A leap year occurs once every four years. In a leap year we get one extra day in our calendar, meaning we have 366 days in 2020 to dedicate to those in our vegan travelling lives.
Time is our most precious resource. It’s a resource that can be wielded for the greater good of our planet and its non-human animals, and the loved ones in our lives. You could say that time is priceless. What we choose to do with the time in our leap year can mean the difference between standing idle and making a real difference in this world.
What will you do with your time in 2020? How will you enact real change during your vegan travels? Here are some ideas so you can best use your time in 2020 for the greater good of all beings and our planet.
Move away from material things, move closer to experiences
Our current world is in a toxic state of materialism, and we are constantly driven to accumulate material things. We fill our houses with things; we give stuff in the form of gifts to those we love at Christmas, birthdays and milestone celebrations. Stuff heavily relies on natural resources that are now dwindling. But what if we flip the rhetoric? Why do we have to do what everyone else does? Rather than buying things, why not give the gift of an experience? Choose a voucher to a nice vegan restaurant, or an experience like a weekend away? Support those vegan businesses that want to share themselves and their mission with your special moments.
Share your time with yourself and those you love
Spend valuable time with loved ones; friends and/or family. Dedicate time to those who you love to create longer-lasting connections. Sharing time during shared experiences galvanises your connection to this world and those within it. Start with sharing a long vegan lunch or a special dinner at a nice restaurant with someone or a group. The memories of spending time with others you cherish will last longer than the experience itself.
Alternatively, do you have a family member or friend who needs help during a crisis? Can you cook a meal for them? Can you help them with housework, gardening or home repairs? Or, can you visit and sit with them during a difficult time? A time of crisis is a chance to give your time to someone who is struggling. Your time can assist them in mending their wellbeing just by giving your time to them.
If you relate to being an introvert, make sure you balance your time around others with time for yourself. Re-energise with a walk in nature, a yoga class or time alone in meditation. Organise smaller gatherings with your intimate circle of friends over a hot beverage or morning tea at a cosy café.
Expand your time rather than restrict it
Not only does our current world value material wealth, we are also duped into believing that being busy is a measure of success. We are told by society that we need to be rushing from one activity to another, and we need to be in a constant state of multi-tasking. We are also told that we need to cram as much as we can into one day in order to fulfil our goals. This is not true. Being in a constant state of busy-ness can lead to stress, burnout and – eventually – illness such as chronic fatigue.
Know your personal body rhythms and order your time around this. If you’re a deep sleeper, you may need an extra hour or two of sleep. If you’ve had a busy week, reward yourself with some downtime on weekends and during holidays. Relaxation is vital for rejuvenating our bodies. You need to find a sensible balance in your vegan travels, which leads to your ability to expand your time. If you don’t find balance, you’re restricting yourself and compromising your health. Try getting into the habit of slowing down and you will find your awareness expands. Re-discover the moment rather than rushing through it.
Be of service to others
Do you want to dedicate your time to others in 2020? Animal rescue groups and charities are a perfect start. Have a look at your weekly schedule and see where you might have a block of time. Then, allocate this time to volunteering. Help out at an animal shelter or sanctuary by looking after animals. Or, use your existing skills to help a group e.g. administration skills, graphic and web design, social media management, photography or accounting skills. Research groups in your local area through social media and chose a group that is in desperate need of certain skills. Or, can one of your friends recommend a group? When you give the gift of your time through volunteering, you feel you are making a difference. Being of service to others at a grassroots level has a collective global effect.
How will you give the gift of time in 2020? I’d love to hear how your time will make a difference in this leap year.