Friday, March 17, 2017
Nutrition For The Soul
There is a lot to be said about nurturing our soul at the same time we are providing healthy nourishment for our bodies. Most in the field of nutrition will say you really can’t do one without the other and truly live a healthy lifestyle. Each helps the other flourish, which supports our whole self.
Finding time to both prepare nutritious meals and also find time to nurture our souls seems nearly impossible. How do we find the time? Perhaps part of the secret is in not thinking of them as separate activities or as mutually exclusive.
As an example, creating a positive environment in which to eat your meals nurtures your soul. Sit down to eat. Set the table and use napkins and place mats that are attractive and appealing to you. Consider playing music from your phone like jazz, pop or classical to listen to while eating instead of having the TV blaring. Treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh flowers or buy fresh fruit, put it in a bowl and have it be a multipurpose vessel, which includes being a centerpiece for your table. There are many creative ways you can design appeal into your visual environment in order to nourish your soul.
Mindfulness is also an important ingredient that nourishes both our bodies and soul. When we prepare nutritious food, serve it attractively on right-sized plates and then eat it in a visually appealing environment we can enjoy the experience more and feel satisfied at the end of the meal. The hitch is acknowledging that this is occurring. By being aware of what we are doing we actually enhance the experience. The little things we do like eating off an attractive plate or sitting down to eat can have a big impact on our overall happiness. It is a way that gives us the time and space to enjoy life. Acknowledging it lets us realize what we are doing to help ourselves and that we have found the time to nourish both our body and soul.
Doing simple things to be kind to yourself nourishes your soul. Fixing oatmeal in the morning for breakfast (in the microwave it takes 1 minute 37 seconds) or treating yourself to a beautifully designed water bottle you can fill each day with fresh water to drink throughout the day or taking a walk with a friend instead of going to have drinks after work all feed the soul, help you live a healthier lifestyle and can also save you money you can spend later on a healthy guilty pleasure or for saving up for a future vacation. None of these ideas take more time than you are already spending; they are simply alternate ways, which most probably will nurture your soul in a way you currently aren’t in your everyday life.
Breathing as a conscious activity is a wonderful way to nourish your soul, mind and body. This can be done before you get out of bed in the morning, when you take a shower, in the restroom, in the car, waiting in line, waiting on the phone when you are on hold and just before you go to sleep. There are an amazing number of times during the day when you are waiting or performing a task that is mindless or rout that provide the perfect moments to breath. There are even apps for it if you want a more structured approach to beneficial breathing exercises. Just a minutes worth of deep breathing leaves you feeling refreshed, in control and better able to conquer the challenges in your life.
Surround yourself with inspiring words and phrases. Words have a profound effect on us. Seeing, reading and thinking about motivational words gives us hope, perspective and a sense of possibility. Words that support us make us feel more in control and when we are more in control we make better decisions, including about the food we eat.
Providing good nutrition for our souls is fundamental to living a healthy lifestyle and it isn’t as hard as you think to do. Integrate it into what you are already doing each day. It will make your activities and tasks that much more enjoyable.