Check out my Services to find the ways we can work with the pillars to help you nourish yourself.
This pillar would never have been on my list a few years ago but I’ve noticed such a difference in my life since I’ve prioritized time for things I enjoy doing. If all we ever do is focus on our jobs and other demands, life can become boring, stressful, and mundane. Life can be tough so it's really essential to spend time having fun when you can.
Ask yourself, what lights me up? What brings me joy (or if you can’t think of anything nowadays, what used to bring me joy even as a kid)? Remember, this is not what your partner, friends, or kids enjoy, it’s what you personally enjoy doing and what brings the creativity out in you. I love making fun t-shirts, creating jewelry, dancing, learning something new, and traveling the world. What speaks to your soul? How can you make time for that every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes?
I cannot emphasize enough how important rest is, especially regarding getting enough sleep. When we sleep, our bodies repair and regenerate. Adequate sleep allows our brains to reorganize, recharge, and eliminate toxins that have accumulated throughout the day. Rest doesn't have to mean sleep, it can also mean giving yourself a break (physically or mentally) any time of day you need it.
In addition to resting, dealing with stress is hugely important to our nourishment. Stress is our body’s response to pressure. When we encounter stress, our bodies produce hormones that trigger a fight-or-flight response in our nervous system. If we're stressed and overwhelmed all the time, we're left in a constant state of fight-or-flight which can ultimately affect our physical and mental health. That's why nervous system care is so important.
So how do we take care of our nervous system? Well, first by recognizing there's an issue and deciding to make some changes. Secondly by nourishing all the pillars: eating in line with your unique body's needs, moving your body, resting, being mindful, and most importantly, being kind to yourself.
Once I started making rest and nervous system care a priority, things changed for me. I feel better both mentally and physically. I also now realize I don’t constantly have to hustle and push through when I’m tired. And you don’t either.
Mindfulness is defined as being fully present, aware, and conscious of our surroundings or state of being. Becoming fully present in the moment helps us connect with our higher self, our environment, and the people around us. It also helps free us from distractions and judgments of ourselves and others.
Spirituality, on the other other hand is not as easy to define because the idea of spirituality is unique to each of us. It can include a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. It can often involve a search for meaning in life and can include values by which people live. Spirituality can be incorporated into any religious belief or, on the other hand, it doesn't have to be tied to religion at all. Another way to look at spirituality is engaging with your spirit and recognizing who you are are your core and letting your true self shine brightly.
Incorporating both mindfulness & spirituality into my day has really helped me in nourishing myself. I've been able to get out of my racing head and ground into my body to be more aligned with the nourishment that I need. I feel more connected to and have a better understanding of others, nature, myself, and my intuition. I've become more grateful and present. In general, I'm a happier and less stressed person all around.
Moving my body has always been a huge part of my life. From dance, to sports, to running, to yoga, I've always been on the go. But for many years I thought that I needed to work out “hard” and to make myself to exercise even when I was hurting or sick. I was so stressed when I missed a workout. I thought pushing myself to the limit equaled being thin & healthy but after getting my nutrition degree and gaining a better understanding of women’s physiology and hormones, I know that is not the way to go about things...especially when we experiencing stress in other areas of life.
Now, I'm more intentional with working out. I listen to my body and move in a way that aligns with what will nourish me that day. I’m no longer working out to the point of exhaustion and feel so much better both physically and mentally.
What we eat is so important to our nourishment, yet it is so personal. I’m not here to tell you how or what to eat, but instead, guide you in finding a way of eating that feels good to you personally and that aligns with your body and spirit.
Diet culture has done a number on us by making us feel scared, ashamed, and restrictive about food. Beliefs that some foods are good or bad, that we should only eat “clean”, or that we need to count, track, label, or limit food have been ingrained into many of us from a young age. These beliefs separate us from our bodies and make us devalue ourselves. Diets and rules are extremely hard on our bodies AND our mental health.
Instead of restriction, I want you to find an aligned relationship with food, one that you can feel good about. I want to help you honor your body’s cues and release judgment. I want you to enjoy meals and allow them to nourish you. Some meals might look like a huge salad with lots of fixings, other times that might look like a comforting bowl of vegan mac and cheese (my personal favorite). You do you and feel good about it.
While nourishment can mean different things to different people, I find something to be nourishing if it is supportive, nurturing, or promotes growth. Nourishment for me evokes self-care, self-love, and healing.
When most people think of nourishment, they think of food. As a nutritionist, that's what I initially focused on too. Lately, however, I have come to realize it is only one piece of the equation.
Besides feeding our body, I now go beyond nutrition to include mental, emotional, and spiritual nourishment. All of these pieces of us work synergistically. When one is off, we feel it in the other areas, even if it’s not all that obvious.
After working on nourishment needs for both myself and clients, I’ve come up with a few core areas (aka pillars) of life that I feel are key to being nourished. Here’s some info about each and why they are an important part of living a nourished life.