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The... sickness in the family goes round and round, round and round, round and round...
It seems that every 3 or 4 years my family goes through a continuing cycle of illnesses where one or more members of our family is sick for a stretch of several weeks to even over a month. It seems like forever before we are all well again. Fortunately for us, it is only once in a blue moon. I know some families where continual sickness during the winter months is accepted as a norm.
So, as all family members are taking their herbs, vitamins, and supplements to get through this time, I begin to take stock as to where we fell off the wagon. Of course the first thing I think of is food choices. I know in macrobiotics, the explanation for family sickness is that family members eat the same foods and therefore develop similar imbalances that lead to illness. Well, since there are 3 blood types here, we rarely eat the same foods so that one doesn’t work. Could it have been food choices from the holidays? Perhaps... but I did all the cooking this recent holiday season which makes compliance so much easier, and I can’t think of any gross imbalances there either. In fact, most family members have been exceptionally compliant lately with food. Hmmm....
The thing that comes to mind is... stress. December was extremely stressful individually for all family members, add the holidays on top of that and there is a lot of collective stress to contend with. Time to
S L O W D O W N, take several deep breaths and regroup. We have had the boys stay home from school for the past few days so they can get some added rest, which has helped. Also took them to our naturopath who is great with our kids. She places the responsibility for their wellness squarely on their shoulders, instructs them on not only how to take their medicines/treatments but why, and involves them directly in all phases of treatment. Learning how to take responsibility for your own health and wellness is an invaluable life lesson in and of itself, and one I am ever so grateful to her for encouraging.
But, underlying it all, a key element that has contributed to my sick family is that when stressed, we lose contact with one another. I can’t remember when we last participated in some activity together. We are a very close family and enjoy being with each other. My oldest son will be leaving the nest in a little over a year, so any time spent as a family is precious and dear, as we also prepare and make room for the inevitable changes and transitions to follow.
In addition to slowing down, breathing, relaxing, and taking a break from daily routine and expectations, I think a quiet, but fun family activity is in order to bring us back into healthy balance once again. My husband remarked that we still have a large chunk of clay recently purchased for a school project. Hmmm... perhaps even though it is winter, we can still play in the mud. Togetherness and creativity... that’s the best sort of fun! And very healing, I might add.
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