3 tips for how to live sustainably and avoid burnout

3 tips for how to live sustainably and avoid burnout

So you want to live a life that promotes the wellbeing of the planet and the others who live on it with you. You’ve even got some great ideas of how to do just that. But how do you keep going with action and activism in a way that is also sustainable over time? When we continually feel the urgency of environmental action, and a responsibility to become the solution, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and to burn out. We have compiled three simple tips to help you live sustainably and avoid burnout at the same time. Shifting your mindset can be a big part of keeping going even when it feels difficult.

How to avoid burnout

Baby steps! Habits take time to build – psychologists suggest that it takes around a month to build a habit. If you set too ambitious targets for yourself all at once, it can be hard to keep it going and tempting to give up altogether.

Be clear. Set specific goals rather than vague resolutions. Work out what you want to do, where, and when, and find a space for it on your calendar. For example, if you decide you want to give to an environmental charity or organisation, why not set up a standing order? Or if you want to cut down on your meat intake, you could start off by setting aside certain days of the week when you have decided in advance that you won’t eat meat.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. None of us is perfect, so if you don’t always manage to stick to your goals, try to resist feeling ashamed and giving up. Instead, have grace for yourself as you (most likely!) would with others, get back up on that horse, and try, try again!

At Resource Efficiency Collective, we believe that achieving lower emissions and less waste and environmental damage requires large scale changes in the way we use resources. The decisions and actions of ordinary people really do matter and make a difference, but the solutions to the challenges we face will only be reached with effective collaboration between many different stakeholders across industry, policymakers, academics, and the public.

Find out more about our vision and our research projects and publications.