What is a “healthy nest”?

by Kim on February 1, 2012

Welcome to my healthy nest! I thought I’d take a minute to lay out my basic life philosophies and explain how they’re wrapped up in my blog title. Brace yourself!

First of all, as you might guess, “nest” is a general word I use to encompass my home, my family, and my lifestyle. My world. You get the idea.

Now, for the healthy part. When I think about what it means to be healthy, I’m not just thinking about what I’m eating every day and how often I’m hitting the gym. Although that stuff is obviously very important, a healthy body is just one piece of the puzzle. The other pieces involve my mind/soul and the environment I live in.

In a nutshell: A healthy self-image is part of a healthy body. Happiness is intertwined with health. A positive environment and lifestyle can feed into happiness. Stress and unhappiness are enemies of health.

How often have we heard stories about how a person’s mental state has impacted their physical state? Say, a person whose most powerful weapon in the fight against cancer is a positive attitude? Some of it might sound kind of wacky and new-age, I know, but I think there’s some real truth at the heart of it.

So, since I know my psychological state is tied closely to my physical state, when I think about what it means to be healthy, I’m also thinking: how happy am I? And because my psychological state is influenced by so many factors, inside and outside of me, this question leads to other questions like:

  • Do I look forward to day-to-day life? Or am I clinging desperately to weekends, vacations, etc?
  • Am I surrounding myself with positive influences that bring out the best in me?
  • Am I pursuing my passions and embracing new opportunities?
  • Am I making a regular effort to feed my soul? (For me, this involves praying, attending church, and helping others–but this can mean different things to different people.)
  • Am I working to build a home environment that I’m proud of and that brings joy to me, my family, and guests?
  • Am I actively working toward goals that will lead me closer to self-actualization?
  • Am I excited about the next steps in life?

Once I’ve gauged my own happiness level, the next step is to think about how happy I’m making those around me. How well am I treating my husband? Am I supporting him and lifting him up, or am I nagging him? How am I treating my friends? Am I rooting for them or competing with them? And what about strangers? Am I inpatient and irritable when they cut me off in traffic, slow me down at the grocery store, or take too long in line ahead of me? Or do I go out of my way to be friendly and courteous, knowing that my positive attitude could be infectious and the smallest gesture can make someone’s day? Do I remember to ask the checkout lady how her day is going and to look her in the eye when I’m thanking her?

Obviously, maintaining a healthy nest takes work. :) We can’t expect to be naturally fit, toned, happy, and generous of spirit every day when we wake up. Some days are better than others, and building habits takes practice and time.

In this blog, I’ll work to maintain my own nest by taking small, regular steps toward answering positively to each of the questions above. I’ll try new things and pursue projects that are tied to the following general “nest-building” areas (or the 4 H’s–not to be confused with the 4H):

  • Health: taking care of the body (cooking healthy meals for my family, staying active)
  • Home: making my home a comfortable, happy place to be (decorating, home improvement projects, being frugal)
  • Happiness: building my own self-image through positive life experiences (trying new things, spending time with friends)
  • Humanity: supporting and building up those around me (volunteering in the community, helping others, giving back)

Luckily, I also believe in balance and moderation in all aspects of life. So perfection is not the goal here, and there is no pass or fail. I mean, I want to cook healthy meals for my family, but a skimpy quinoa salad isn’t going to cut it for my husband. And I need my chocolate! So obviously there’s some give and take. And that’s ok! The important thing is to keep trying and to keep working positive nest-building habits into daily life.

Happy nesting!

~Kim

 

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