It’s not called Mother Earth for nothing. When you’re struggling with a trauma, it can impact all facets of wellness including physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. It’s that spiritual component that ties into our shared Earth. When you do good for others, you’ve likely noticed that you feel much better yourself. That’s the intrinsic power of compassion and empathy. However, “others” can also include all of the fellow beings you share the Earth with. Giving back is a powerful healing tool, and when you heal the Earth you’re also healing yourself. After all, we’re all part of the same planet.
Know that building a positive support network, such as when you get medically assisted help or join a support group, is an important part of the healing process. It’s also key to remember that not all traumas will ever fully “heal.” It’s a process, but one that can be guided with love. Before giving, you need to be certain you’ve adequately cared for you first. Another common saying, “You can’t pour from an empty pot,” is also fitting when it comes to trauma healing.
If you are at the stage where you’re capable of giving back by healing the Earth, here are a few entry points to try:
- Join a cleanup crew or DIY. Not only is picking up litter an easy way to help heal the Earth, it also has a cathartic component. There are always organized cleanup groups looking for more volunteers, or you can start your own group or try it solo. Be safe by using gloves and a tool for picking up trash to avoid contamination. You’ll be surprised by how soothing the task can be.
- Garden. If you have access to land, try beautifying the space with veggies, flowers, or simply pulling up weeds—another very cathartic experience. For those who live in urban areas without their own plot of land, join a community garden or look for other gardening volunteer opportunities. Nothing compares to having your hands in the earth.
- Start a recycling program or up your recycling game. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to lighten your carbon footprint, and most people (even avid recyclers) could do better. If your work or school doesn’t have an adequate recycling program, volunteer to start one. Kickstart a composting routine at your work, school, or private space. Challenge yourself or those around you to see who can create the least amount of trash per week.
- Volunteer at an Earth-based non-profit. Volunteering in a formal capacity can provide great joy and healing. Look into your local volunteer boards or check out Craigslist volunteer opportunity or Idealist.org. There are always non-profits looking for helping hands.
Healing the Earth will require all hands on deck and can seem like an impossible task—especially when you take a look at some of the statistics. However, every bit helps, and you can make big waves personally and within your local community.