Holistic Health & Wellness, Home Education

Teaching Natural Health & Wellness in Your Homeschool

You can probably think back to what health and wellness classes were like when you were in school. I remember learning about health from a physical education, government issued food pyramid, safe sex, and just-say-no to drugs point of view. However, I don’t quite remember learning about health and wellness from a natural, holistic perspective.

If you’re anything like me, then you’re most likely an anti-vax, clean eating, natural product using, modern yet alternative-seeking mama. I believe what drives our decisions to be opposed to what Western medicine suggests and endorses could be the very foundation to the kind of health and wellness we teach in our homeschool.

Sure, you may have questions of where to start, when to start, and what to use… so, keep reading – I answer all those questions, and some!

Where to Start

This is honestly and totally up to you. I recommend starting with your current (or even past) lifestyle. If you haven’t always lived a natural kind of lifestyle, that can be the very starting point. It would help your children better understand what a natural lifestyle actually looks like if they have something to compare it to.

Talk about the not-so-good-for-you foods that you used to eat. Discuss personal hygiene products you may have used, taking a close look at the ingredients. And if you’re super “crunchy”, then you could probably talk about why you don’t use plastics, a microwave, certain cleaners, or disposable diapers!

Simply put, start with the changes you’ve made personally and what you’re currently doing now.

When to Start

Again, I can’t be the giver of a definite “start date” for you, but my suggestion is the sooner the better – in all aspects. If you have young children, believe it or not, they can understand much more than we give them credit for. They may not remember the big words or technical terms, but they’ll have memories of “mama making a rub in the kitchen that took away the boo-boo” or the mindset game that helped through a tough time.

Those are the types of stories I miss so greatly about my older relatives who have now passed on. My great-great aunt used to tell me about rubs and tinctures that at the time I couldn’t quite understand. Now, I get it! Stories of how they pulled things from “beyond the trees” now resonate to my core, and it’s these practices that my husband and I both want to teach our children.

When should you start? Start now.

What to Use

The type of natural, holistic health and wellness we’re talking about in this post is one you won’t find in many (if any) curriculum or textbooks. Although the big curriculum companies have done outstanding jobs on creating resources for us to use, sadly, a lot of it still looks like public/private school materials.

If you want to get traditional in the sense of getting back to the “roots” of natural living (no pun intended), I suggest starting with your public library. Those places are the hubs for books that date back further than dust (okay, maybe not that old) – and they’re free. Another source is Amazon, although some of those herbal and natural remedy books can get pretty pricey (but worth it).

Google is another option, but you’ll want to do some extensive searching to ensure you’ve landed some good resources that haven’t sold out to the .gov, CDC, or FDA perspective of health. Good resources are out there though! One you should definitely consider is the Earthley Herbal Club. It’s free, comes in form of a printable download (PDF), and has all the information you need for teaching!

How to Start

They layout provided in the Earthley Herbal Club printable is the perfect way for introducing lessons that pertain to natural and holistic health and wellness. In a nutshell, you would:

  • Introduce a topic/concept by discussing what it is and why it’s important.
  • Expand on the topic/concept by providing information about how it works and how/why you use it (or not).
  • Deepen the learning with hands-on application (if possible).

The hands-on approach not only deepens understanding but it also puts the good ole “STEM” term to use. Imagine your children being able to create salves and teas right alongside you or work naturally through what would be a sabotaging mindset. Not to mention, there are lots of topics within the natural health and wellness field that you could use for teaching:

  • Herbs
  • [Essential] oils
  • Carrier ingredients (for teas, tinctures, salves, etc.)
  • Preparation methods (for the DIY creations)
  • Clean eating
  • Meal planning/prepping
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Cleaning products
  • Air quality
  • Physical health
  • Emotional health
  • Mental health
  • Natural remedies

The list could go on! These are definitely great topics to start with and give plenty of information to start with. And you never know… you may have little naturopaths, psychologists, and health coaches on your hands by the time it’s all said and done!

CHIME IN: What are some ways you teach health and wellness in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Holistic Health & Wellness

What New Beginnings Are In Store For You This Year?

Planning the year out is something you’ve either been used to doing before, or you’ve never really thought about doing at all. Some people like to have every bit of their life planned out (that would be me), while some couldn’t think of anything worse.

Perhaps it boils down to the sort of life that you want to live. If you know exactly what you want out of life, then it’s understandable that you’d want to plan every year as it comes around. And one way you’re going to be able to meet your goals is if you set them out in front of you!

Random Surprises

Even with the best planning, there’s always going to be those random surprises that come your way and are set to rock your world. There are also those times when you can’t predict when something out of your control is going to come along.

When it comes to these random surprises, try to stay calm and handle them as they arise. Just as there is a beginning to them, there will also be an ending. This simple reminder can help you through what seems to be some of the most toughest of times.

New Beginnings

One thing that you might have in store for you this year are intentional new beginnings in particular areas of life. There are also times when it seems like these new beginnings are happening to everyone but you. Perhaps in these moments, it’s good to look for fresh ideas and fresh experiences that are going to enrich your life.

Be inspired by the following five new beginnings that can enrich any life!

A New Edition to the Family

It’s no secret that I’m usually expecting a new baby on average of everything other year or so (LOL). Truth be told, a new addition to the family is one of the most exciting things to happen in someone’s life. The responsibility placed on you is huge, but the reward is even bigger.

There are many ways a new edition can enhance a family, but some of the most popular are the pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and baby showers. Can we say pictures, parties, and plain ol’ fun? I feel like I’m way beyond most of these but with the announcement of our last, I finally got to do one of those “cool” birth announcements.

Check out my birth announcement here, and in the meantime, check out The 35 Best Pregnancy Announcements Ideas To Try In 2020 to snag an idea of your own! Keeping in tune with planning and setting goals, go ahead and plan your baby shower and birth plan!

A New Beginning in a New Area

It may seem intimidating at first, but sometimes moving to a new place is the best idea that you can have. You won’t realize how much you needed to move to another area until you actually do. You suddenly realize how little there was to do in your old location, or perhaps there was too much to do and the quiet life suits you.

Some people stay in the same town that they were brought up in because they like the comfort of it. Some can’t wait to escape. Perhaps a job moves you, or the wild of idea of experiencing a new culture inspires you to pick and go. Regardless of your reasons for moving, one thing you can bank on is it being a completely fresh start.

A New Lifestyle

A new lifestyle might be just the thing you need if you’re running your current lifestyle into the dirt. It’s so easy to fall into this lazy lifestyle that society can put you in. You become so zombified because of lack of sleep, unsociable working hours, and working pressure.

Doing things the “world’s” way can lead to negative eating and sleeping patterns, and relying on false-filled hopes and dreams. Of course this can all change if you’re willing to change some of the habits that you have. Some of the first habits people begin to change are their sleeping and eating habits, and these are definitely great places to start.

Getting more sleep and eating healthier meals will have you feeling like a completely different person.

A New Way of Carrying Yourself

Sometimes you need to look in the mirror and realize the person you’ve become. The world generally has a way of making us look at ourselves a little harsher than necessary. And a person who might once have done anything for someone can become short and standoffish to everyone because that’s what life does to people.

Think about the way that you carry yourself. Ask yourself if you’re happy with the person you are today. Of course we all have areas that need some type of attention, but starting with that simple question can begin helping you tackle one area at a time.

Try doing something that makes you feel better about yourself as well. It’s often said that when you focus on helping others, it inwardly helps you too. From helping at homeless and animal shelters to taking mission trips to another country, there are countless ways to help with whatever you’re interested in.

More Attention to Yourself

In recent days, this has been labeled as “self-care”, but regardless of what you call it, it’s totally necessary. Sometimes you just need to take more time to pay attention to yourself. It’s a great new beginning to finally start taking more care to love yourself, rather than focusing on the negatives.

Whether you’re taking the time to establish a new beauty routine, treating yourself to some new clothes, or going on a mini vacation, make sure your happiness is a priority!

CHIME IN: What are some new beginnings you have planned for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Holistic Health & Wellness

How to Spring Clean 3 Areas of Your Mental Health

Throughout this article we’re going is going to focus on how to spring clean your mental health. If you are like most people who take the time to clean and organize their home when the warm weather of spring comes around, than setting the intention to focus on our mental well-being can be a very similar, and equally as helpful, process.

Mental health is becoming less of a stigmatized topic in society, but there can still be a lack of understanding of the importance of maintaining our mental and emotional well-being. Let’s first be sure to understand the concept of mental health before moving forward, which, as mentalhealth.gov suggests “includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being”.

Mental health also relates to how we think, feel, and act and helps determine how we handle stress, interact with others, and make decisions. Our mental health holds importance at every stage of life, from childhood into adulthood and beyond. For this article, we’ll be exploring three key areas of our mental health including the mind, body, and soul.

As we explore, we’ll be looking at examples of how you can begin to spring clean your own mental health, and since we are all unique individuals, be sure to determine the strategies that work best for you and create your own steps to take in this process of organizing your emotional landscape.

Spring Clean Your Mind

The mind is a key component of our mental health, since our emotions are intertwined with our emotions and our thoughts. Take for example the last time you felt very stressed or anxious. Chances are your mind was racing with thoughts and you may have experienced an internal disorganization with a range of emotions such as frustration, sadness, and perhaps even anger.

Take the time right now to consider how you are feeling in this present moment. Write down any difficult thoughts or feelings you might be experiencing, and name these if possible. Being able to identify what’s happening inside can be an important step in working through these emotional disruptions.

It’s also important to remind yourself that everyone can experience moments when things aren’t okay inside. It’s normal to experience difficult emotions, or feel scattered in your thoughts. Also remember that things can be different and you can feel better.

Suggestions on how to spring clean your mind:

  • write down your thoughts and feelings and the impact that these concerns are having on your life at the moment
  • consider strategies of taking care of your mind,
  • create a support network and ask for help from trusted people in your life or a make an appointment with a professional

Additional reading: Depression Versus Sadness

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Spring Clean Your Body

Our physical health and body are also important aspects related to spring cleaning your mental health because of connection between our minds and our bodies, known as the mind-body connection.

The World Health Organization explains this phenomenon by stating that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So what’s happening in our minds is just as important and interconnected to what’s happening in our bodies, as well as in our minds.

Consider your own physical well-being in this moment in the following areas as examples and rank them on a scale of 1-5 (1 is poor, 5 is great):

  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Illness
  • Substance Use

Add up your total out of 30. The closer your number is to 30 means that you are taking pretty great care of your physical well-being, which can lead to a greater mind-body connection overall. Great job! Keep it up, and consider more ways you can take care of your body.

Worried about how well you’re currently taking care of your body and it’s needs? Consider ways of increasing your mind-body connection in small steps (eg. by drinking more water, creating a better sleep routine, or booking an appointment with your doctor).

Additional reading: 7 Ways Your Physical Health is Connected to Your Mental Health

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Spring Clean Your Soul

Finally, let’s consider ways of spring cleaning your soul. The definition of your soul can be your own and may include how you feel about yourself, the connection and relations you have with others in your life, or your spiritual beliefs and practices. However you define your soul, it’s important to be able to set the intention to regularly focus the needs of your soul and your self-care needs.

Some areas to consider when thinking of your own self-care and creating a routine that works for you are: eating habits, exercise, interests, social activities, relaxation, alone time, and moments of reflection. In fact, the list of self-care areas to consider can be endless, and it can be helpful to consider your own self-care needs and how to boost your own wellness routine.

Consider at least ONE self-care need right now and ONE activity that can help you to focus on treating yourself better and providing care for your soul. Some examples may include planning a walk with a friend, booking a massage or having a mindful moment to yourself.

Additional reading: The Anatomy of a Great Self-Care Routine

Well done! It can often be easier to focus on the needs of others or the responsibilities in our day rather than focusing on our mental well-being, so great job on being able to dedicate the time to taking care of yourself. If you would like to go more in-depth with this process of spring cleaning your mental health, join me for the free 4-week email challenge Spring Clean Your Mental Health starting March 20th!

In the meantime, snag a free self-love eBook filled with 21 days of ways to up the care and love for yourself!

 

CHIME IN: How do you gain clarity when it comes to mental health issues? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is part of the Spring Into Healthy Living blog series. Check the other posts:


Heather LeGuilloux is a therapist and mental health blogger who shares her knowledge, experience, and passion about mental health and wellness through her self-titled website www.heatherleguilloux.ca. Heather has an interest in helping people to understand themselves better in order to strengthen their emotional well-being as well as their relationship with others. Heather can also be found through Pinterest and Facebook.

Holistic Health & Wellness, Spiritual

7 Simple Steps Towards Time Management {For the Busy Mama}

Have you realized that things look a bit different since joining motherhood?

I sweep my house when it’s convenient. Like when someone is coming over or when I am already sweeping up a glitter mess.

My wardrobe is less than spectacular. It’s something between comfort, black and  one pair of jeans that fit me at the moment.

My workouts hit maybe 3 per week and they consist of maybe 15 minutes each, compared to the hour or two hour long workouts that could have made the cover of Shape years ago.

My hair used to be done. Most days I’m lucky to brush it, get it in a ponytail, or braid it. Thanks an “or,” not an “and” there, too….

I realized something I know every other mom has realized. Since becoming a mom, time management has become important. Since becoming a single, working mom, time management is survival. I learned working 11 + hours outside of the home for a period of my life and now working a few hours a day at home and also homeschooling, that time management is key.

So, how can you get it all done?

You have to do everything you don’t want to do. You have to do everything you have not been doing.
Schedule. Your. Time.

Trust me mamas, I am preaching to myself here. I want to say you can wing it everyday and get everything done. But, that’s hiding from reality. And we aren’t hiders. We are seekers of valuable, purposeful time with our families.

  1. Make Faith a Priority.
    If you’ve ever had the goal of scheduling “Bible time,” you know it doesn’t just happen. You find every excuse in the book to use the time for other well-meaning tasks, and the kids are less than enthused to sit and listen. You need to make this a priority {remember, this is an example} and set a daily time to learn about and practice your faith. It could be as simple as one Bible story in the morning, or over dinner. Whatever you do, make sure the family understands that we won’t be doing anything else until this is accomplished.
  2. Make Yourself a Priority
    You’ve heard and disregarded the old adage that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself. And mama, it’s true. The second priority in your day has to be you. Whatever fills you up – exercising, reading, journaling – schedule it. Even if it’s 30 minutes a day before the kids wake up or after they go to bed. It’s okay if you want to do a number of things and can only fit one in during each time of your life. Just do one, and enjoy it fully.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations.
    Don’t make a 7-point lesson plan on the busiest days of your week. Don’t expect a three course meal when you have swim lessons until 4 p.m. Be realistic with your expectations and yourself. Planning your week out will allow you to see the busy days and to push more onto the lighter days.
  4. Pick One Goal per Day.
    You can only do so much. And some days, that means that getting the house-food-work done won’t all happen. Each day, pick one thing that is your focus. This is a good place to start if you feel totally unmanaged. Maybe it’s saying “hi” to the new neighbor, calling the lady from church, or playing a game with your youngest child. Whatever it is, write it down and treat it like a real “to-do” on your list.
  5. Write It Out.
    No good plan stays inside your head. Spend Sundays writing out your home/cooking/cleaning plan, your schooling plan, and your daily goals. Write them down where everyone can see them, and stick to them as best you can.
  6. Get Commitment from the Crew.
    Remember how everyone can see it? Talk it over with your family and see if their schedule fits what you are planning. It’s okay to move things around or bump them to another time.  Work in their daily goals – you’ll be surprised what your kids will think of.
  7. Be Gracious.
    Don’t get upset when you don’t get something done. These are factual, time chunks you’re talking about and you can only fit so many pegs into the holes. Push something to tomorrow, know when to quit. You did your best, and you will do your best again tomorrow.

 

We want to get it all done. The healthy food, the clean house, the bedtime snuggles {with the kids and the hubby}, the three rounds of Candyland, real, fun learning, and time for ourselves. That simply isn’t possible, and we end each day feeling totally defeated.  Having a set schedule will leave you feeling successful and accomplished most days, and you will find that you do really accomplish more. You will forget less, and be able to squeeze in more important things, as well.

And When We Don’t Get it All Done

It happens. Something tough goes down and your whole planned day is blown. You prioritize your schedule in the coming days to get it done. You are gracious with yourself and move things around. You don’t take it personal and you can’t get emotional about it. Show your children what it looks like to accept a defeat, be positive, and make the most out of it. You skip out of ruining the rest of the day and treat yourself to a long bath or your husband to a massage with no guilt.

 

I know it’s hard mama. I know you want time to read, workout, and just enjoy your life. During the busy years of motherhood, that can seem like a long lost dream. Plan your best and have joy and grace when it doesn’t work out. You will find that you have more time than you think, are okay leaving the laundry for one day, and focus more on what matters: your family {and yourself!}

 

A special thanks to our guest poster Danielle Olson, lifestyle naturalist and blogger over at Well You Wellness. Danielle describes herself as a “a home-birthing, organic & non-GMO cooking (and gardening!), chicken-raising, typical crunchy mama.” You can find her making health and wellness products which can be purchased from her Etsy Shop, and don’t forget to connect with her on Facebook!

 

 

Until next time, well livin’ y’all!

 

 

 

*If you would like to be a Guest on With the Huddleston’s, submit your inquiry to blog@withthehuddlestons.com