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  • Stacie Rose

How to Create a Positive, Less Pushy Approach to Keeping Your family healthy|As Seen in BC the Mag

Updated: May 1

How to Create a Positive, Less Pushy Approach to Keeping Your Family Healthy

Instilling positive health habits for your family can be like dragging a grand piano up

Mount Everest. Ever feel like you're selling a dream that nobody is buying or preaching

to the choir? The very notion of cultivating good health can be overwhelming. Cultivating wellness is a holistic endeavor which requires balance, intention, attunement, and tenacity. You might be saying, "Oh, is that all?", Indeed, it takes a massive effort to keep things going in the right direction. You might remind yourself that the journey, not the destination, matters most.

Life is an endless set of winding roads, a series of choices that could contribute to the

betterment of yourself and those you love. It's not always a breeze; sometimes, you will falter, fail, and need to regroup. But the large and small choices you make daily have great potential to bring your health into balance and inspire those around you.

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the

trees, the clouds, everything. -Thich Nhat Hanh

Make Healthy Choices

It boils down to making thoughtful choices for yourself and your family. You are likely

purchasing foods, planning physical fitness outings, having hard conversations, setting

boundaries, packing, and ordering school lunches, and setting up healthy home

systems. There are many choices to make. These choices are yours and will not always

be the right ones, and that's just fine. If you consistently make positive, intentional decisions, those around you are likely to follow. When you notice your efforts paying off, there will be more momentum, positivity, and confidence in your ability to steer your loved ones toward a healthy life. A handy tool for choice-making is intuition. We often find ourselves instinctively knowing what's off balance or needing attention. It could be a case of turning the tide in the name of more nutritious, whole foods or using less toxic cleaning products in your home. It could be physical fitness that needs a reboot. You pave the way by practicing good hygiene, self-care and portraying a healthy body image. Sometimes our mindfulness practices are in need of a tune-up. Alignment and balance take a bit of intuitive energy. It's vital to stay present with our loved ones to notice what's amiss. Better understanding can catalyze befitting choices. 

"Trusting our intuition often saves us from disaster."

-Anne Wilson Schaaf 


Dust Off Your Intuition   


Tapping into intuition can be easier for some than others. You may feel that intuition has led you astray at times. It can take some dusting off, sharpening and trust. It doesn't work if you don't believe it. Nothing does. If you feel it's failed you before, consider paying closer attention to the outcomes and occasions when it serves you well or saves your butt. Intuition is undeniably your friend. So how does intuition play into wellness support for your family? You will feel it in your gut when you focus on what's working. It’s like a visceral pull in the right direction without overthinking. Although creating wellness can require research, advocacy and vigilance, your body sends signals and sounds the alarm when necessary. Listen in and trust the information coming from within. It will inform diet, fitness, mindfulness, self-care, and everything that matters. You can better navigate wellness for yourself and your loved ones if you pay close attention to your needs and theirs. There is no one size fits all paradigm. Being part of a family means synchronizing yourself with the other members, teasing out individual needs and acting as a team. The better you know yourself and your family's unique challenges, the better you can

ascertain things that need shifting. There are always ways to help without being pushy

or off-putting. It takes practice, patience, and creativity.

"Your habits will determine your future." -Jack Canfield

Be The Change You Wish to See

Modeling behavior is the best way to walk the walk while talking the talk. You likely care about the quality of foods you put in your body, nutrition, fitness, and daily habits.

Caring is a blessing since others will be naturally inspired and uplifted and learn to

respect themselves and others. It can be that simple. Lead by example with exercise

and self-care. Build a life with healthy habits. If you take pride in your well-being, you

teach others that it's essential. By keeping active and creating positive feelings about fitness, you are helping to deliver the message of importance to others. You need not be tyrannical. You are simply leading the charge. If you stay hydrated, choosing water over sugary drinks, you set the table for healthy habits. If you make sleep a priority, you teach others that sleep is a priority. You mindfully take a stand when you denounce processed food and unhealthy patterns. 

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor"

– Irish proverb

Keep it Fun

While working your magic by getting your people on the wellness wagon, keep the word“fun” in mind. Food can be fun. Planning meals together, growing food, and cooking and preparing meals together can be a soulful way to connect. You might get your exercise in by biking, walking your dog, playing tennis, skiing, or doing things that you collectively find uplifting. If it's fun, it's no longer work, and there will likely be less pushback and more enthusiasm. Win/Win! If drinking water is a considerable challenge for someone, try a cool water bottle, adding a bit of citrus and encourage the non- hydrator to carry it and keep it full. If sleep is an issue, try relaxation modalities like yoga, meditation,intentional breathing, warm showers, soft bedding, salted baths, relaxing music, or reading before bed. Winding down can take some work. Gently guiding others toward wellness will create a good feeling about developing nourishing habits.

“There is no such thing as a perfect parent so just be a real one.” – Sue Atkins

Set the Rules 

Sometimes it comes right down to house rules and boundaries. Some people are less

strict about sugar or screen time. Others are less structured with sleep because they get the zzzs they need. If your family needs more specific and steadfast rules, then make them and stay consistent. For example, you might notice that your child has difficulty settling in after too much gaming or YouTubing too close to bedtime. Rules can be lifesavers. Kids benefit from boundaries designed to keep them healthy, happy, and safe.

"The essence of health is inner balance." -Andrew Weil 

Practice Moderation.

When you deal with extremes, it can create stress and anxiety and have a backfiring

effect. If you keep your family from indulging and constantly push them to do what you

think is best, it will likely get you nowhere fast. It comes down to teaching inner balance, self-awareness, and moderation. The 90/10 or even the 80/20 rule is a good jumping-off point. Eat healthy foods (most) of the time and enjoy what you like (some) of the time. Having healthy rituals and roadmaps helps avoid binging and creates lifelong balanced habits free of deprivation. You can be steadfast without being militant. It's okay to break form sometimes and bend the rules occasionally. Home should be a joyful place.

"The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a

ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture."

― Michael Pollan

Talk About It 

While making a fine health-conscious example of yourself, reinforcing the rules using

your intuition, encouraging moderation, and keeping it on the fun side, consider the

importance of communication. Communication is essential to understanding of good

health and its significance. Talk with your loved ones about the things that matter most.Actions and inactions can contribute to or hinder the sense of well-being. Empower those around you to read food labels, look for artificial and toxic ingredients, and to get into the habit of moving, hydrating, resting, and practicing self-care. Your love and nurturing vs criticism or control will speak volumes. You don't want to put your family on edge, but you do want to make sure they understand the reality that health is wealth and that cultivating a sustainable state of wellness for the body and mind makes many of the best things in life possible. Showing compassion for yourself and your family members is of great value. It teachesothers to be gentle with themselves when the going gets tough. Communicate that physical and mental well-being are equally essential and intertwined and that there is no shame in having challenges or seeking care. Open the door to honest conversations and deeper understanding. When people feel seen and heard, they feel loved. Validating feelings helps to build compassion and trust, which is vital to a healthy family


"The strongest will is the will that knows how to bend."

– Alice Duer Miller 

Stay Flexible 

Since kids are growing and our bodies are constantly changing, it's helpful to stay

flexible. One approach to eating or diet may work well- until it doesn't. One type of activity may serve you well- until it doesn't. A medical practitioner may be a great fit until they're not. Knowing yourself and your loved ones will help you use intuition to pivot and change course when things need adjusting. 

Once you embrace flexibility and fluidity, things can go more smoothly. On an off week, your family may consume fast food and junk, stay up to late, leave the house a disaster, and schedules may require rapid restructuring. You could beat yourself up, express shame, and self-deprecate, or you could choose to remain flexible, move on and make next week a better one. You will be helping your family greet the days with compassion and a flexible mindset which can ensure a better outcome. 

"If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food." – Errick McAdams

Roll Up Your Sleeves

Sometimes the less preachy, more organic way of keeping your kids healthy can

happen behind the scenes. Researching health concerns, talking with medical

providers, doing detective work, and confiding in family members and good friends can. help you feel less anxious and isolated. Nobody can control everything or have all theanswers, but asking questions, staying open-minded, and vigilant will help positively influence those you love. Sometimes being explicit about your expectations and wellness ideologies is necessary, while other times, the messages get through via


"Happy Healthy Parents Make Happy Healthy Children"

-Miriam Stoppard 

Dedicate Yourself

When we devote ourselves to cultivating wellness, we are leading by example. A

positive outlook can help us weather the storms and stay buoyant. When we express

our sincere joy and commitment to caring for our health, it sets a tone and gives

children a sense of security. It takes time, persistence, and heart to create this ripple

effect. Take it one day at a time for your sanity. Information and ideologies are

constantly emerging and changing, so staying apprised of wellness developments will

serve you well. It's worth the effort when you see the light shining in the eyes of yourloved ones. 

"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference."


Crafting a growth mindset will be your best bet and practicing gratitude for little miracleswill boost your overall well-being. Sharing a grateful, abundant attitude with your family will set the stage for a life and help them to build their own inner wealth. Small incremental, bite-size changes can make a big difference so celebrate each little

success. Give yourself space and grace, an occasional high-five and try not to worry

yourself sick. Kids pick up on the way we navigate the world. This beautiful life is worth

living well, and all your work, nurturing, guidance, and love are precious gifts to those

around you.


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