Prepare, Don’t Panic: daily habits to keep your family healthy (Part 1)

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In the past year and a half, everyone has had one thing on their minds: how can I keep my family healthy? For me, it’s important to not just keep my family healthy, but to do it naturally. We will use pharmaceutical products when necessary, but they aren’t our first go-to. In the last ten years, I’ve learned so much about natural remedies, supplements, oils, herbs, and even foods we can use to stay healthy. You can read more about my journey to wellness HERE. In this series, I’m going to share products and tips that will help keep your immune system strong before illness hits as well as what we use when we are under the weather.

What can you do everyday to keep your family healthy?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I am just sharing what we do in our home to keep our family healthy, based on my own research and experience. Please always do your own research and consult your own doctor with any concerns you may have. This post contains affiliate links.

Instead of just waiting until you get sick, start by keeping your body strong now. If you look at this list and think “Wow, this is overwhelming – I can’t do all of these things!” Then begin with one and add more as you go. I also share all these tips with ZERO judgment about where you are on your health journey. Wherever you are now, you can take steps forward. Every single change you make toward your health makes an impact! So instead of feeling overwhelmed, let yourself feel empowered by the actions you can take now.

The rest of the series is going to dive into more specific products, but we have to start out with the basic foundation of health. These are steps that anyone can take today!

Go outside daily.

Going outside is incredibly important for your health – the Vitamin D, the fresh air, the mood boost… there are so many benefits. Even 10-15 minutes a day (especially in the middle of the day, at the peak of the sun) impacts your health and helps your body absorb Vitamin D. So make it a goal to get outside, even in the winter. A quick walk around the block, sit on the back porch with your tea, watch your kids playing at the park or on your backyard swingset… any little bit of time outside is good for your body.

Move your body.

There is SO much research that connects moving your body with your immune health. Moving your body doesn’t have to mean vigorous exercise, so you could just take a brief walk, work in your garden for an hour, shovel snow, or chase your kids around the house playing tickle monster. ;) If you’re able, do short bursts of more intense exercise like hiking, jogging, or walking on a treadmill.

Eat real foods.

Food is medicine. What you eat can either fuel your body or keep it from working properly. Processed foods are harmful to your immune system, so avoiding ingredients like sugar, food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial ingredients will help your body to be at its optimal health.

If you’re used to eating foods from boxes and bags, start with one meal or one snack. Replace it with a food that your great grandmother would have recognized (think: foods you could grow or find a farmers’ market).

And while you’re eating food that fuels your body, make sure you drink a lot of water too. :)

Avoid harmful ingredients.

If you look around your house right now, you will likely find common things like air fresheners, cleaning products, candles, fabric softener, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste… but did you know that all of these things contain ingredients that could be potentially harmful to your body? And these ingredients DO have an impact on your immune system.

Without doing a deep dive into all the harmful ingredients, I’ll mention a few to look for on the common products you use in your home:

  • parabens
  • SLS
  • fragrance

These ingredients disrupt your endocrine system, are known to contain carcinogens, and are overall just incredibly harmful to your everyday health. What kinds or products contain these ingredients? Well… basically everything (see the short list above). Nearly everything you have in your home contains these ingredients. You are either putting them onto your body (and absorbing them into your bloodstream) or inhaling them. Swapping out your everyday products for healthier versions will make a huge impact on your health.

Get good sleep.

Sleeps is when your body recovers and rebuilds, so getting good quality, regular sleep helps keep your body healthy.

Do things that bring you joy.

Your mental, emotional, and spiritual health also impacts your physical health. If you are stressed, your immune system will be suppressed and your body will not be able to handle an illness. Take time everyday to do something that brings you joy: prayer, reading, gardening, sewing, hiking, talking on the phone with a friend. I believe that true joy is found in Jesus, so I make prayer and reading the Bible everyday a priority. Taking care of your body goes beyond the foods you eat or the vitamins you take, so pay attention to your emotional and spiritual health too. This post gives you some great ideas for naturally boosting your mood.

Take vitamins and supplements.

It’s always best to get our vitamins and nutrients from food, but this just doesn’t always happen anymore. Our soil is very depleted of nutrients, and we eat a lot more processed foods that fill our bellies but don’t fuel our bodies. Supplementing with quality, food-based vitamins is the next best thing, especially because you can target any specific needs for your body. Like in the winter, we take more Vitamin D, since we live in Wisconsin and don’t get nearly as much sunshine as we do in the summer. ;)

Where do you begin?

If this entire list feels overwhelming, focus on ONE thing. Take one area at a time, adding more in as you’re able. Slowly swap out your products for ones with cleaner ingredients. Slowly add movement into your day. Slowly change the foods you’re eating to real, whole foods.

Begin in whichever area feels easiest to you, and then move to the next one. Each step you take will make a difference. But the only way you can make changes is just to begin. Take your health and your family’s health into your own hands – you can do this!

PART 2 of this series has a specific list of the vitamins, supplements, and essential oils we use in our home on an everyday basis.

Need more support on your wellness journey? Check out the Mama’s Wellness Toolkit.

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