By Ellen Farrell, MA, NCC, LPC, EEM-AP
Maintaining balance in today’s fast-paced world can certainly be a challenge! However, if choosing wellness on all levels is a key goal for your family then clarifying specifics becomes easier. Some areas to look at are communication / boundaries, managing day-to-day and overall physical health, and spiritual connection – articulate tools to support your family in finding balance and meaning to support you as you are on this journey together.
To start, look at your family dynamics. How are the listening and communicating skills? Can you discuss concerns openly? Are there unresolved tensions, grudges, and judgmental behaviors?
Here’s an easy way to check-in to evaluate your status…
Relax your shoulders. Breathing in through your nose, and slowly and deeply into your belly, consider each loved one/family member one at a time –
each is a unique individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. Explore the heart connection between you, and just observe, listen, and breathe into it.
Pay attention – notice what you feel.
Life can be harsh enough – when families are strong and united due to good communication and clearly defined goals for appropriate behavior, (i.e., to be your best; honest, loving, honoring) it makes the road less rocky!
Next look at overall health and stress levels. Is your lifestyle/diet healthy– does it support your ethics? Eat a small amount of good-fats, high-fiber (whole-grains/fruits-veggies-legumes) – always, fresh and organic is best! What was food called a hundred years ago? It was all organic! Consider the effects of processed foods such as table salt, or high-fructose-corn-syrup (HFCS). It stresses all systems, can cause mood swings, brain-fog – and can contribute to immune system dysfunction. Our environment and our food enhances our ability to function or diminishes it –choose carefully! Complementary/alternative medicine can be a huge support. Do talk with your medical doctor to discuss any changes.
As a holistic wellness psychotherapist, former team-leader of Nutrition at Whole Foods Market, and as a mother of three, I’ve seen many wonderful results with homeopathic, herbal and other quality supplements. Here are some must-haves… Homeopathic Arnica gel can prevent bruising and relieve the pain of muscle soreness. I’ve been grateful for this product many times over! Another important product is FES 5-flower or Bach Rescue Remedy. I’ve seen this formula promote almost immediate emotional recovery (when my two-year-old was pushed by a playmate, crying stopped, he was able to take a deep breath, give me a moment to see where he was hurt, and then find the Arnica gel!). Sometimes the little traumas build up and overwhelm us, so it’s nice to have tools to help us function optimally.
Lastly, how are you taking time to acknowledge the sacred? Our connection to Nature, the Divine, intuition, our own energy and creativity is a personal journey – one that takes attention and intention. Choose to go within to listen to that still small voice, to connect with pure love and your potential for health on every level for you and your loved ones.
I like to say we are all learning to be our best. It is a good goal.
As a parent it’s been my job to “see” that potential in my family members – and for myself. Take another moment to see the dream you have for your family as a supportive, peaceful, cohesive, loving unit. Feel the love that exists between you also flowing through you. Being present for each moment of creating a healthy (biological or found) family, can be an exciting team effort that will help you to be your best on this amazing journey we call life!
Now that my kids are in college or beyond, I feel that the lessons and bonds my husband and I created with them as they were growing, remain strong.
Love ultimately, is the greatest key to learning and growing together.
Originally printed in 2007, updated in 2016.