There’s a common misconception lurking out there. That diet and exercise are the sole ingredients to feeling healthy and whole. While they are super important and absolutely necessary, they’re not the only things that fuel us and keep us humming along at our prime, day in and day out.
Many of the people I coach approach me with a specific goal in mind. Topics vary from energy to strength to confidence, but most everyone is looking to build a new lifestyle where they prioritize themselves and their health.
The other camp of people I coach aren’t so clear on their needs. Often times someone feels like they’ve lost their spark or glow. They’re not sure what’s going on but the days seem like an endless, dull drag. In some cases, these men and women are even eating well, exercising their bodies and getting decent sleep. But they don’t really feel healthy or alive, per say.
I’ve been there. I think we all have. It’s easy to get caught up in a routine that we carry out on auto pilot, simply because it worked the day before. Or because others expect us to behave in a certain way.
We can be so focused on eating heathy, we forget that nourishment comes from many places and is not limited to just what we put in our mouth. The truth is, we actually ‘eat’ all day with our senses. We consume our environment through touch, sound, sight and smell. And if we’re not feeding our souls, it becomes easy to confuse an emotional need for a physical craving. We might turn to food as a fix, but if the hunger isn’t actually rumbling from our belly, we’ll probably never be satisfied.
What does it mean to nourish yourself without food? For me it looks like stepping outside right before bed time to check out the glow of the moon. Sipping coffee on the couch while my husband queues up some jazz on a Sunday morning. Or walking to the further metro stop just so I have some time to call my sis on the way there.
In the context of a busy week, a full day of nourishment can be hard to come by. Sure, we’d love to take a whole day at the spa or retreat to the salty sands of the beach. But we often need something more immediate. Peace and calm is always within you if you’re willing to call upon it. Check out these ways to nourish your senses- right now.
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
Apparently, we’re more connected than ever! Which doesn’t actually make sense as feelings of loneliness and isolation are at an all-time high. So many of us spend a majority of our days bouncing emails back and forth behind walls and doors. Take the time to physically connect with the people around you. Human interaction boosts our spirits and reminds us that we’re never alone. Try a Meetup or join a club and find your tribe.
CONNECT WITH NATURE
Remember that your environment is influencing your mood and energy. If your job or commute requires you to be indoors most of the day, create pockets of time to switch up your surroundings. You’ll feel a physiological shift in your body and attitude as a result. Eat lunch outside and tilt your chin up towards the sun. Slip your shoes off and let the blades of grass poke in between your toes.
CONNECT WITH YOURSELF
What lights you up? What makes you tick? So often we dismiss the opportunity to engage in something we love because it’s not outwardly productive or purposeful. What about just doing something for the sheer joy and bliss of it? Sometimes the very best gift we can give ourselves is time. The time to call upon the things in this life that make us laugh and feel whole.
As busy as our days can be, a sixty second break is always worth your time. Boost your connections and use your senses. Nourishment has the potential to take on a whole new meaning.
Megan Sanchez is the owner of UpSwing Health Coaching. She works one-on-one with busy professionals who want to revamp their lifestyle and prioritize self-care. Megan helps people develop habits that are built on super small, everyday commitments to nutrition, movement, and personal nourishment that feel good because your body tells you so, not because you’re following the latest trend. She loves both outdoor and urban adventures. She’s called DC home for 7 years.