Making green and eco-friendly choices in our everyday lives is not an easy task. To live a green life for the longer term, we need to make green living a lifestyle. When we start living a more natural life on an daily basis we damage the environment less and benefit our bodies and souls more. And as we adopt more ways to live naturally, we train our minds and bodies to be happier that way.

Here are a few simple but powerful ways I have adopted a more natural lifestyle. They’re mostly ways to calm the mind and the body, and they contribute to long term health. And why do I think these really contribute to long-term health? I picked up most of these ideas from my dad, who continues to lead a healthy and happy life, one that I am incredibly grateful for.

1. A morning journal and a sketchbook

Wake up and spend your first ten minutes writing in your journal. With an actual pen and paper. Just ten minutes. The minutes right after you wake up can be magical, and it doesn’t really matter what you write as long as you just write.

If you’ve never done this before, start today. This little habit will clear up your mind and give you a rush for creativity that could possibly last you the whole day. Your thoughts might flow more easily as you write what bothers you, expressing yourself in little bits.

People believe sketchbooks are just for artists. I believe sketchbooks exist to bring out the artist out in everyone. A sketchbook is YOUR book – you record your thoughts and drawings, your daily inspiration, thoughts about your kids, and just about anything you like. Doodle and have fun. Make it a place for your creative spirit to pour.

2. Meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool for reducing stress and improving your health. My dad has been meditating every single morning for as long as I remember. I practice meditation to focus on my breathing and to quiet my mind. It’s more essential than ever as we balance multitasking and information in our overloaded lives.

It’s important to remember that there is no one right way to meditate. The goal is simply to quiet your mind and slow down the chaos.

3. A morning walk

Photo by Bex Ross

A morning walk is a great habit for any person, especially if you’re a family with dogs and/or older children. Breathe that morning air and get a few minutes to connect with nature — it’s incredibly refreshing and therapeutic.

If your kids are old enough to stay home by themselves, take a walk with your spouse in the morning while the kids sleep in. For over 45 years, my parents have shared a 20-40 minute morning walk right after their individual exercise routines every single morning. To this day, they say it’s their most favorite thing to do together.

4. Yoga and exercise

Yoga, or some form of exercise that both stretches and strengthens your body, is a great habit to develop early in life. Kids love yoga, and it’s an exercise regimen you can keep no matter where you are – all you need is a mat and you’re set to go.

I also carry a yoga DVD with me when I travel. When I am on vacation, it takes just ten minutes of deep breathing and yoga to get in a quick exercise.

5. Massage

Photo by BékiPe

Massages are a favorite in our family. They help rejuvenate the cells and relax muscles, and body and head massages are wonderful for the skin and scalp. Massage times are a special time for my girls — I think that besides a healthy diet, the massages have been the reason for their healthy, problem-free skin and hair.

In our home, we use pure olive oil to massage the skin and coconut oil to massage the scalp. We let the oil soak in for a few minutes, and then jump in the shower.

6. Unplug

We are so wired with technology and online access all the time. As a family, we practice device-free dinners and short vacations — they are incredibly refreshing for the mind. Most importantly, unplugging gives our kids an example of how to deal with their overwhelmingly device-filled lives, and to connect more with nature and the people around them.

In fact, I think unplugging might be one major way to reduce a number of stress-related problems we see these days.

7. Drinking lots of water

Water is such an important component to maintain good overall health – skin, digestive system, a healthy weight and overall energy. Drink a long glass of water as soon as you wake up.

I have had a warm glass with lime and honey for years, and I think it might be my one of my tools for maintaining a healthy body weight.

8. Natural remedies before anything else

If you have chronic issues, explore some natural remedies before jumping off into strong medicines. Sinus issues are often resolved with the neti pot, and migraines can often be controlled by a combination of reduced stress and diet.

We use honey the minute we notice our kids having throat issues. A little while ago, I did a post on natural remedies. See what natural remedies work for you, and stick with those.

What are some habits that help you live a natural everyday life now, and hopefully for the future?