Busy families yearn for a slower, simpler life… one that is reminiscent of the long, and more expansive summer days. When the academic school year starts, lives become inundated with rigorous schedules. This is when our ability to keep the focus on balance within our lives goes a little (or a lot) awry. We begin spending less time outside engaging actively with our families and ourselves, and shift to a more sedentary, controlled indoor existence, one of computers, television and phones. Add quick “go to “ snacks and fast foods to this picture and what you are left with is a combination of emotional stressors compounded with foods laden with sugars and chemicals that add more stress to the body. This “Standard American Diet”, appropriately termed S.A.D. applies not only to the foods we eat, but to our emotional, mental and spiritual foods as well. It is truly ALL connected.

This picture doesn’t have to be yours. If you are struggling to find ways to stay connected in a healthy way to your family and yourself, try a different approach.

My suggestions for activities to maintain a connection to yourself and your family:

*Say “yes” to the activities and people that illicit a feeling of having gained more from the exchange than you came into it with.

*Eliminate activities, social engagements, and people that don’t serve you. These, literally, drain your energy.

*For things which you feel you “MUST” do, incorporate your family and friends into these. Find a way to make it less like work and more like a shared experience that can encourage opportunities for deepening your relationship. In other words, find the joy.

Some examples to build on my last point:

* Perhaps you can schedule the bill paying to occur when you have no obligations and your children are with their friends. Take this time to play your favorite music, light incense or a candle…..bring some element of ceremony or pleasure to what you are doing.

*If you have a dog, grab your children and don’t just walk the dog. Build in time to take a longer walk. See if you can encourage your children to walk a bit further every day to see if they can reach a certain mile marker you pre-set and offer them a trip to the movies once you reach that goal.

Meal Planning is the single most challenging aspect of nourishing our family and ourselves at the most basic level. Many families do not cook their meals and sit down for dinner anymore. If they do sit down, a good number of families have the television going and do not engage in conversation. This has crippled the health of many families. It is fine to partake in a bit of this from time to time. It is not what families do occasionally that makes in impact. What a family participates in from day to day as a habit is what sets the stage for how they interact with one another.

For suggestions on quick meals and easy snack foods that you can either make or buy to ensure that you are choosing the healthier options for yourself and your family, visit my blog, www.findyourorganicsoul.com

The most pivotal part of this equation, however, is not simply what you are feeding yourself and/or your family, but rather what you are feeding these minds and hearts. This is what nourishment is truly about.

Author's Bio: 

Odette Worrell is a certified Holistic Health Counselor, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), a Reiki Master Practitioner, Certified Hatha Yoga Asana Teacher (200RYT), Certified Living Foods Chef, and founder of Find Your Organic Soul.

Odette's work encompasses supporting and empowering individuals to regain their physical health , improve the quality of their lives, and reach their personal goals.

Odette and Organic Soul offer newsletters, online health, self-growth classes, and one-on-one health counseling consultations.