We recently had to apply for new life insurance. We’ve had the same policies since before Esther was born and well, since she’s only 5 they won’t last until she’s out of college. When we did the phone interview the person asked about how often we go to the doctor. When she found out that we don’t go every year, she was astounded and said, “You don’t even go when you have a cold or the flu?”
That made me laugh. Nope, we do not go to the doctor when we have a cold.
It’s not that we are anti-doctor…not at all. I was very thankful for the emergency room doctor and nurse when I had to get my thumb stitched up a couple of weeks ago. It’s all better now, thanks for asking. We just reserve going to the doctor for emergencies or illnesses that are not being resolved with home care.
Now, I’m not a medical professional and certainly don’t pretend to be but I do think there are some things that anyone can do to have a healthier home.
Minimize stress. This is huge in our culture. Stress can come from many sources. Maybe it’s your job or a mountain of bills or laundry that stresses you out. Maybe it’s because you are trying to do too much or let your kids do too much. I’m going to encourage you to try to recognize the things that cause stress in your life and see what you can do to correct it. We can’t get rid of all stress but we can minimize it by removing the stressors that can be removed from our lives and making adjustments to those that cannot be removed. The absolute most stressful time in my life was when I had 5 children in less than 8 years. Fortunately, a much wiser older woman told me to just focus on my kids and not worry about the house always being clean or the laundry always being done. She gave me permission to let go of the idea of having a Better Homes and Gardens home.
Drink water. It is possible to go all day every day and not actually drink water. There’s coffee, soda, juice, milk, tea (sweet if you’re from the south) and many other drinks to take care of your thirst. But drinking water doesn’t just hydrate you it also helps keep your kidneys clear. I dare say that the majority of us in North America have access to clean water…drink it, it’s good for you.
Eat real food. Real food is all the rage right now and it’s kind of funny. I mean who wants to eat “fake” food. And yet we do it all the time. Real food is food that is minimally processed. Cheese is real food, processed cheese food is not. Please don’t buy into the myth that real food costs more than junk food. Just because everyone says it, doesn’t make it true. Where we live I can get a 10 pound bag of potatoes for $3.50 or for the same money I can get 1.5 pounds of potato chips. For 25¢ I can get Esther a little orange drink or for the same money I can get her an orange. The thing is I can’t buy real food and at the same time still buy junk food – I have to chose. I think eating real food is the single most important thing we can do for our health.
Play more. Playing is good for a family. We really like to play cards and board games together. We also like to do thinks like fish or hike. Sometimes, our playing is nothing more than sitting outside being silly together. There is just something about playing that brings out laughter and joy, and that is good for you.
Remove toxins in the home. We have so many toxins in our homes today. The cleaners, air fresheners and candles that we use to freshen our home release toxins into our home. We continually breathe these toxins in and our body has to process them. I know it’s hard to give up our favorite cleaners but just start with replacing one thing at a time. Before you know it your home will be free from most toxins.
Keep toxins off your body. This is probably the hardest thing I’ve mentioned so far. Have you read the back of your favorite bottle of shampoo lately? Yeah, all those words you can’t pronounce, what are they? I don’t know either. What I do know is that this step will take time, so be patient. The most important toiletries to replace are your toothpaste and deodorant. I wish I had good recipes or resources to give you but we’re still working this out. We’ve tried several all natural brands and I’ve been trying different recipes for DIY toothpaste and deodorant. We’re getting close to finding something for everyone in our family but it takes time.
Reserve pharmaceuticals for things that really matter. There is a time and place for pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and prescription, but our culture uses them too much. I hate the commercial of the guy with the cold that pops two pills or drinks a shot of liquid medicine and then feels good enough to go to work. He should be at home drinking lots of clear fluids, resting and letting his body do what his body is supposed to do. He shouldn’t be at work spreading his germs everywhere. We have a huge antibiotic problem and it won’t be solved by demanding antibiotics every time we feel sick. They need to reserved for the big things and when your body is healthy it’s more equipped to handle the little things.
Get rid of clutter. I love this quote from Dana White (A Slob Comes Clean) “It’s not about deciding what I do or don’t need, or even what I should or shouldn’t keep. It’s about understanding what I can handle.” I’m still learning this. I’m a pack rat by nature, plus we always have projects going on but I function much better in a home that is organized and tidy. Cutter wastes time and money but it is also very draining emotionally.
I didn’t grow up thinking like this. I was a very typical kid and teenager of the 70s and 80s. I’ve learned many things about keeping our family healthy over the years and I’m still learning. I also want my children to learn and for the most part I think they have a good handle on what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
However, I want Phoebe to be a little more knowledgeable about having a healthy home than I was when I became an adult. So, I’m including some ecourses in her high school studies to help her learn more about natural health and herbal healing. I might be a little more excited about it than she is but that’s ok, she’s not really excited about any of the high school classes other than dance.
What are some ways you live a healthy life?