Whether we’re in high-powered jobs or we’re retired… whether our lives are full of responsibilities to kids, grandkids or parents… whether we’re traveling or holding down the homefront while our partner travels… starting a new solo business, building a home, or getting another degree at 60—there’s always tons to do!
It can be easy to simply respond to all the things we have to do, and forget to really nourish ourselves.
When we get busy, even eating healthy and exercising can be just another routine. It’s just something we breeze through on our way to the next item on our To-Do list.
But I’ve found that I feel most nourished when I approach these very necessary, nourishing practices with mindfulness. It’s not just about doing the things that I know make me feel nourished—like eating well, exercising, journaling, and meditating—it’s about taking the time to really pay attention to them.
That pause is critical. It’s the moments when I turn off my “To-Do List” mindset, and shift into a slower, more purposeful mindset. In this slower mindset, I savor the moments. I do things for their own sake.
That mindset might be the thing that nourishes and rejuvenates me the most. Here are a few other things I’ve found that nourish me in a fast-moving world…
Schedule unscheduled time.
This may seem counterintuitive. But I’ve found that setting aside blocks of time in my calendar to have no agenda is a great way to slow down and nourish myself.
Instead of filling my calendar with activities, tasks, social plans and obligations, and leaving the rest blank, I actually schedule in unscheduled time just like I would an appointment. Then I work to keep that appointment—with myself!
The key is for me to use that unscheduled time mindfully. I might use that time to take myself on an artist date, call a dear friend, get a massage, or tune into what my body needs in that moment and respond to that. (That might just be laying down and getting some extra sleep in the middle of the day!)
I find that it’s easier to use the time mindfully if I schedule it. Otherwise, I might blow through any extra time scrolling through my phone, checking social media or answering email.
By scheduling this “unscheduled time,” I actually use that time to nourish myself.
Set aside an hour extra for the grocery store next time.
If you’re like me, you have your grocery shopping routine down. You know what you get, you know where those things are in the store, you might even have a specific route you travel through the grocery store to do your shopping.
Food is an incredibly important way that we take care of ourselves. And healthy routines can be great. But like any routine, if you go on autopilot with it, you can miss opportunities to really tune in and see what your body is asking for.
So next time you go to the grocery store, see what happens if you give yourself an extra hour. Take a different route through the store. Give yourself time to wander, check things out, and see what appeals to you that you may not have thought of before.
Spend a lot of time in the produce section. Look for new, appealing ingredients that seem nourishing, that you have not tried cooking with yet. Let yourself get inspired. (And then go home and look up recipes using the new ingredients you’ve found!)
By doing this, you’ll tune in to your body in new ways and spend more time giving it what really nourishes you.
Add some time to your beauty routine whenever possible.