Image by TheHungryDudes
I get asked a lot how I keep my family healthy. My response usually sounds something like this: “Oh, you know, we just keep it simple and focus on prevention.”
I’m sure some people want to smack me after they get that answer, but I like to give the person that asked an out. Because some don’t realize that they’ve just invited me to pull out my soapbox and preach from it for at least 20 minutes. 😉
Since you’re here, I’m assuming you’d like to know how we’ve simplified natural wellness in our family – and I’m happy to share. So get cozy and read on (and I’ll try to keep it short).
I strive to feed my family nourishing, whole foods as much as possible. (Grandma’s cookie jar is really inviting and I let them have one when they go visit).
Does that mean I eat all organic? No. My focus is on lots of fruits and veggies, food made from scratch and healthy alternatives to “junk food.” Healthy fats and protein from organic, hormone-free sources. Honey instead of sugar. Home made…everything. Simple snacks like carrot sticks and apple slices.
The main supplement we take is Vitamin D. We live in a fairly sunny part of the Pacific Northwest, but we don’t always go outside (it gets pretty cold in the winter and super hot in the summer).
Since we’re not regularly basking in the sunshine, exposure to which prompts our bodies to produce Vitamin D, we take a supplement.
Ideally, we’d all take fermented cod liver oil and get plenty of Vitamin D. However, only two of my kids will take it and my husband’s not fond of it either. So, we also have a bottle of Vitamin D3 mini gel capsules.
They’re so small the kids have no problem taking them with water – I think they’ve swallowed bigger Legos (just kidding, I hope) – but they prefer them in applesauce. All medicine is better in applesauce, right?
Rest is vital to our health. When we sleep, our bodies repair themselves (and kids grow). If we push ourselves too much throughout the day, we get fatigued and over-stressed.
Two ways I get more rest are: going to sleep earlier and taking little breaks throughout the day. My aim is to be in bed by 10, even though it’s tempting to stay up and hangout with my husband or get some writing done since the kids are in bed.
If I’m not feeling sleepy, I’ll usually have herbal sleepy tea, which helps me relax. I also wake up easier when I go to bed before ten.
Since our bodies have a go-rest rhythm, I try to take a break from chores or work for at least 15 minutes every couple of hours so I’m not pushing my body to do too much. A siesta is nice, too.
Everyone deals with stress. Some of us have a way of taking normal stress and turning it into mega-stress (cough, cough). And, as I’ve learned the hard way, too much stress will make you sick.
So I’ve had to learn to reduce and cope with stress. That starts with saying no – to a lot of stuff. It might be hard and you might be saying no to a lot of “good” things, but doing so will allow you to say yes to a few “great” things.
A few things have helped me cope with stress. Prayer. Meditation. Yoga. My friend Jen, who taught me about HeartMath. Walking. Talking to my husband instead of holding all of my feelings inside. Yeah, that one is quite helpful.
For the past year, I’ve been using oils and I love them.
Since I started using them, they’ve helped me heal ear aches, sleeping and upset stomachs. They also help me keep my kids (and myself) calm. They’ve even won over my super-skeptical husband.
They play a very important part in preventing illness in our house and an even bigger part in healing when we do get sick.
My favorite thing about essential oils is that they’ve made natural wellness even simpler for us. I use oils like to prevent promote a healthy immune response, lavender to promote relaxation and restful sleep, frankincense for all sorts of stuff and citrus blends just because they make me so happy.
And they fit nicely in a small wooden box. That makes me really happy. 🙂
In addition to resting and reducing our stress level, it’s also important to focus on self-care. That means figuring out what your needs are and making sure they’re met regularly. No, this isn’t selfish – it’s vital to your wellness. And everyone in your family can do this.
Here are some needs we’ve recognized in our family: solitude, time with close friends, prayer, exercise, creativity, learning something new, singing, time outside, snuggling.
There you have it. No magical elixirs. No synthetic wonder drugs. No vaccines (in case you were wondering). Just simple, natural wellness.