One of my favorite words is Nourish.
You can see it on my page as my tagline - "Nourish. Savor. Love." and my clients know I use that words all the time!
It's a word that sparks an emotional reaction. It's not simply the act of eating; for me, I imagine nourishing as an act of self-care, by intentionally eating foods that will help my body and whole being thrive.
The definition of "Nourish" is twofold:
- to sustain with food; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth
to cherish; keep alive; to strengthen or promote
It's both taking into account how we feed ourselves - for life, health, and growth. Those are powerful words, and notice, it's not about weight loss at all. It's about choosing food to keep all our cells alive, healthy, and growing. Food is more than calories and grams of fat. Eating nourishing foods is a way to energize our bodies, so we can go out and LIVE. I choose to eat nutritious foods because staying healthy allows me to be present in my life, do work I love, and go on adventures.
The word is also metaphorical with a meaning beyond food. We can nourish our bodies, minds, and hearts by keeping alive healthy mindsets, practicing self-care, or strengthening our connection to our hearts. That's why I also talk about nourishing routines through practices of yoga (especially restorative yoga), meditation, sleep (!!!), cuddles, journaling, creativity, and play.
I chat with my coaching clients about nourishing on three different levels - body, mind, and heart.
Too often, nourishment and health is stuck at the level of the physical body with food, movement, or sleep.
Yet, we need to dive deeper into our beliefs, thoughts, and our whole being. Then, we can look at our hearts, our emotions, fears and desires, to make space for a heart-centered life.
We need nourishment on all three levels to take care of ourselves. When we solely focus on taking care of the physical body, we may obsess over food and exercise and our body image or mindsets may suffer.
Explore and try out different ways to figure out which ones seem the most nourishing to you - everyone is different. Know that these are only tools to help you find a sense of self-nourishment, but you certainly don't have to do any or all of them to feel a sense of nourishment.
Explore what ways of nourishment allow more space for freedom in your life. I decided not to separate them out because they are all so intertwined - for example, yoga is nourishing for my body, mind, and heart.
- Take time to cook meals at home. Throw some fun music on, and dance around in the kitchen as you cook.
- Eat one meal a day away from your phone or computer. Eat mindfully, and savor your meal.
- Try out a new recipe (or food) or two each week. Maybe, you want to get out of a food rut, or you want to challenge yourself by giving yourself permission to eat the foods you want (without worrying about calories).
- Explore a farmer's market, or try a new fruit or veggie at the store.
- Get rid of your diet tools. Throw your scale away. Delete your calorie counting app. Donate your food scale.
- Give yourself a bedtime, and get enough sleep!
- Sleep in on the weekend, and eat breakfast in bed.
- Take a walk outside. Ditch the gym, and move your body in fresh air.
- Watch a sunset.
- Move in a way that feels great - maybe that's yoga, dance, lifting weights, rock-climbing, or something new to you. Be honest with yourself about how you love to move your body, and know it may change on a daily or seasonally basis.
- Take a hot, cozy bath. Throw in some essential oils, maybe some bubbles, and some relaxing music.
- Take yourself to a vinyasa yoga class, and flow. Strengthen and stretch out your whole body.
- Meditate. It doesn't have to be intimidating - sit with yourself for 5-10 minutes, and breathe.
- Breathe deeply. Focus your attention to your breath - the connection between your mind and body.
- Journal. I always find journaling helpful as my self-therapy - a way to get the thoughts out of my mind and onto paper.
- Talk it out. Grab a friend, or a trusted therapist, and talk it out. Others often are great at helping you identify your blindspots or patterns you're not aware of.
- Color! My favorite present last Christmas was a beautiful coloring book of mandalas, nature scenes, and more. It brings me into a meditative state, and it's so creative and playful to spend time just coloring.
- Find a restorative or yin yoga class. Move gently, and breathe.
- Do a walking meditation (again, not very complicated). Head outside, and walk in nature. Beaches or woods trails are great, but you can do it anywhere.
- Play music or sing. I remember getting into the "zone" when I was younger, playing piano for hours at a time. If making music isn't your thing, turn on your favorite music.
- Connect with others! Have a deep, soulful conversation with a friend or family member.
- Give yourself a day-long or weekend-long solo retreat. Stay at home (alone, if possible), or retreat to somewhere. Allow yourself to take care of yourself in the ways that feel best to you - sleeping in, taking long baths, exploring nature, or journaling. Listen to what your intuition guides you to do - not what you think you "should" be doing.
- Drink tea. So nourishing!
- Create a mindful morning routine - free of email and social media!
- Adorn your home with your favorite things - maybe candles, crystals, essential oils, flowers.
- Read. Read books that truly interest you, challenge your beliefs, and take time to read fiction books too.
- Travel. I've found that getting out of my comfort zone and daily routines at home and exploring new places and meeting new people gets me into the present moment like nothing else. It could be an adventure 30 minutes from your home - or on the other side of the world.
- Hugs & cuddles - from people or pets. The best.
- Volunteer. Connection and service nourishes others - and yourself.
- Learn something new without the pressure of being "good" at it. Take guitar lessons. Pick up a paintbrush. Start a blog and write.
- Listen to yourself. Practice the art of listening to others - without needing to jump in with advice or your own story. Just listen.
- Set boundaries with your time, relationships, or work to protect your vital energy.
This list offers so many different ideas, but it's only a small scattering of the infinite ways to nourish yourself. When you recognize what is nourishing to you, you can create more space in your life to engage in these ways - or simply leave the space to nourish you.