Check in with yourself right now. How do your shoulders feel? Your jaw? What about into your spine? Do you feel a tenseness across your hips or into your belly? These are all signs you need to pause and take a breath, to take time time to nourish and nurture yourself.
Taking care of our mental health along with our physical health is not just a new trend, but the need for a powerful shift in our mindset. The continuous elevated state that stress keeps us in impacts our overall well-being from sleep, digestion, mood, muscle recovery and chronic pain. We have to take time to slow down, to let our nervous system settle and to just be. Our very lives are at stake.
The interesting thing is that this isn’t just for those of us who don’t know how (or don’t like) to slow down. Those with busy jobs and families, where every waking minute is scheduled. This is also for everyone who’s minds are full, who can’t break away from worrying thoughts of the future or pains from the past. Who use TV or wine or cannabis or many other things to catch even a small break.
Did you know that for as smart as we are, our brains don’t know the difference between an experience that is real or imagined. Think right now of hugging your favourite person in the world. Did you just feel that softening? Everytime we think of something that carries a related feeling or emotion our body reacts as if it is currently happening.
So while we may not be living a life on the edge or spending each day running for our life, when our mind is racing with thoughts of what if and worst case scenarios, we might as well be. Except if we actually were living this life for real at least our stress response and adrenaline would have somewhere to go instead of the constant feedback loop inside of us.
We need to step off the hamster wheel and it’s not going to be easy. But with small steps and a continued dedicated practice we will get there. I did it, I’m still doing it and you can too. To me nourish and nurture in practice is all the small things we do everyday to slow down and take care of ourselves. To listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us. To start to peel back the layers to what is there at the root.
Nourish and nurture is taking care of your softer side so we can rebalance our nervous systems. It is the easy based movement with low to no sensation, the quiet meditations, sipping tea while looking out the window, taking a bath or even taking a nap. It is gratitude journals and connecting with a beloved friend. It is time sitting on the couch having cuddle time with your pets. It is the softer side of our Yoga practice, there to replenish us, to take care of us. You not only deserve it, you need it.
Join me on Saturday for my At Home Retreat – Nourish + Nurture. If you miss the live event you can always enjoy the recording afterwards. In fact, all my At Home Retreats from the last year are available in my shop now and all of them will help you take some sweet self-care time just for you.