By Julia Porter
In the hustle and bustle of modern life, maintaining the health and well-being of your entire family is a top priority. By adopting simple yet effective practices from Ayurveda, you can create a foundation for a thriving and energetic family life. In this blog post, we'll explore a range of holistic tips for raising happy and healthy kids, promoting well-being for the entire family.
Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that dates back thousands of years. The word "Ayurveda" translates to "the science of life" in Sanskrit, and it focuses on achieving balance and harmony in mind, body, and spirit. According to Ayurvedic principles, each person is unique, and their well-being is influenced by a combination of three doshas: Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (earth and water). Connecting to the elements in nature, spending quality time together and creating rituals and routines are some of the best ways to support the balance of elements.
Children have this really beautiful way of living “the Ayurvedic way” without even trying. They love to put their bare feet in the grass, admire the changing seasons and enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer. One of the most powerful tools a parent can develop over time is knowledge and understanding of their child. Kids don't come with a manual - but the power of intuition and observation run deep. Every season that passes provides a new opportunity to understand and support our children in a new way.
Simple Tips for Health & Vitality
1. Establish a Daily Routine
In Ayurveda, establishing a daily routine is crucial for maintaining balance. Encourage your family to wake up and go to bed at consistent times, make time for fresh air and movement, and enjoy nourishing meals together. Incorporating mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can also help to manage stress and ease nervous tummies. A great way to do this with kids is to place their favorite stuffed animal on their stomach as they are laying down. Challenge them to move the animal up and down - thus, activating their deep belly breathing. Parents you can do this as well!
2. Create a Sacred Corner in the House for Connection
Set aside a little corner of the house for a “quiet sit,” as we call it at our house. Bring cushions, books, special treasures from outside like leaves and rocks and let it be a special place to connect with kids, partners or yourself. It can be a place for morning reflection, mid-afternoon check in or evening prayer.
3. Balanced Nutrition
Ayurveda places great emphasis on the role of food in maintaining health. Encourage your family to consume a variety of fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced foods. We know how challenging meal time can be for picky little eaters. Try to get your kids involved in the cooking process. Let them measure spices or select certain ingredients out of the cabinet and fridge. It’s messier getting them involved, but often leads to a greater curiosity and willingness to try new things. When in doubt, incorporate more warm, cooked foods to support digestion and immunity - like warm stewed apples, roasted sweet potatoes and simple soups.
4. Set the Mood for Sleep
The sleep routine might be one of the most powerful tips, as sleep supports and restores our body unlike anything else. Limiting screen time at least an hour before bed is a great way to get everyone in the mood for sleep. Draw a warm bath and try playing some soft, soothing music - keeping the lights dim. Also, try incorporating a little foot massage after the bath with sesame oil or lotion of choice for grounding. Storytelling is also a powerful way to connect and share challenging or favorite parts of the day.
5. Keep Communication Open
Foster open communication within the family to address emotional well-being. Encouraging children to express their emotions and concerns, helps to establish trust within the family unit. Ask kids about their day. Tell them that you missed them while they were at school. Tell them about your favorite part of the day. Make plans for fun things to do that week/month/year and let it be a time to dream together.
6. Connect to Nature
Try to get some fresh air every day. Don’t be afraid to get wet in the puddles or bundle up to head out in the snow. Talk about the seasons. What the trees and plants are doing. What there is to look forward to. Make a big deal about looking at the moon, the clouds rolling by and the breeze. Taking joy and connecting to nature offers an endless supply of magic, support and healing.
Healthy Family = Happy Family
A healthy family is a happy family. By incorporating these health tips into your family's daily routine, you're laying the groundwork for a lifestyle that promotes holistic well-being. Remember, small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements in the overall health of each family member.
P.S. Don’t forget to take care of yourself! All of these tips are beneficial for people ages 1-101. Prioritize health, create a supportive environment, make time for fun and enjoy the journey toward a healthier, happier family life with holistic healing!