Growing up, “nourishment” meant eating whatever Mom fixed. As I was raised on the standard American diet, that usually meant some kind of meat, maybe a vegetable, and some bread. All of that was fine and good, but what I really wanted was dessert – and my glass of milk. If I could have lived on milk and dessert, I would have been a happy camper!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that nourishing yourself is so much more than what you eat. It’s how you treat yourself in every aspect of your life. How you talk to yourself and about yourself to others. How you take care of yourself at a very basic level. What it really boils down to for so many women is their self-worth.
Here’s the thing. I used to think that I nourished myself. I mean, I ate. Not always high quality food, but back then food was food. So I should have been good to go, right?
No. What I’ve come to realize is that by “nourishing” myself with fast food or whatever’s cheap or on sale at the grocery store isn’t nourishment at all. Furthermore, settling for what’s cheap or available sends the message that you’re not worth nourishment.
Think about it. If you’re going through the drive through at McDonalds to grab lunch (which I used to do on a regular basis in my 20s), you’re sending yourself and your body the message that the dollar meal at McDonalds is all your worth. Even worse, you’re not even worth sitting down for an actual meal. No, you’ve got to eat and run, so to speak, so you won’t be late for your next meeting. No wonder I had so much digestive distress in my 20s!
So what does it mean to nourish yourself? Here’s what it means to me:
- Eat 5-6 high quality meals per day with lots of veggies and fruit to keep my blood sugar stable and hormones happy
- Unplug each night no later than 7pm (preferably 6pm) so I can relax and unwind from my day – I love to read each night before I go to bed (and work-related reading doesn’t count! It’s got to be something I enjoy that relaxes me)
- Do some sort of movement everyday – usually yoga and some sort of fitness class (Fitmania Bootcamp is my favorite right now)
- Get 8 hours of sleep each night
- Treat myself to one self-care appointment each week (e.g., massage, yoga class, hair cut)
- Talk to or spend time with girlfriends every week
- Reach out to friends and family and ask for help when I need it
- Show myself the same respect I would show a loved one – I still struggle with this one
- Get out in nature some every day – I like to take my dog for walks morning and night in the foothills
- Meditate every day – usually morning and night
My list may or may not resonate with you. These are just a sample of things that I have learned nourish me on a daily basis. And I am so worth it and so are you!
What’s on your “nourishment” list?