Michelle Farnsworth

Healthy living for me, at this stage in my life, encompasses more than just exercise or improving my eating habits. My mental health is what I nurture and maintain each day. I know, I know, some may beg to differ. But keeping myself happy, engaging in society and curious about the world, is a priority. (Besides those humans I call family.) I have found that the little joys in life do indeed matter; accumulating them to bolster moods and open myself to new adventures.

Motherhood, marriage and career is physically and emotionally draining on mental health. When my boys were younger, I used to think that taking time to do things for myself was selfish. I was full-speed ahead to accomplish all the daily tasks and cater to the needs of my family.

Learning to open myself to the world around me and take small and large moments for myself, is a learned behavior -- one I taught myself.

You may wonder what little joys I refer to.

For instance, reading. I love reading at night. It's a great way to unwind and decompress. (Although I do have a habit of starting a handful of books at the same time.)

Naps. Yes, a good old-fashioned nap. Perhaps during the week is difficult, but in your free weekend hours, set aside some snooze time. It works wonders. Close your eyes. Rest your mind.

A hobby. Keep your creative juices flowing. Collect antiques, write, scrapbook, make jewelry, bake, take photographs -- whatever you love -- just do it. You'll be surprised how much it can lead you on a path to find yourself. Perhaps leading you to your true calling.

Travel. Near or far. It doesn't need to be an exotic destination. It can be as small as a drive to a nearby city. Take in the sights. See what they have to offer. Who knows, that small town you thought was just a place you passed through and had nothing of interest, could offer endless possibilities.

The January issue is your own version of a little escape -- educating yourself and taking in new experiences throughout our community. Self-improvement, healthy eating options, self-defense, and finding fashions to rejuvenate your wardrobe. Be Magazine has something for everyone on your quest for a healthier self in 2014.

Be kind to yourself. Be yourself.

Michelle Farnsworth loves travel, writing, photography, daily devotions, gardening, making jewelry and finding old treasures. Her greatest accomplishment is her two sons, who bring life, love and laughter to her each day.