health · kids · parenting

Turning off your thoughts: a guide for kids.

I teach sixth grade, and every day I share a thought for the day (a positive quote) with my students. Today’s thought was “One of the greatest addictions people have is the addiction to thought.” I talked to them about how when we think about addiction, we usually think about being addicted to video games or soda or TV, but thinking can also be an addition. In fact, these days most of us can find ourselves addicted to thinking, especially negative thoughts. I asked students if they ever have a hard time falling asleep because they can’t shut their brains off. In all four of my classes, every hand went up. I asked if they would like to know a way to stop it, and I had their full attention.

I had them do an experiment. I had them close their eyes and listen for a sound: the sound of the heating/air unit. It makes a soft white noise sound. Then I asked if they noticed that while they were listening, they weren’t thinking any other thoughts. They agreed that was true.

I explained they could practice that same process at home at night when they’re trying to go to sleep. I also used the word “meditation” at this point and several kids made faces at me. I asked them if when I said the word “meditation” they thought of sitting in a cross-legged position and saying “ohm” and they laughed. I explained that meditation isn’t really about that, that it’s quieting the mind.

Then I asked if anyone had a sound machine in their room. Some said yes, but most didn’t know what a sound machine was. I explained that sound machines can play ocean wave sounds (my favorite), white noise (and what that means), thunderstorms (my father-in-law’s favorite), and one with crickets and birds chirping, which I would personally find annoying. Some students shared that you can have Amazon Alexa play ocean or beach sounds too.

I encouraged them to try this and really focus on listening to and really focusing on whatever white noise sound they chose, then to let me know if it made a difference for them.

We also talked about how tapping in to any of the five senses can help bring you back to the present moment. You can feel the fabric of your jeans or shirt. Like when I’m driving, I will feel the texture of the steering wheel or the fabric of the seat and it will calm me and ground me. In my classroom, during cold weather months, I play a video of a fireplace during classwork time, and during warmer months, I play a video of ocean waves or beach scenery. Both of these are calming and students tell me they help them to be calm and to “turn their brain off” of whatever may be bothering them. Then they can refocus and get back to work.

Our brains tend to have so many tabs open and we can feel so overwhelmed that we don’t know where to start. By practicing mindfulness and having techniques to stop thought, we can turn off the tape playing in our minds of what has already happened or things that we may be anxious about happening in the future. We can be here. Now. In the moment. Namaste.

health · natural lifestyle

Young Living Lavender Lotion, How I Love Thee

I wanted to give a quick shout out to what is quite possibly my favorite Young Living product!

Do you know about Young Living’s Lavender Lotion? If you or anyone in your family is in search of that one product that will soothe your skin, look no further.

My sweet daughter now has perfectly soft, healthy skin. That was not her story six years ago, before I discovered this lotion. We had tried everything and nothing worked. Aquaphor and Eucerin were ok, but this Lavender Lotion completely soothed her skin like nothing else.

I’m a teacher, and had dry, cracked hands from frequent washing and using those rough brown school paper towels multiple times a day. And they were even worse in winter months, until I discovered this wonderful product.

Perhaps the best thing about this lotion is that it is all natural and COMPLETELY plant-based. And Young Living lavender fields are weeded BY HAND. This company blows me away with how pure of a product they are committed to provide.

Because it is all natural, it is FRAGRANCE FREE. Oh, it has the most beautiful lavender scent that you will fall in love with, but there is no ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE. Do you know why this matters so much? Did you know that due to trade secrets companies don’t have to tell you what is in fragrance when they scent their products artificially? They can get away with just putting “fragrance” on the label. That concerns me and it should concern you too. We banned Bath and Body from our home two years ago and never looked back.

“A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences noted that 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (yep, crude oil) and include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene, and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system …”

A simple Google search for “what is in artificial fragrance” will pull this up and a host of others!!!

I know some scoff and say, “well, you’re gonna die of something” or “Well, everyone else uses Bath and Body. I love my Bath and Body.” I’ll tell you what I tell my sixth graders: “everyone else is doing it” is the dumbest reason to do anything! (That’s actually a Joyce Meyer quote but I have totally stolen it.)

I want to give myself and my family the absolute best shot at a quality life as possible. When you know better, you do better.

Young Living’s fragrance free, plant-based products are things I would buy anyway, but YL gives me 24% back each month for being a loyal customer. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, kids body wash, kids shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, and on and on.

I am willing to sacrifice new clothes and shoes for myself. I’m willing to sacrifice buying frivolous things I don’t need. But I have found I don’t need to make those sacrifices anymore. My oil habit is paid for because I share my passion for this lifestyle with others and the company rewards me for that. And you are able to do the same. You can learn more about Young Living, purchase essential oils, and natural products like Lavender Lotion here.

I invest in my family’s health because it matters. I hope you will join me.

Let’s all share with those we love that there is a better way. ❤️❤️❤️

If you love Lavender Lotion or any of Young Living’s other personal care products, please share in the comments.