Keeping the house clean and decluttered. Making sure food is on the table for three square meals a day. Working on laundry and dishes so that they are ready to be used at a moment’s notice. So many choices to make every day, much less healthy ones.
These are just some of the things I find myself trying to balance on a daily basis as a mother and homemaker. While the daily list of tasks and the rhythm with which they are done looks different for everyone, I think it’s fair to say that our goal in doing all these things is to have a healthy home where our families can thrive.
I often find myself wondering…what can I do as a mom and homemaker to encourage and foster a safe, loving and peaceful home? It all comes down to us, the heart of the home, making healthy choices on a daily basis to cultivate that healthy environment.
Any and all information included in this post should not be taken as medical advice, and is for informational purposes only! Always consult with your doctor before utilizing herbs!
Healthy Choices for a Healthy Home:
- Get rid of toxins
- Down time
- Be intentional
- Fresh air
- Pray often
If we want to have healthy homes, I think one of the first healthy choices we need to make is in the realm of nutrition. Without properly nourished bodies, it doesn’t really matter what else we do to encourage healthy homes, it’s not going to get us very far.
Well, our bodies need a plethora of nutrients in order to function properly. Generally, these are broken down into 6 categories, each of which can be broken down farther. But, for the sake of simplicity, let’s just focus on these 6!
It has been commonly held in recent years that somewhere around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated to some degree. That’s an insane number! Some common symptoms of dehydration are dry eyes and mouth, headaches, fatigue…doesn’t sound much like happy and healthy to me.
So, how do we fix that?
It’s usually pretty simple; just drink more water. It is recommended that adults drink anywhere from 11-15 cups of water a day, and children need between 4-8 cups depending on their age and activity level.
Proteins are the building block of our bodily tissues. From skin to bone, and everything in between, protein is fundamental to the proper function and growth of our bodies.
It is imperative that we are consuming adequate amounts of healthy protein on a daily basis.
Having a healthy amount of meat, eggs, and other whole food proteins in our diet is extremely important for our overall health.
While carbohydrates can be a rather controversial topic among health experts, and the public at large, it is generally understood that they are critical for a well balanced diet and health.
That said, it’s the type of carbohydrates you’re ingesting that are important. I’m not talking about high sugar, starchy, low fiber carbs. Those don’t help build health.
The carbohydrates we’re looking for are contained in vegetables as well as sweet potatoes and grains like quinoa, etc. The complex carbohydrates.
While you need a healthy amount of fats in your diet, you want to try avoiding hydrogenated oils. The fats you are looking for are animal based and non-hydrogenated vegetable oils such as avocado or olive.
Vitamins are broken down into two main categories: fat soluble and water soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins are, as the name indicates, need fats to be properly digested.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Water soluble vitamins are your B complex vitamins as well as Vitamin C.
A number of fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, as do animal proteins and fats, especially red meat.
Minerals can be a tricky nutrient to ensure we’re getting adequate amounts of.
Well, a vast majority of our cropland is severely depleted from years of depletion by crop planting after crop planting.
The only minerals being replaced on a regular basis are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. And they’re being replaced, usually, with chemical fertilizers, a percentage of which runs off and never actually gets utilized by the plants anyways.
The way to fix this deficiency in our food supply is to build healthy soil and not constantly strip it by monoculture plantings of the same crop year after year.
A good way to get minerals in your diet would be through organ meats, specifically liver, and nutritive herbs like alfalfa, oat straw, and nettle.
That said, there are always commercial supplements, if you need them, that will also help if your family has any deficiencies.
Get rid of toxins –
Toxins…silent killers that masquerade as cleaning supplies, disinfectant, cosmetics, etc. While it is almost impossible to completely eradicate all toxins from our homes, it is extremely beneficial to mitigate their presence as much as possible.
Part of making healthy choices for our families is removing things that can compromise their physical and mental well being. When I first started going down the rabbit hole of how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, I got really overwhelmed.
I liked to have good smelling candles burning on a regular basis.
What do you mean my makeup isn’t good for me? And my shampoo and dish soap too?
Then there was the problem of laundry detergent, and the list went on and on.
My head was spinning and I didn’t know where to start.
I wanted it all gone yesterday, but couldn’t figure out how to remove even one thing today.
So how do you approach the problem of toxins?
You tackle it in incremental steps, one thing at a time.
For me, personally, I started with cleaning supplies. Not only was I spending a bucket load of money every month between all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, bathroom cleaners, etc. but there are so many chemicals within all of those that were really not great to be exposing my family to.
I moved to a homemade vinegar based all-purpose cleaner, and, just recently finally found a replacement for Clorox wipes to get rid of bacteria left by raw meats/eggs on my counters.
Norwex cleaning products are my new favorite! I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to get rid of toxic cleaning products.
While I started with cleaning supplies, you certainly don’t have to. You could be more inclined to start with cosmetic products, or anywhere else. It’s completely up to you and your personal preference.
The goal is to be decreasing the amount of toxins our families are exposed to as part of our healthy choices to create a healthy home!
A word of caution before diving into routines…while important to utilize routines in your daily, weekly, monthly life to help instill order, you must guard against letting your routines run your life.
When it gets to the point that diversions from normal routine result in anxiety and meltdowns, something has gone awry.
Let’s not do that!
The goal is to have a loose idea of how your days should go. From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, having tasks, appointments, chores, etc. written down or logged in a digital planner can help bring organization and order to your household.
Down time –
This is one of the areas that I find myself struggling with most. I’m definitely the kind of girl who goes a mile and a half a minute and doesn’t like to slow down.
Being stuck in bed because I’m sick is kind of the worst thing in the world for me. I just don’t do down time well. That said, it’s something I’m trying really hard to work on.
We all need down time in order to tackle all of our other tasks well. I can always tell when I’m not taking enough down time because I have breakdowns and everything feels too overwhelming.
Down time doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or fancy. It can even be something you do with your family. A weekly date night in, or a reading routine after suppertime…or, you could even take a nap when the littles are napping.
Whatever it is that fills you up and helps you relax, be sure to take time throughout the week to recoup and get the rest you need.
If you are running on your last nerve, no one in the family is going to be happy. And part of having a healthy home is having emotionally and mentally happy families.
That’s not easy to foster when mom is frustrated and upset all the time!
Be intentional –
Throughout the day it’s really easy to get caught up in our long to-do lists, and just doing the next necessary thing. But we need to remember to take time out of that business to be intentional with our children and our spouses.
What good does it do if we are running around all the time doing stuff for our families if we never actually spend time with our families?
Make the decision to spend intentional time with your children throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate.
It can be as simple as reading them a book before naptime or bedtime. Or spending 10 minutes several times throughout the day sitting and listening/playing with them.
Whatever you do, just spending intentional time with them helps them know how much they are loved and that you find time spent with them to be important.
Happy, loved children thrive more than children who feel constantly overlooked or burdensome.
Same goes for time spent with your spouse! I know it’s hard. Between taking care of the kids, work, and everything else, it’s not easy to spend intentional, one on one time with your spouse.
Even if all you can do is spend 30 minutes before bed visiting with him about your day and asking how his day was, do it! As married couples we need that one on one time with our spouses.
The grace we are able to give our kids flows from the grace of a sacramental marriage. We need to work on that relationship if we want to have healthy homes for our kids.
Fresh air –
Open the windows! Get that stagnant air moving out and the fresh air moving in. Spend time outside! We need fresh air.
Not only that, but the Vitamin D from being out in the sun is also extremely beneficial for our health. Really, just being in the great outdoors, or bringing that fresh air inside through open windows is something we all need more of.
We were made to be out and part of the natural world. The animals, plants and trees were made for humanity, to be tended and cared for by us.
So why not spend more time out in it?
Seems like a healthy choice to me! 😉
Pray often –
Probably the greatest of the healthy choices you make to improve the health of your family and your home is to pray often! Whether it is daily reading of the Scriptures, a rosary, or any other meditation or reflection, praying frequently is key to everything else!
From God flows all of the grace and goodness that will fill our homes with peace and love, if we aren’t frequently turning to Him we aren’t doing things right.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the details, but don’t forget to lift your mind to your Creator and ask for His guidance for your family!
As busy moms and homemakers it can truly feel overwhelming trying to foster healthy choices both in our personal lives, as well as the lives of our families.
I hope that with these tips, you’ll be able to foster healthy, happy homes. And, by proxy, happy, healthy families 🙂
We’d love to hear what you’re doing with your families to foster a healthy lifestyle!
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