If you were asked the question, ‘How did you nourish yourself today?’ you might be inclined to recall foods you ate throughout your day — meals, snacks and liquid nutrients.
The food we consume is only one form of nourishment. By definition, to nourish means to provide oneself with food necessary for growth, for life.
Beyond edibles, the foods we chew or sip, is a secondary ‘food’ source which is not found on our plates. How we nourish the body, mind and spirit casts a wide net around daily self-care rituals.
Some of these include sleep, exercise, stress management, spirituality, relationships, pursuit of personal passions and career.
In the busy-ness of a day, a week or a semester, it is easy to compromise self-care beyond meals. Imperatives of the day involving work and family can easily knock personal care down on the priority list.
When we consistently complete daily tasks at the expense of well-being, we have lows in energy, concentration and a lack of motivation.
Instead of eating well, sleeping well, being active and spending time doing things that feed our soul, the body ends up running on fumes instead if real energy. Over-the-coffee-counter stimulants and junk food can become preferred performance enhancers.
These energy crutches trigger feel-good sensors, leaving one to assume all is well, but the short-lived energy surge inevitably peaks. Well-being becomes compromised, generating food cravings, exhaustion, crankiness and mood swings. In contrast, increasing daily self-care habits conditions the body (and mind) to perform more like an Energizer Bunny.
Some simple ways to nourish and nurture your busy self in non-food ways:
- Try a one minute relaxation at the computer. Everyone has a minute! Place your hand over your navel so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breathe. Breathe in slowly to a count of 5. Do this for a minute.
Take a few cleansing breathes and as you breathe in say, “I am” and as you breathe out say “at peace.” Repeat three times and feel your entire body relax into your chair. This clears your mind and will allow you to return to tasks refreshed.
2. Carry a favorite hand moisturizing cream with you (small tubes slip easily into a briefcase or backpack.) Give yourself a hand massage daily — wrists too, from all that typing or ink pen rotation.
3. At home, cook a simple healthy recipe and experience the high vibration and energy you feel right after eating it.
4. Take a tech break. Let your mind rest without staring at a screen. Stare out a window, read a chapter of a book that helps to ‘create a life of well-being and wonder’, do nothing for a few minutes — truly unplug.
5. Create a working environment, or even just a desk space at home that promotes well-being.
- Keep plants in your work space which generate added oxygen in the room.
- Drink water while you work to stay alert and focused.
- Use a portable aromatherapy diffusor to enjoy the benefits of essential oils to energize and relax the body.
- Light candles in a home office. Watch the flame for a couple minutes. The act is sure to chase self-sabotaging stress hormones away.
The phrase, “It is better to look good than to feel good,” made famous by actor Billy Crystal playing the character of Fernando Lamas on Saturday Night Live was made in jest. Nothing replaces the satisfaction of feeling your best.
Prioritizing self-care is a complete game changer. By making space to nurture ourselves daily we shift our lives into high gear.
Invest more in the act of nurturing self (without waiting for the weekend or a vacation day to find the time) and discover how good the body is designed to feel.
We are much stronger than our excuses for not taking ridiculously good care of ourselves. Why wait until tomorrow when you can thrive now.
1. A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored. (Inspirechange.com)
Originally published at vikingnews.net on March 2, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com