The Best Natural Lubricant – Yes!

Yes organic lubricant

 

As children take more of your time, don’t let that keep you from taking care of yourself. Women are happier when they maintain a healthy sex life.

Which brings up another issue. If you are ridding your life of toxic, non-natural substances, what do you do about personal care products like lubricant? The most popular product in stores includes parabens (estrogen mimics), glycerine (skin irritant and Candida nutrient), and glycols (cell wall disruptor). You have a choice, though; you can avoid these.

That’s why we carry Yes organic lubricant.

Organic Personal Lubricant

Ingredients are important to us. We care about eco-friendly ingredients, and we avoid allergens and irritants. Yes is hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

No distracting perfumes. No chemicals masking your own signs of desire. Just a velvety, sensuous feel to add to your body’s own lubrication.

Choose Water- or Oil-based Natural Lube

Which formula is for you?

  • Water-based Yes gives realistic lubrication that helps with dryness or discomfort. Water-based is compatible with condoms.
  • Oil-based Yes is a strong, long-lasting alternative to chemical lubricants. The sweet almond oil and cocoa better is so gentle that oil-based Yes is suitable as an intimate massage oil.

Yes lubricant are made from organic plant extracts.

Ingredients in Water-based Yes Lubricant
Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera), Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (Guar gum), Ceratonia siliqua (Locust bean gum), Linum usitatissiumum (Flax extract), Pehnoxyethaol, Potassium sorbate, Xanthan gum, Citric acid.

Ingredients in oil-based Yes Lubricant
Prunus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Helianthus annus (Sunflower) seed oil, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Cera alba (Bees wax), Natural tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Safe Lubricant When You Are Trying to Conceive

Yes Baby lubricant kit safe for conception

Healthy conception can mean managing vaginal pH. The Yes Baby kit gives you the lubricants you need through an ovulation cycle: sperm-friendly lubricant for your most fertile period, vagina-friendly lubricant to restore pH after the most fertile period, ovulation tests, and simple, illustrated instructions.

Both formulations of Yes lubricant are safe for use during pregnancy.

We carry travel-size Yes lubricant.

Ethical Company

We like UK-based The Yes Yes Company, as well. They are committed to ethical trade, no animal testing, organic and sustainable sourcing, and profound purity. They are our kind of people.

Self Care: Sleep Matters

Mother sleeping

 

You keep your family functional through your strength, your health, your happiness and mood, and your focus. The one most important thing you can do to take care of yourself, the one thing that all other self care builds on, is getting enough sleep. Putting on your own oxygen mask first starts with sleep.

It’s so simple!

Sort of. Tough for a young mother but simple in theory.

You probably remember when it was easy to stay up all night and keep going the next day. That was before you had responsibilities for others, children to care for, and a long list of tasks you just have to get done every day. If you go without sleep now, you don’t feel your best the next day. A study of doctors showed that, when fatigued, their performance was comparable to having 3-4 cocktails.

Lack of sleep leaves you impaired with slower reaction times. This does not help your family. Beyond the immediate effects of impaired judgment, lack of sleep triggers health effects: lower immunity, metabolism changes (weight gain), and even more serious disease. This is just the beginning.

Abusing your body by doing without sleep will have a long-term impact. I write from experience. I know getting enough sleep is a very difficult thing for the mother of a young child, but it has both short- and long-term impact on your own health and on everyone around you. Right now you are bridging from your youth to your middle age, and the choices you make for your health make a difference for your present and your future.

Sleep does matter. You must take care of yourself.

Your Sleep Routine

Create routines that protect your sleep. In order to help your baby sleep with love and compassion, you need routines that signal to everyone that it is time to wind down and let go for the day. If you have figured this out for your baby, you already have an idea how developing a routine works. Your routines involve more than just you, of course. Especially if you are co-sleeping, you need to create routines that work for your entire family.

Start with what is working. When have you found that you slept really well recently? What did you do the day before or the evening before that great night’s sleep? How did you wake up? Can you replicate that?

Tweak your routine over time, but don’t assume it will all work out on its own. You need to protect your sleep time. If you can’t handle everything in the time your have available, ask for help.

How much sleep do you need? Every person is slightly different, but the general rules apply. Most adults need 8 hours sleep per night.

Self Care Means Love & Compassion for Yourself

Approach your own needs with love and compassion—as you would for your children or spouse. That doesn’t mean lining up excuses and accepting every one. Loving yourself means understanding your deeper needs and focusing there rather than on the superficial. Loving yourself means not prioritizing your needs below those of everyone else.

Finding a way to meet the needs of all family members can be difficult. You will undoubtedly come up short, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying.

Understand that taking care of yourself matters. Getting enough sleep matters.

Sleep well.

For more details on the effects of lack of sleep, read “Sleep for Health.”

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

Alternatives to Candy on Valentine’s Day

Candy for Valentines Day

Has your child been asked to contribute candy to a Valentine’s Day party? We can turn this into an positive opportunity. Let’s think of this as taking a treat—a treat of any kind—rather than approaching negatively as NOT taking candy. You can just quietly send a fun treat that happens not to be food.

Crayons
Kids love crayons. Give them out in the original shape, or you could make a craft of it and use a candy mold to shape melted crayons into hearts. Our Soy Rocks Party Box gives you 64 colorful crayons to give out.

Lip Gloss
Make lip gloss. It’s easy and exciting for kids to make lip balm in many flavors and colors. Don’t call it “gloss” and you might get boys interested as well.

Bouncy Balls
A ball is a small gift that won’t cost you a lot but will get used a lot.

Pencils
A common non-candy gift for children is a fun pencil. They come in great variety (including our tree-free pencils), they are easy to decorate and personalize, and kids will use them.

Wooden Toys
We often find situations where kids might want to give small gifts, and we don’t want to create more plastic clutter of throwaway gifts. We want to give eco-friendly gifts that children will actually use. That is why we created a loot bag section in our Green Celebrations department. We have a couple of tiny toys that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts: mini wooden kaleidoscopes and wooden pop tops.

Friendship Bracelets
An older child can use cotton embroidery floss to create friendship bracelets. To make it a Valentine, add a small tag with a message.

Wooden Yo-Yo
For a special friend, a red wooden yo-yo is great gift that will be played with for a long time.

The Recurring Candy Issue

Yes, it’s nice to take a positive approach. I can be tiring to think, “Great. Another holiday, another opportunity to explain why we don’t give out candy.” Sure, we don’t have to focus on explaining. We can just nudge expectations away from sugary treats to other treats.

The issue will continue to come up, though. If you want to deal with Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and all of the candy holidays all at once, if you are tired of navigating the candy and food issues, help your school or district develop policies that will make it easier not just to manage allergies but to meet nutrition goals.

A lot of schools have no-food or no-candy policies for celebrations. This makes it a lot easier for schools to manage food allergies and sensitivities. Sell them on the benefits for the school, and they might be willing to work with you.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com

Self Care: Your Own Oxygen Mask

Baby watching woman doing yoga

“In the event of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.”

As a parent, you need to put your own oxygen mask on before you help your children, spouse, and everyone else who wants your help. You are no good to anyone, including yourself, if you drain your energy, your oxygen, and your focus to zero.

I know it’s difficult to prioritize yourself when there are little people who need and want you every minute. Prioritizing yourself doesn’t mean neglecting them. It means helping your children to learn patience in those few moments it takes to put on your oxygen mask.

Your oxygen mask might be as simple as getting yourself a drink of water before the next activity or taking a shower even when your toddler tells you, “NO!” It might take more time, like doing yoga while your child waits. Whatever it is, your child learns self control gradually in those moments.

Lessons you are teaching your children will stay with them. They know you are a person with needs as well. (Yes, that sounds strange, but it does take children a while to realize this about their parents.) Also, they will learn that they need to take care of themselves before they help others so they don’t drain themselves.

Have you read “The Giving Tree”? I remember it from my childhood, and I picked it up to consider buying it for my children’s library. I read it again in the store. I couldn’t believe what I read. The lesson was to give everything you have without taking care of your own needs. The tree (who I interpreted as a mother) gave itself in pieces for the boy, who didn’t ever bother to take care of the tree or even to thank the tree. Some people interpret this book environmentally as an example of how not to sustain the earth. Either way, I don’t want to plant the seed of the idea in my children’s minds that they are to take and take from others without regard for others’ needs. And, no, I didn’t buy the book.

Your family is—or can be—a sustainable system. You need to be functional to make that system work, and the system works even better when you are not just functional but happy. Your happiness matters to everyone in your family, whether they realize it or not.

Show your children that you care about yourself. You are teaching them valuable lessons. You are teaching them that you have needs. They will develop empathy as they recognize others’ needs. You are also teaching them that each person needs to address their own needs. You are teaching them to put their own oxygen masks on first.

Don’t hesitate. Take care of yourself. You’ll be better able to help others when you do.

This month, we are focusing on self care. Come into the bynature.ca store for a few self care surprises.

It Works! 30-day Eco Habits Challenge

Air-purifying indoor plant

We often assess our lives at the new year then lose momentum soon after. I want to help you and me both get past the typical obstacles.

One problem is that we make the goals so big that we don’t know where to start. Looking around me at my space, I was sure this was the problem. That is how this year’s 30-day Eco Habits Challenge was born.

Before I could improve my family’s eco-life, I needed to make space.

Nine years ago, my family moved across the continent to take care of my sick mother, then she died soon after. I found myself living in the house where I grew up, in the midst of my mother’s stuff with a whole house full my own stuff in storage.

Nine years. I’m usually quite disciplined, but this was a difficult obstacle for me. “Get rid of my mom’s stuff” was on my list every year. I didn’t know where to start. The grief of an only child, added to the fact that the house was familiar from my childhood, made it easy not to change anything despite the ever-present vague goal.

When a change is big and involves a lot of small actions, it’s tough to start unless you recognize that you need to take the small actions. That is true of my clearing my house, of living without plastic, switching to reusables, replacing non-fair trade or non-organics throughout the house, or lowering your family’s carbon footprint. These are big changes, and they can feel overwhelming.

My solution: chop it up into so many tiny pieces that I couldn’t resist. Then, each day for 30 days do one small thing. This not only lessens the pain of big change but it creates a habit of the change.

At the beginning of this month, I outlined my plan. I ended up with a list of 83 items I wanted to change. Each day I cleared off one shelf, cleared out one drawer, emptied one box, or read through a pile of old letters. It still feels overwhelming, because I’m not finished, but I’ve replaced a lot of my mother’s life that I was living inside with my own life.

I did’t just want to back up a dumpster and get rid of all traces of my mother. I wanted to find ways to make her stuff useful—to let the clothes be worn again and the books be read again.

It feels great! Gone is a hideous (and dusty) dried plant thing that lived on the wall, replaced with an air-freshening living plant. Gone are my mother’s high-quality business clothes, given to a local charity that helps women get back to work. Before she died, my mother told me to donate her clothes there. It should have been easy, but it wasn’t. So, we stopped when we delivered the clothes and told them about my mom and about her commitment to their work. She was a long-time donor. I’m so happy that dozens and dozens of women will be wearing my mother’s silk dresses and wool suits to job interviews. Maybe those clothes will help them feel confident about their futures.

So, this is me reporting back and telling you that it works. It’s possible to tackle that very difficult, huge goal you have.

  • Choose a general goal that you’ve been meaning to tackle
  • Make a list of every tiny thing you can think of toward the goal
  • Choose one of the tiny actions, and do it now
  • Tomorrow, choose another tiny action, and do it
  • Check in with a family member or friend on your progress
  • Tell yourself you only need to do this for 30 days, then you can decide whether you need to shift your focus

On my master list, I put the date beside each thing I did. On my daily actions list, I started with “Do 1 Make Space action.” I couldn’t check off my day until I did it, and that usually got me past my bump of hesitation.

After about two weeks, I had taken the easiest actions, and I just had to do the more difficult actions. I’ve still only done 30 out of 83 items, so I am going to keep working on my list through February. I’ve renewed my commitment to Make Space.

It doesn’t matter when you start. Every day can be your first day. Earlier this month, I outlined a few ideas to get your started on your own eco habits challenge.

Good luck. I’m not telling you it’s easy, but I know you can do it.

Is air quality on your list? If air-purifying plants are on your list, look at the research done by NASA for the international space station. Mother Nature Network provides a list of the top choices for air-purifying plants.

Image ©  | Dreamstime.com