Nourishing yourself means more than just eating up a storm, even in all the right food groups. And eating up a storm is what we’re programmed to do at this time of the year.
Nourish means to provide food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition; to promote growth needed for nourishment (including spiritual nourishment); and to maintain/support/strengthen.
What is interesting about the definition is that it makes the distinction between how we nourish ourselves, i.e. our whole selves—mind, body and spirit. So why is it when we think of nourishment, we just think about feeding ourselves food?
I took a moment to ask friends in the recovery community about their favorite nourishing activities, that didn’t involve food. I’ve listed 10 favorites below.
Practising Restorative, yin and kundalini yoga
Stretch, breathe, limber up: Yoga can work in just a few minutes with some simple poses
Get enough sleep. Take a break after lunch or snooze for a few minutes after work. Exhaustion makes us angry… and start eating
Spending Time Alone
This is can be thought of as quiet time, when no one is talking to, or at you. Alone time does not mean isolation, it just means time out from interaction and the needs of others
Okay, not everyone can om their way to serenity. Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and breathing in for five counts and out for five counts. Your heart will slow and your worries ease. Try it. Inhale 12345 Exhale 12345
Walking In Nature
If you’re lucky enough to have sand or grass around and walking in bare feet is even better. It’s called earthing. But any walking in nature calms and restores your spirit
Spending Time With A Pet
All the research points to pets soothing anxieties and eliciting a feeling of wellbeing. So spend some downtime with a pet, any pet to nourish your spirit.
Listening To Music
There is also strong evidence that music alters mood. Take advantage of the good vibes by playing music that you love.
Expressing Yourself Through Arts And Crafts
Creativity is one of the greatest of human gifts and activities. Expressing ourselves whether through cooking, decorating our environment or ourselves, painting a picture or baking a cake is always a form of self care. Create away this and every season.
Some of us get up early to exercise, or exercise at lunch or after work. It doesn’t matter what you do, getting your body moving will make you feel better.
Lighting a candle or having a bath every evening, or doing some sun salutations every daybreak. All these things that you do regularly create a feeling of balance and security in your life. When you perform a whole bunch of them (exercise, rest, listening to music, taking alone time) can provide the nourishment you need to keep yourself mentally healthy no matter what is happening around you.
The Benefits Of Nourishing Yourself
It’s my experience that if we look after our recovery holistically—listening to our entire body’s needs—then we’re more likely to be present, engage in healthy and helpful behaviors, and enjoy the holidays. We can start the new year full of energy, nourished, and content.
If you need addiction or mental health help, visit Recovery Guidance for a free and safe resource to find professionals near you.