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If you’ve tried to incorporate low tox living, but you’ve been a little too extreme, maybe you’ve forced everyone to use a shampoo that made their hair greasy or laundry soap that well, made everything smell like dirt- then you’re in the right place.
Or maybe you’ve found all the right products, but you feel uneasy, like no matter how much you do, it will never be enough.
I totally get it!
I’ll share how you have a more natural, low-tox lifestyle without feeling like you have to be the picture-perfect bread-making, no TV watching, everything organic Mom.
You can create a safe home by being the best person you can be as you are at this moment.
What are toxins?
Toxins are substances harmful to humans, animals, and anything alive.
They can be natural or synthetic, and when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, can cause adverse health effects.
Toxins include chemicals, pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides, and certain biological agents.
About what we will discuss in this post, toxins are anything in and around your home that your family is exposed to or uses in and on the body that, when used as directed, actually overloads the body so much that it cannot detox the substances fast enough.
This toxic overload then results in illness.
What is low-tox living?
Low-tox living is a lifestyle that prioritizes minimizing exposure to toxins and harmful substances in everyday life by opting for more natural alternatives.
Why low-tox living is important
When we take in more toxins than we can safely clear from our bodies, it can cause issues such as:
- The development or worsening of health conditions, such as respiratory issues (e.g., asthma), allergies, skin irritations, hormonal imbalances, neurological disorders, liver damage, kidney problems, and cardiovascular diseases.
- Weakened Immune System: Toxins can impair the immune system’s function, making the body more susceptible to infections, viruses, and diseases. Chronic exposure to toxins may compromise the body’s ability to defend against pathogens, leading to increased frequency or severity of illnesses.
- Inflammation and Oxidative Stress: Many toxins have pro-inflammatory properties and can trigger chronic inflammation in the body. Prolonged inflammation and oxidative stress can damage tissues, organs, and DNA, increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.
- Hormonal Disruption: Certain toxins, known as endocrine disruptors, can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones in the body. They may mimic or block hormone signals, leading to hormonal imbalances, reproductive issues, developmental abnormalities, and disruptions in the thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive systems.
- Neurological Effects: Some toxins, including heavy metals like lead and mercury, certain pesticides, and industrial chemicals, can affect the nervous system and cognitive function. They may contribute to symptoms such as memory loss, impaired concentration, neurological disorders, mood disturbances, and even neurodevelopmental problems in children.
It’s important to note that the severity of these side effects can vary depending on the specific toxins involved, the duration and intensity of exposure, individual susceptibility, and other factors. Minimizing toxin exposure through low tox living practices can help reduce the risk of these adverse effects and support overall health and well-being.
So, how do we go low tox without losing our minds?
1. Prioritize what’s most important
Start with your most immediate need. If you suffer from acne, try a new face soap or lotion.
Or, you might find it easier to get a starter kit with most of what you need to slowly incorporate changes in different areas of your life to see which one is easiest.
As with most things in life, there will be trial and error. No need to know precisely how it will work out; just getting started is important.
2. Take Small Steps (really small)
Going low tox doesn’t have to happen overnight. The easier and slower the changes, the better.
Start by swapping one product at a time or incorporating one healthy habit. This way, you can adjust and adapt to the changes without feeling overwhelmed.
Swapping dryer sheets for dryer balls seems so easy it’s almost pointless, but that’s not true. It’s a step in the right direction, and every little thing we can do reinforces that we are worth our health and capable.
3. Consider your budget
Living a healthier lifestyle can be affordable, but initially, it can feel like a lot if you’re used to shopping at the dollar store or using products right off the supermarket shelf.
You can start by swapping an all-purpose cleaner for equal parts white vinegar and water.
Or see if there’s something that you can cut down on to make room for healthier options. As I started tracking my spending, I realized I was dumping money into things I didn’t need, like five entertainment subscriptions. Since we cut out Netflix, we can afford an extra tube of safe toothpaste.
4. Research, but not too much
Knowledge is power.
But too much information can become more about control than health.
For those of us who struggle with overthinking, we can use information as a way to try to make sure we have all the answers, are making the best decisions, and are keeping ourselves out of harm.
But that’s just not possible in a fallen world.
Learning and jumping in simultaneously will help you have the best results. You can always try something different if you don’t like what you bought. It took me years to find laundry soap and dishwasher pods that are safe and actually work!
5. Get support
If you’re new to creating a less toxic lifestyle, having a community of people who will walk alongside you is not only helpful but so life-giving.
It’s tough to start changing how you do things; the people around you may not like it. When we began using homeopathy as our first go-to medicine instead of traditional Western medicine, family, and friends not only doubted the validity of the medication but would try to convince us to use Motrin and Tylenol to treat fevers.
6. Don’t get wrapped up in conspiracy theories
I’ve seen this happen in most communities; they start eating more naturally, then trash-talk everyone in the food industry; they use essential oils and homeopathy and trash Big Pharma.
I know because I was one of those people.
We can make informed decisions, do what we believe is best for our families, and still not hoard anger toward a particular group of people. Being hostile doesn’t help. It damages your health and makes people duck you and avoid your phone calls, and you lose credibility when you try to share your excitement for the incredible result you’re getting from your healthy lifestyle.
Focus on what you’re fighting for, not what you’re fighting against. (Cobra Kai)
7. Don’t aim for perfection
We hear all the scary information and then want to dive in and do everything right. I get it; I have been there, did that, and I still do. But I know from experience it doesn’t help.
The need to be low tox becomes an obsession that causes so much stress it’s worse than the toxins we’re trying to remove in the first place.
Think of it like this. You’re starting out living a toxin-filled life, so any positive changes you make will help you. If you don’t do everything at once, you’re not missing the mark; you’re creating a lifestyle, and that takes time.
Keep in mind
Going low-tox is not all-or-nothing.
Do your best, but please remember your best doesn’t mean running yourself into the ground. Leave space to live. Not just heal.
We don’t have to try to be perfect; we will never be perfect, and there will always be toxins. Try to make habits you can stick with and take it a day at a time.
What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to low-tox living?