Nourish Your Life - Habits for Wellbeing
When we think of the word “nourishment” it’s often associated with food. Of course that’s only natural. And the reason I’m using the word nourishment outside of its regular foodie context is because you can often find yourself so over-focused on food that you actually forget that nourishment does not have to be just about food and that there are a whole host of other, simple and wonderful ways to nourish yourself.
So how do you nourish yourself without food. The truth is we actually “eat” all day long – with our senses – we consume our environment through smell, feel taste, sight and sound – in other words by engaging all of our five senses. Taking the dog for a walk on the beach and inhaling the salt in the air, lying on your bed listening to your favourite music, taking your shoes off and walking on freshly cut grass – these all provide nourishment. What I am going to share with you here are five proven ways to nourish your sense that you may never even have thought of.
Firstly let’s look at your environment – possibly nothing affects your mood and energy more than the environment you live or work in. Let’s say you’re stuck in an office or a factory all day – when you leave work it’s really helpful to go for a walk, somewhere you can see nature, trees, grass or a beach. At home – clearing away clutter, opening the windows to let in fresh air and something I do is use a sage stick. This may be a little woo woo for some – but it’s called smudging and you light the sage stick and let it smoke. Then basically walk around the house and wave the stick through every room – especially the corners. I’m not sure what the origins of this are – I just know if definitely works for me if I want to create a nourishing environment.
The next way to nourish your senses is through your relationships. And there is actually more to this than you might think. One side of the coin is to seek out and nurture positive and supportive relationships with friends or with your partner. Maybe those need a bit of work. Arranging to meet a friend for a coffee or organise a date night with your partner is a good start. Sometimes it’s easy to slip in to complacency with relationships because they often need work and that does not always happen organically.
The flip side of the relationship coin is to say goodbye to people in your life that drain your energy. I read a fabulous book a few years ago called “Dodging Energy Vampires”. Because there are people who thrive on that negative energy and then they like it if you get involved in their negativity too. The end result is that you walk away from spending time with them feeling totally drained. So the good news is you can do two things – you can choose not to spend time around them, or you can take charge of the conversation when you are in their company. It is not your job to make an unhappy person happy. If you set out change a person, you will likely fail and may end up feeling disgruntled yourself.
Another powerful way to nourish yourself is through sleep. There is just no way around it – there is nothing quite like sleep to rejuvenate your body and restore your entire system. An important point though is that you can sleep for eight hours and still wake feeling like a train wreck. If your mind is too busy when you go to bed or you’re worrying about something, your sleep will not be good quality so that you wake feeling like you need another night’s sleep. If that’s the case you might want to make some changes to your bedroom or your sleep routine.
The next step for nourishment is all about connections. Have you noticed in restaurants couples and families often sit paying far more attention to their phones than they do to each other. We spend so much of our time on computers or on our phone we can forget just how important human connection is. Human beings are social, tactile creatures – there is nothing more nourishing than a happy conversation with a friend or a hug from a loved one.
And the final way to get some nourishment in is through movement – and I really like to use the word movement instead of exercise. I think I may be allergic to the word exercise – it just makes me think of sweaty gyms. But movement is a much more exciting word because that can mean anything – walking, yoga, dancing, swimming – basically anything that sparks your endorphins, makes you feel energised and excited and keeps the oxygen circulating through your system. That’s when you truly feel nourished and refreshed and alive.
So if you feel you’ve been feeling like your life is lacking some excitement or meaning, hopefully I have given you something to think about today. These big five things I have highlighted here definitely need as much love and attention as eating.