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5 Ways To Live A More Conscious Life

Updated on September 5, 2013

There are days when I feel weighted down; from heavy expectations, heavy thoughts, and even heavy foods. As I make my way through life, I get so caught up in the day to day stress of being a mother and wife it is hard to take the time to breathe. I am surrounded by the noise of this world which is coming from both inside and outside of me. The noise of my thoughts and feelings, my children's voices, electronic devices, and the noise of other's expectations are my constant companions. I need to take the time to focus on the things that are important in this life and quiet down the outside world. Below is a list of things that I believe can help us to simplify our lives and live more consciously.

Meatless Mondays

Food is essential to our lives. We need it to nourish and strengthen us. Not all foods are created equal though and some foods can weigh us down. Whatever your beliefs on eating meat, removing it from your meals one day a week can have many healthy side benefits. Going meatless just one day a week can reduce your risk of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. It also has many environmental benefits. Taking meat out can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize water usage. As someone who goes back and forth on eating meat and being a vegetarian, I can honeslty say when I remove meat from my diet I feel better and lighter. Mondays are a good time to reflect on the foods we put in our bodies and the effects they have not just on us but also on the Earth. For more information and great recipes, please visit www.meatlessmonday.com.

No TV Tuesdays

It is really hard during the week, as we move through our different jobs and for my children going to school, to find the time to connect with each other and spend quality time in each other's presence. I will be the first person to admit my television is on more than I would like. It serves as a babysitter while I fix dinner or just plain need a time out. As we all know, watching too much TV can have negative side effects on children. Many problems include obesity, violent behaviors, and many others. It has become an ever present noise in households around the world and I have decided to dedicate Tuesdays to family time. No TV allows us to spend quality time with each other, learning about our day, and rids the house of un-wanted noise. There are many things you can do as a family as opposed to sitting in front of a flickering screen. Go for a walk, ride bikes, and play classic family games such as Uno, Sorry, or Mouse Trap. Take this time to really get to know your children and even spend the nights without the TV with your spouse as well.

Wheat Free Wednesdays

Just about 5 years ago my husband was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Before the diagnosis, I didn't even know such a term existed and I ate my meals without giving a second thought to what I was putting in my mouth. After hearing about this disease, it has a learning process about what foods he can and cannot eat and the ways in which eating wheat can negatively affect our bodies. Some negative side affects of eating too much wheat include weight gain, gas, bloating, intestinal issues, and it can also worsen pre-existing auto immune conditions. I going to use Wednesdays as a way to reflect on the millions of people with diet restrictions who have to read every label and have to constantly worry about what is in the food they eat. Removing wheat/gluten is also great for your overall health.

Thankful Thursdays

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward

I believe expressing gratitude is one of the best things you can do for others and one of the best lessons to teach your children. It is so important not to be so caught up in our own lives that we forget about those around us. Showing gratitude can be as simple as saying thank you or keeping a gratitude journal. Choosing to focus on the good in your lives is a great way of staying positive and it can also have healthy side effects. People who focus on the good and help others lower their risk of heart attacks and can help alleviate symptoms of depression. Take Thursdays to look beyond yourself and focus on others. Choose one person each week to show your gratitude to even if it's just members of your family. Get the kids involved in making cards for the elderly, delivering food to the homeless, or even sending a thoughful note to their teacher. It doesn't take money to show others your appreciation.

Facebook Free Fridays

Today is the day to un-plug from all other electronics and devices that divert our attention outside our families. I am guilty of looking at my phone and playing games or checking facebook while I am supposed to be playing with my kids. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many updates you read but how you made your children feel. Use the time spent wasted surfing the web to do other more important things even if it is something that benefits you. Read a book, start the novel you have always wanted to write, or clean out the tupperware drawer. Life will not end if you don't know every detail of other people's lives.

We make choices everday on how we are going to live our lives. Sometimes those choices don't always feel like conscious decisions and have they have just become our daily routine. It is time to start thinking about what is important in life and making choices with our eyes wide open. I challenge you to turn down the noise of electronics and of things that don't matter and tune into the things that do.

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    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 4 years ago from Florida

      jenbeach21..Congrats' on taking charge and responsibility for you and your family's health and welfare..everything in moderation, informative hub..Our food supply today is not the healthiest due to additives,preservatives etc..many disorders can be traced back to these..BUT..not proven...We are not advocates of TV during the week, each of us take turns reading a book each night and then er discuss it..G-C are avid and above average readers for their age..We as Parents and G-P need to set good examples for our children..thank you for this very well written hub....

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I love your 5 tips for living a more simple life during the week! We don't eat a lot of meat during the week, in fact - sometimes we only eat it once a week. I can't eat much wheat so we hardly eat that together. We used to have one night a week where we switched off all electronics. It is amazing how much time you find to actually talk to each other and enjoy each other's company. Watching a TV show together and laughing is not the same as talking together without the TV in the way.

      I loved your tips, thanks for sharing them! :)

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Very interesting hub. In our house, TV Tuesday is every day - we got rid of the TV many years ago and do not miss it. One granddaughter stays with us on the weekend and she does not appear to miss it either, although she is normally in a house with TV. Mind you, we do have computers and they can play DVDs, so maybe it doesn't count just as much. Love your idea for different themes for different days.

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for the thoughts and comments kj force, MelChi, and DreamerMeg. I have so much respect for the people who can take TV away everyday. I know that I wouldn't be able to stick to it so one day a week at first and maybe I can work my way up to more!

    • ThompsonPen profile image

      Nicola Thompson 4 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      I love it! I really do! If I weren't veggie already I'd apply all of those things, but I think I'll certainly apply the rest. Maybe I'll make Mondays meditation Mondays.

      Thanks for writing the hub!

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I am so glad you enjoyed it ThompsonPen. I love the idea of meditation Mondays!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      We do a veggie day once or twice a week, try to go without TV once a week, but I think we should also take a break from social medias. Hard to do though when you are an online writer. Great thoughts for making life more meaningful.

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for the thoughts Teaches. It is hard to give up social media when you are an online writer!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      You sound so disciplined, Jenbeach, and I admire you for being able to apportion your time so wisely! Thanks for the write!

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks midget. I try to follow these as much as possible but there are weeks where it doesn't always happen.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      What a great idea Jen. Really enjoyed this hub - not sure I could give up TV for a day though! But it is a good 'challenge' and would help you to live more consciously if you really thought about all of things mentioned here. Shared etc.

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks Jools99. Not watching TV is the hardest one to keep up with because of my kids!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I like the way you take us through each day of the week. A great guide to living in a healthier spirit, both in mind and body. Vote up!

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you Christy! I appreciate the support.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Back again to share this one over on Twitter - it's great to have these reminders (especially the one about stepping away from the online communities)

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks Christy! That is the hardest one for me!

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