How you nourish yourself? Not just with food but with things you love to do that restore & rejuvenate you; nourishing your body, mind & soul? For me, keeping a check on how I am nourishing myself is paramount to my wellbeing. This question was very new to me when I started taking better care of myself because I am hard wired as a human `doing` instead of a human `being`. There is an exhilaration that comes with being super busy and checking everything off a very long To Do List (if I actually get everything done). I always thought that the more things I did in a day, the better person I was. It gave me a sense of value and was a very good distraction from connecting with myself.
Checking in with how I was feeling or how my body was feeling and asking myself the question, `what do I need?` was not part of my routine because I didn't think I deserved it. Taking care of myself took away from being productive- and in my view was a waste of time! I was always at the bottom of my To Do List if I was on there at all.
Now, don`t get me wrong, it is important to be productive and to set priorities each day. But previously I knew no balance and I certainly didn't pay attention to what I needed to nourish myself. The things I expected of myself were far too extreme and as a result I was constantly looking at what I didn`t achieve rather than what I did accomplish- It was a vicious cycle which I never seemed to catch up with and I ignored my wellbeing completely. And surprise surprise, I got sick. In the last 10 years I`ve been a student in learning to take care of myself and giving myself permission to practice self care. You can say I am still a work in progress but the good news is that I am making progress!
Food for My Mind, Body & Soul
By the time Christmas came around last year I could hardly see straight. It had been an intense few months opening the store and trying to get it up and running. I gave myself little, if any time, to nourish myself. I knew that these were exceptional circumstances but I asked myself whether I was justifying or whether this was really true. What dawned on me was the awareness I had of how much I was lacking. This was new. Even though it was a very exciting time and I was super happy to open the store, there was something in the back of my mind that was talking to me- `you need to slow down and take a break.` This is progress for me.
My boyfriend booked a vacation for us in Ljubljana, Slovenia over New Years for 9 days. At first I thought, `what will we do there in winter for 9 days?!` But my healthier way of thinking replaced that thought with, `it doesn't matter, you need this, you need to nourish & restore yourself.`
Surprise, surprise, It turned out to be exactly what I needed! I knew very little of where we were going as I had not time to research or plan. When we arrived we weren't quite sure of our first impressions. But at that point I really didn't care, I was just happy to have this break.
It was such and amazing trip, not only because the city is so beautiful, but also because I got everything I needed during those 9 days- a slow and easy pace, plenty of sleep, time in nature, good food, exercise, meeting lovely people, yoga, a massage, taking in all the beauty of the city, browsing around so many creative shops, and most importantly quality time with my boyfriend and Nessa. Nessa is one of my biggest teachers as she reminds me to be in the moment, how such simple things in life can bring joy (like a ball to play with :-) and how important love and affection are. I came back feeling nourished; mind, body & soul and ready to start the year in a very positive way. Just what I needed.
Reflecting back on this trip, I can see what things I need in my life to be nourished. Now clearly, it's not sensible or realistic for me to hop on a plane every time I need a break, but nourishment comes in so many forms. The important learning I take from this is that no matter how busy I am I can make time for even the littlest thing that will nourish me.
What are you doing to nourish yourself each day? If you don`t know the answer to this question take a few minutes to write a list of all the things you love to do, that make you happy, that make you feel nourished & restored. Keep this list and add to it as you remember or find new things that you enjoy and make you feel good. Find a place where you can put this list so you can remind yourself every day that you deserve to enjoy some of these things. And that in the end, nothing is important enough than to take care of you!
As I write this Nessa is looking at me with that `you should take a break and play with me` look so I will stop, make a cup of tea and give her some snuggles and playtime. Hmmmm, food for my body, mind & soul.
I would love to hear about the ways you nourish yourself. As we share together & exchange ideas we can support each other in giving ourselves permission to nourish our bodies, minds & precious souls.
With Love & Gratitude,