Welcome to the May 2014 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Green Moms. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and Crunchy Farm Baby through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how they take time to care for themselves. Stop by all of the posts to get green ideas on how you can take better care of yourself .
The last two years postpartum have been pretty rough on me. This year I vowed to make lasting changes in my life to improve my health. Last December, I brainstormed a list of steps to achieve healthy, holistic living in my life. This list is comprised of a variety of natural steps to help me live a more balanced life. I realized last year that if my mind, body and soul are not all healthy then it is next to impossible to live the natural, eco-friendly lifestyle I strive for. I can’t be the parent or wife I want to be if I’m not healthy in all aspects of my life.
My overall goal for this year is to take better care of all aspects of myself: mind, body and soul. Even though life gets really busy sometimes and it is easy for me to put off doing things to take care of myself, I am making the commitment this year to follow through. I owe it to myself and my family.
What is Holistic Living?
Hearing the word “holistic” brings to mind naturopathic care and alternative therapies like acupuncture. But what really is holistic living? The Merriam-Webster definition of holistic is “relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts”
Instead of looking at just one part of the body, a holistic approach looks at our bodies as one interconnected being. To live a healthy holistic life, we need to look at the mind, body and soul. Our physical bodies can be healthy, but if our mind or soul are unwell then we cannot truly be healthy.
BODY: I can attest to the value of needing to treat mind, body and soul. Last year when I was two years postpartum, I was struggling with a variety of physical health issues. I finally made the commitment to my health and paid out of pocket to go see a naturopath. It was expensive, but this began a journey to heal my physical body. Depleted adrenal glands and vitamin deficiencies were a few of my health issues.
MIND: Even though I was two years postpartum last year, I still struggled emotionally after our traumatic birth experience and battle with postpartum depression. I was also was triggered by some traumatic events that happened in my childhood. I was an emotional wreck! I worked with my therapist and naturopath to pull out of a deep depression.
SOUL: After becoming a mama over two years ago, I started putting my family’s needs before mine. I was exhausted all the time. I rarely did anything for myself and rarely had a break from being a full time mama and Etsy shop owner. My soul suffered big time. I finally made some changes to my life to incorporate more “me” time on a regular basis.
My 8 Steps to Healthy Holistic Living:
This list includes eight things I strive to incorporate into my life on a regular basis. When I’m able to consistently incorporate all these things into my life, I feel so much healthier. I feel centered and balanced. I’m able to be the person I want to be in all aspects of my life.
1. Start each day with meditation. Even if it is just for a few minutes before the rest of the family gets up, this helps me to focus my thoughts and center myself for the day ahead. It is amazing how much better I feel after meditating. My days also seem to flow better when I start with this practice.
2. Regular exercise. My husband bought me a punch card pass to a women’s athletic club in town so I can go swim. So far I’ve been able to work my schedule so I have one afternoon per week where I go swim and then treat myself to a soak in the hot tub when I’m done. I also try to take several walks with Little A in her stroller or bike rides with Little A in the bike trailer throughout the week. This helps to keep my body more physically active and in shape. I always feel so good after exercising.
3. Yoga. I’ve dabbled in yoga in the past and love how relaxed and centered I feel afterwards. I started going to yoga class in town when I can fit it in my schedule. I also started doing doing yoga at home, even if it is just a few minutes here and there. Little A loves to do yoga too so often she’s the one who helps motivate me to do it!
4. Taking daily supplements. I prefer to get my daily vitamins and minerals from the healthy food we eat but sometimes it is not enough. After seeing a naturopath last summer, we discovered I had some major vitamin deficiencies. I have been taking several supplements every day since last summer. Each day I take several drops of Liquid Vitamin D (this is the kind we use) and several teaspoons of liquid fish oil (this is the kind we use. It tastes like orange so even Little A loves to take it!). It is amazing the improvement I feel in my overall health and well being after taking these supplements everyday!
5. Healthy Diet. We strive to eat a healthy, homemade, real food diet everyday. Although it can be challenging at times and we’re not perfect, my body feels healthier when we do. I try to eat probiotics everyday. For us this is primarily our homemade yogurt. Little A and I love to have a yogurt smoothie everyday for lunch. We also make homemade sauerkraut, although we don’t eat it everyday.
6. Watch the sunset and sunrise daily. I love to walk around our new property and watch the beauty of the sunrise and sunset. It gives me the chance to have some quiet time to myself to think and reflect. It is amazing how something so simple is so good for my soul!
7. Schedule more “mama breaks”. I often put my needs last and my family first. This leads to me getting pretty exhausted and burnt out at times. When I get a chance to get away to go soak in the hot springs with some of my gal pals or go spend the weekend camping out at my friend’s organic farm, I always feel so replenished and revived when I come back. I need to have a “mama break” at least once a month instead of just a few times per year. It makes a huge difference in my overall health and well being!
8. Write in my gratitude journal daily. I used to do this every day and fell out of the habit. It is amazing how wonderful it is to end the day by sitting down for a few minutes and writing out a few things I was grateful for that day. It makes me realize just how blessed I truly am and helps me to stop dwelling on the negative aspects of my day.
Do you strive to live holistically? What are things you do each day to live a healthy, holistic lifestyle?
Visit Happy Mothering and Crunchy Farm Baby to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed: