My Low Tox Journey: 5 Lessons I've Learned
What started as a “lox tox” journey has resulted in an entire lifestyle journey toward wellness and balanced living as a whole. You can read more about my story here.
So, while I began with the intention of limiting the toxins in my home and products, I now take a more holistic approach that has evolved into my entire well-being.
Throughout this process I’ve learned a few lessons along the way. Keep reading to learn all about the five lessons I’ve learned from my low tox journey.
1. Go At Your Own Pace
One of the first things I learned is that you don’t have to go full speed ahead and swap out every product in your life at once. First of all, it’s unrealistic for most people. For the most part, I don’t think anyone would start this journey if they had to do it all at once.
The first step for me was learning about why low tox matters in the first place, and then making swaps over time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Even with learning, I’ve found it important go at my own pace to limit overwhelm and information overload. This means going through phases of learning information and then implementing. I started with switching the things I used most often and that gave me the greatest impact within my home/life.
For example, one swap I made very early on was to make my own hand soap. I also switched to a clean deodorant, since it was something I used on my body every day which would create a big peace of mind for me. I quit doing things that made sense to me and didn’t necessarily require a swap, such as no longer using dryer sheets.
All in all, it’s all about the journey; so go at your own pace and try not to dive too deep so you just end up feeling overwhelmed with it all.
The takeaway: To limit overwhelm, start small by swapping out one thing at a time and educating yourself along the way.
2. You Don’t Have to DIY Everything
When I first started my low tox journey, I felt like I had to make everything from scratch. But I’ve realized that’s simply not ideal, realistic, or even a good use of my time depending on what it is.
Rather, I intentionally choose what’s important for me to make on my own, what I can feel good about purchasing, or what makes sense for me financially.
Could I make my own laundry detergent? Sure, if I wanted. However, I choose to buy a clean brand that I love, like Molly Suds instead.
What does make me happy is making my own soaps, essential oil blends, serums, and body butters. All of those things are products I enjoy creating, tweaking, and crafting over time.
The takeaway: Find what (if anything) you want to make yourself. Anything else, purchase the quality depending on your budget and where you’re at in your own journey.
3. You Don’t Need The Fancy Products
Another thing I learned is how many natural products are out there that you could buy. From expensive air purifiers, to electromagnetic field (EMF) blocking blankets, to an entire line of nontoxic cleaning products, it can seem like you need to get it all. But that’s simply not true.
Yes, all of those things can be wonderful additions to your home and might improve the quality of your life. However, they aren’t necessary. And they especially are not necessary if they are out of your budget or don’t make sense for your current situation.
Often, I’ve found that the most simple wellness swaps are free. For example, here are a few free or cheap ways to limit the toxins in your life:
Open your windows for a few minutes a day
Go barefoot as much as possible
Ensure you’re getting proper exposure to sunlight each day
Put your phone in airplane mode whenever possible
Move your body in a way you enjoy that allows you to sweat a few times a week (strength training, walks, yoga, workout videos, etc.)
The takeaway: While there are certain benefits to health products and gadgets, they aren't necessary to have. You can start with the simple things that are free or cheap to do that create a big impact.
4. Perfect is Not a Destination
Another lesson I’ve learned on my low tox journey is that you can never be “perfect” because we don’t live in a perfect world free of environmental toxins.
However, our bodies are resilient with our ability to adapt to stressors. I find power in the truth that I do have control over the environment of my home and what goes in it. My mission is to empower you to learn the same.
You can’t control environmental toxins, the fact that your neighbor sprays their lawn with chemicals, or that pesticides are sprayed on conventional produce. But you do have personal responsibility over your own actions and decisions.
The takeaway: Don’t let “perfect” stop you from continuing on your wellness path. While it’ll never be perfect, it will bring empowerment.
5. Our Dollars Matter
Part of that personal responsibility is utilizing our dollars appropriately. This is another key lesson I’ve learned.
What we spend our money on makes a difference. Marketers spend a large portion of their budget each year on consumer research. They want to know what we care about and what drives our decisions to spend money.
I’ve seen a shift in consumer spending over the years to more “nontoxic” options, however there’s a long way to go. There's still so much greenwashing being done - companies that prey on our desire for more natural products that market themselves to that aim but don't actually contain better ingredients.
Part of my own journey that I am currently working on is connecting with local food producers, which helps me learn about the food I’m eating, and it allows my dollars to directly support something I believe in; quality nourishment.
The takeaway: Where and how we spend our dollars matter. Use them wisely.
Keep It Pure & Simple
It can tough not to overcomplicate things. As I’ve mentioned in a recent Instagram post, humans are pretty good at doing this, myself included.
Once I went down the rabbit hole of toxins, chemicals, and all the wellness hacks I could incorporate I felt shocked and a bit discouraged. I was thinking, “How does anyone have time to learn and do all of these things?” and, “Things won’t get better so what’s the point in making all of these lifestyle changes?”
In general though, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. While it can be easy to dismiss taking responsibility for our choices, there’s a lot that we do have control over, and that's what I choose to focus on. It’s all about one step at a time.
I’ve come to realize that there’s always something you can do within your means. Whether it’s putting in a water filter system or prioritizing time outdoors. Truly just becoming aware of these things is the first step. And if you made it this far I’d consider that a start!