are temperamental. No sooner do the stars align and fate deals you a ripe avocado does it go brown. Ideas abound on how to keep guacamole fresh for longer — add more lime juice, leave the pit in, press plastic wrap over it (no thanks!). Only one thing actually works: the elixir of life, naturally. Simply pouring a thin layer of water over your guac will keep it fresh and green for days. You’re welcome.
We all know we shouldn’t look at our phone an hour before going to sleep. But did you know the same goes for an hour after waking up? Studies show you can significantly reduce anxiety levels by simply not looking at your phone first thing in the morning. Easier said than done. Give yourself a fighting chance by charging it far away from your bed.
THAT’S A WRAP
Did you know that the amount of wrapping paper that’s thrown out each year could circle the globe — nine times! Thing is, most gift wrap is not recyclable. This season, consider using an alternative like newspaper or recycled kraft paper. Or get a little fancy and use cloth, like traditional Japanese furoshiki.
EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY
Want to detox, hydrate, boost your energy, improve your mood, and lose weight — in one fell swoop? Adopt this incredibly simple and effective Ayurvedic morning ritual: Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water and drink it before breakfast. That’s it — easy peasy lemon squeezy!
THE WINDOW TO THE HEART
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the mouth is the window to the heart. Ever heard someone say “dental health is heart health” and think to yourself come again, how exactly? Well, poor dental health increases the risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can affect the heart. So we’ve adopted the ancient Ayurvedic ritual of tongue scraping every morning before drinking lemon water. It’s super simple and scientifically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
Ever shame yourself for not having good vibes only? Stop. Then thank your lucky stars you don’t. Humans are hardwired for hope — not blind optimism. Just like flowers, we need sunshine — and rain — to grow. So let’s all agree to stop telling the clouds to go away. And when life pours on you, just remember: after winter always comes spring.
COME IN & TAKE OFF YOUR SHOULDS
We’re all in a pressure cooker and more stressed than ever, so no need to put any added pressure on yourself. If you do happen to find yourself with an abundance of free time, don’t feel like you have to write the next Great American Novel or become the next Top Chef. (Though you may want to check out SkillShare — the first two months are free!) If you find yourself in the opposite situation, go ahead and let a whole lot of things slide. Just focus on whatever it is you need to do to get through the day calmly and kindly. If anything has become clearer in the past couple years, it’s the handful of things in life that matter most.
Your vote counts, especially in local elections where turnout is low and results often come down to just a few hundred ballots. Make sure you’re registered to vote and sign up for reminders so you never miss an election in your area.
THE ONLY ICEBREAKER YOU’LL EVER NEED
Robin Kimmerer, member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, a Native American people originally from the Great Lakes region, and author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, shares the simple principles of honorable harvesting that we follow in everything we do. Watch now >
WRITE MORE THANK YOU NOTES
Studies show expressing gratitude can boost your mental and physical health. It can also make someone’s day, month, even year. Here’s a fool-proof formula for knocking it out of the park every time.
BE OPEN TO BEING WRONG
Always be open to the possibility, however remote, that you could be wrong. Being wrong is the greatest opportunity we get to grow closer to the truth.
EAT MORE SALAD
If we could only eat one thing for the rest of our life, it would have to be Chef Tara Thomas’ Mellö Salad with Seedy Mushroom Pepper Sauté. It’s our go-to when we’re in need of some serious nourishment. Here’s the recipe card to brighten your day — you can thank us later!
KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT NATURAL
“Learn to like what doesn't cost much. Learn to like reading, conversation, music. Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking. Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills. Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different from you. Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction of doing your job as well as it can be done. Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs. Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things. Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day. Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.” —Lowell Bennion
TAKE THE (COLD) PLUNGE
There’s nothing like a hot shower at the end of a long day to relax you. But this simple practice is proven to make you more resilient to stress. All you gotta do is turn the tap to cold!
ADOPT THE POSTAL CREED
Our single best tip for improving mental health: Go outside everyday, no matter the weather. Make it a habit and adopt the postal creed: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds!
We chat with Ret about the joys of roughing it and what you need to get going. Read now >
SOAK UP THE SUN
While animals are basking in the sun and plants are bending toward the light, we humans are doing everything we can to fend off UV rays. What do the plants and animals know that we don’t? Well, studies show that controlled amounts of exposure to direct sunlight increases your white blood cells, which help defend your body against infection and disease. Time to stop going against nature and start soaking up nature’s medicine – then put on your SPF!
You will spend a third of your life sleeping. Make the most of it. Find out how >
And other simple ways to accomplish anything. Read now >