Sometimes it feels like life is made up of one problem after another. And, as if the endless procession of challenges and ailments wasn’t enough, the desire to live a clean lifestyle that is respectful of the Earth can often rule out many of the typical solutions to the everyday problems we face. Strong medicines, powerful chemicals, and the excessive use of precious resources are hardly eco-friendly solutions, after all.
Instead, here is a list of several everyday problems, along with suggestions for more natural remedies that keep both the environment and your overall health in mind.
The Common Cold
It’s easy to pop some Sudafed whenever your nose gets stuffy. But truth be told, there are many risks and dangers that can be associated with taking decongestants without a second thought.
Instead, the next time your nose stuffs up and your throat gets itchy, consider battling those symptoms with some more tried-and-true natural remedies. Fire up a vaporizer wherever you spend most of your time, use saline nasal drops, and gargle with salt water. Also, make sure to rest and drink lots of tea. The latter, in particular, doubles as both a way to soothe your throat and stay hydrated.
While straight-up insomnia may not be a common problem, sleep deprivation is a prevalent issue that can arise from causes including work and school hours, a snoring roommate, crying infants, and so on. A prolonged lack of sleep can lead to irritability, a lack of motivation, and general exhaustion that can make it hard to get through the day.
While it can be easy to ask the doctor for a prescription for a sleep aid, you may want to try a more natural solution first. If your sleep deprivation is due to a scheduling issue involving work or school, try to genuinely prioritize your sleep above social obligations and other responsibilities when you’re not working. A change in your attitude towards the day-to-day importance of sleep can do wonders.
In addition, if you have trouble falling asleep, practice avoiding screen time before bed, lower the temperature while you sleep, and try using lavender essential oils in a diffuser.
Serious bouts of depression should always be taken to a licensed counselor or medical professional. However, the more mundane discouragement and negative thoughts that arise in daily life, while not necessarily important enough to warrant medical attention, can still have a profound effect on our lives.
If you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts throughout the day, consider going over this list of cognitive distortions and attempting to identify any that you might use on a daily basis.
Removing harmful distortions that you might use on a regular basis can improve your mood. Common cognitive distortions include:
- Mind reading
- Jumping to conclusions
- Minimizing or maximizing
- Labeling and mislabeling
Curbing our thoughts in regards to these distortions in our thinking can go a long way in helping us naturally improve our health and outlook on life.
If you find that you deal with bad breath on a regular basis, there are several natural ways that you can combat the smell without needing to rely on stronger solutions. First, it should go without saying, but make sure that you’re sticking to a dental regimen that includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Gently scraping your tongue to remove things like fungi and dead cells can also be beneficial.
In addition, drinking plenty of water can help to keep your mouth flushed of any bad smelling bacteria and food particles. Switching to an alcohol-free mouthwash can also help reduce the odor. Finally, make sure to visit your dentist for regular dental check-ups.
Natural Bug Repellant
Bugs can be a huge bother, but bug sprays are often laden with DEET and other chemicals that are still bad for your health. The next time you find yourself looking for a bug repellant, consider making a natural bug spray.
Here is a list of eight different natural bug spray solutions including three recipes that are designed to keep your entire yard clear of pests. From using dried herbs like lemongrass and lavender to garlic, onions, and even beer, there are plenty of chemical-free options available.
One common problem, especially in developed nations, is the issue of discarding leftover food. Throwing away after dinner scraps can be a tremendous unnecessary waste. Instead of chucking your leftover food into the trash, consider starting a compost pile.
It’s easy to make a compost bin out of something as simple as cinder blocks or even pallets — which naturally provide airflow to help with the decomposing process. Just make sure to add equal amounts of “green” waste (such as fruits and veggies) and “brown” waste (things like leaves and wood chips) to your compost pile as you go.
Create a Green Garden
While we’re on the subject of compost, it can also be an excellent eco-friendly move to make sure that you’re using natural gardening methods as well. In addition to using your compost as fertilizer, it can also be helpful to avoid chemical pesticides as well in order to keep your food as chemical-free as possible.
Finally, one of the easiest problems that we can turn a blind eye to is the issue of excessive water usage. The good news is, there are numerous ways to curb our water usage without seriously affecting our day-to-day lives.
For example, try to collect rainwater for your garden. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing your hands. Only flush after number two. If you’re serious about reducing the amount of water you use on a daily basis, here are several other ways to help reduce the water in the area of our homes that uses it the most: the bathroom.
Living Happier and Healthier
It’s easy to pop a pill, throw out that extra food, or leave the water running while we brush. But striving to find natural remedies to life’s everyday problems really is worth the effort. It doesn’t simply involve looking for alternatives to accepted solutions; it includes making a conscious decision to avoid the easy way out in order to look for effective options that lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle for ourselves and the Earth.