We are surrounded by it right now. All of the information and reports coming to light about health issues, sickness, diseases, toxic products, deceitful companies and more. Our heads spin with all of the information coming to light daily both aiding our health as well as things that are destroying it. As a parent with a desire to raise healthy and happy kids, the commotion can be all too debilitating on the best approach and what to do let alone health issues and concerns for ourselves as parents as we get older. Today I wanted to share with you about our family’s journey to cleaner and healthier living, the strides we have made in the past year, as well as the results we are experiencing. My hope is that if you are feeling like I was just a year ago, that maybe I can help you feel inspired to begin chipping away at making changes for your own family and home.
It was three years ago this past August. I suffered a nervous breakdown and the result of that was the development of anxiety and a myriad of digestive issues (which is made worse by the anxiety). Stress is a real and scary thing and you don’t realize the toll it can take until it’s too late. It was an extremely dark time for me. One that was brought on by lack of boundaries, doing too much, working too hard and not admitting limitations. Six months after that we were surprised to find out we were pregnant with our sweet Brooks. With no time to recover from what I just went through and not being in the best health, I headed into my fifth and last pregnancy developing gestational diabetes. Then, at 38 weeks and after laboring for 24 hours, we headed into emergency surgery for a cesarean. That experience was traumatic and left me with PTSD as well as postpartum anxiety.
All this to say the past several years, while they have been full of blessings and incredible things for our family, have taken a toll on my mental and physical health (you can read all about these experiences documented in this blog post and this one). Being a working mother of five, it has been quite the task to combat health issues with all the things that I know I should be doing to get back to feeling like myself with only 24 hours in a day. Eating right, working out, getting eight hours of sleep, etc, etc, etc. To be honest, it feels impossible sometimes. And then the thought of not doing everything I should ends up adding more stress and more guilt which then fuels the physical ailments and it just keeps going and going, round and round.
While I have used tools such as Xanax to help calm the anxiety following Brooks’ birth to keep postpartum depression at bay, I also know that I want to get to the root of the problem and try and figure out a more long term approach at managing my mental and physical health. Modern medicine is an absolute blessing and should be used with proper care and consideration for things like mental health. However, for me, I know that I haven’t been consistent and diligent enough yet for a long enough time frame to say that more holistic approaches like proper diet and exercise don’t work. I need to work hard at being consistent for a proper time frame to then assess the changes seen and felt and what the next steps would need to be.
Because anxiety is the reason the physical ailments are such a struggle for me, I started to research techniques and natural approaches others have used to work through theirs. While giving myself space to work through that first year of postpartum and enjoying Brooks I was doing what I could to work on better self-care (I’m a slow learner as you can tell). I was reading and researching what others have found that truly helps in the area of mental health and stress management. This is when I first started to hear about essential oils and the power of plants when it comes to our bodies and supporting better all-around health. It was somewhat interesting, but I am also very skeptical and found myself chalking it up to a “hippie” approach to health. It just wasn’t my thing. Or so I thought…
So time continued moving forward. I found myself doing more reading, more research, more consuming. Whether it be for mental health, or cleaner living, or the latest report on toxins in an everyday product that is now linked to cancer. I was being fueled by this feeling that all of my attention had to be on figuring things out. Both for my well-being and our family’s. During this time I made the switch to glass everything in the kitchen. We threw out our plastic save ware and switched to glass. Threw out kids’ cups, cereal bowls, you name it.
It was then January of this year. We were heavily into the idea of moving. We were researching (as we have always done) into where we would want to move to and by the summer it had come down to two places. A lot of prayers went into the final decision being Tennessee. One of the top things on our list was access to organic foods and the farm to table lifestyle. The goal is to eventually buy a property and dive into homesteading, but we knew that until that time comes Nashville would give us plenty of opportunities to develop a more clean lifestyle when it comes to our food and where it comes from. The minute we arrived in Nashville, we have purchased our produce from local farms at the weekend market. It was there that I also found organic soaps to try on my kids at home that deal with skin sensitivities. We also decided to stop purchasing as much processed food and make as much as we can from scratch. We ditched the sugary cereals. We switched from products with dairy in it to non-dairy to see if it alleviates some of the tummy troubles here and there. And we started to pay really close attention to everything. Like, really pay attention.
Then, this summer, essential oils popped back up on my radar and it was then I decided to really look into it. I was surprised to see that Young Living wasn’t just merely an essential oil company that has developed a large array of products that are toxic-free and help support cleaner and healthier homes. I started reading blogs and listening to sponsors of Young Living and what they had to say about it. I listened to every Instagram story and Facebook post about the changes they were seeing in their own lives. We then decided it was worth trying. If it would not only allow us to bring in healthier products to ditch the toxic ones, it would also give me the opportunity to see what essential oils can do in regards to my mental well-being.
Our starter kit arrived and within 24 hours I had oil blends diffusing throughout the house (doing so much researching, educating and listening ahead of time gave me the confidence to know exactly what I was doing). The first bonus is that our house smelled amazing without needing to burn candles (because, yes, you guessed it, those are toxic too along with everything else we have ever purchased). The other benefits we saw within just the first week?
I have been on my knees in thankful prayer for my heart being pulled in the direction of these products and the opportunity to bring them into our home. On the outside, these would seem so small to some, but to us? These changes have and continue to be everything. Knowing that we are drastically reducing the toxins in our home? It makes my heart so happy. Knowing that my kids have experienced better sleep and a more calming atmosphere as they are home daily immersed in studies and family life? Incredible. And knowing that changes in my demeanor are being felt on the inside, but already noticed on the outside? My mind is blown. So very grateful and if changes like that can happen only in a week, I look forward to six months, one year, five years from now. I only want the absolute best for my kids and for them to live long and healthy lives.
I could go on and on about my theories and ideas about what is really going on between the food and medical industries, but that is for another time. I am just so grateful to have found Young Living. I am grateful to all who share the testimonies of their products and the benefits they have experienced because it’s what led me to try it for my family. I am grateful for the community I have found and the fellow women who have helped me to learn and continue sharing with me.
Our family’s passion for developing a cleaner and healthier lifestyle has been fanned into a wildfire. Our hearts are being pulled to continue moving forward and the road ahead seems like a brighter one. I look forward to working through my health more and more with the support of essential oils and seeing the benefits of them. Working hard to be consistent and know that my health above all else is most important. I have to be around for these kiddos – wink!
And you can imagine, after just one week of seeing the results we did, I knew I had to be involved with this company in a big way. I am so thrilled to have partnered with them! If you are interested in Young Living or in essential oils, I am happy to share with you information on how to get started or even just answer questions you may have. I know so many of us have the idea of cleaner and healthier living on our hearts because of all that we face and consume in the world today. It would be an honor to help you take baby steps towards your goals in doing so! The peace of mind and joy it has brought into our home is worth the amount of time spent making researching, learning and making changes. I love that this is part of our story now. If you want more information, simply reach out. Or if you have been on the fence and are now surer than ever before that this is for you, simply click here. I can’t wait to link arms and do this work together!
Here’s to knowing better and doing better. Here’s to starting somewhere – not putting off ’til tomorrow what can be started today. Thank you so much for being here and for reading, my friend! It means a lot.
P.S. Because I know it can be overwhelming for those that aren’t ready to tackle this area or even want to, I decided to create another Instagram account dedicated to wellness and our family’s journey in this entire area of our life. This is where I will be sharing our experiences, what is working for us as well as continuing education. You can find me here – I hope you join me!
I would love to hear from you what your experience is – if you have started ditching the toxic products for clean ones or if you are feeling overwhelmed at the idea. Let me know below and share any tips if you have them! We are getting our hands dirty and still have a lot of work ahead of us!
*Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.