Now, I don't know about you but as I have gotten older, I have started to notice a strong correlation between my physical and mental health. When I am taking care of my physical body my mental health thrives. But when my mental health is suffering; think, high stress and anxiety or feelings of overwhelm or generally unhappiness, then my physical body suffers. The health of one without the other never feels fully sustainable.
Interestingly enough, it seems the scientific community, those that are truly interested in health, has started to point out these correlations as well. One of the clearest examples of mental health's effect on physical health is found in research on longevity: the long duration of an individual's lifespan. Researchers have found definitive links between mental illness, even just elevated levels of stress or anxiety, and a shortened lifespan. Similarly, researchers find that physical health, specifically regular exercise and a lack of major illness, has a significant effect on levels of depression and anxiety and other more serious mental illnesses.
What we discovered over the last few years is that, if not fully conscientious of our habits and choices, our lofty efforts (fixing up an old property, settling into a new home, developing and running a brand-new farm and business, not to mention daily life with children and day jobs) would take their toll on all aspects of our health.
What we have discovered is that it often takes a greater effort than the simple "diet and exercise" mindset to truly THRIVE.
Here are some of the ideas we should be considering to live long, healthy, happy lives:
Hydration & Limiting Alcohol
Exercise & Recovery
Breath & Meditation
Nutrition & Fasting
Cognitive Challenges & Socialization
Nature and Temperature Therapy
Journaling & Consistency
So, why are we talking about this HUGE topic? Isn't it a little outside of our wheelhouse as farmers?
When we set out on our farming adventure, we were aiming to protect and improve our families physical and mental health, seeking out a life that would help us THRIVE free from illness caused by toxic foods and toward a deeper happiness. As we have developed our farm business, we discovered it was a passion of ours to help other families find this too, access to deeply nourishing food, a connection to its production, more delicious satisfying meals, and a stronger community.
If you are like us, and I'm pretty sure you are, you are trying to do "ALL THE THINGS," run a household, feed your family clean nourishing foods, support a thriving career or chase a lifelong dream, all while getting the kids to and from school and activities, supporting your community or church, and doing the dishes.
Over the next few weeks, we will dig into a few of these topics because it truly takes reaching for our best self in order to do "ALL THE THINGS." So, rather than wait to declare some halfhearted new year's resolution in January. I'm starting now, in my efforts to reinstate, track, and develop healthier habits and I'm inviting you to join us! After all, Support and accountability are the cornerstone of success. We'd love to hear your recommendations and experiences with any of the topics in comments, messages, or on the ever-present social media where I'll be tracking some of our efforts.
Because we believe we all deserve to life a life that is happier, healthier, and more delicious even if it does take a village and a few farms.