This is part of a series we’ve lovingly dubbed “Illuminating Wellness”. It seems there is always some new term popping up in the wellness community (and your Pinterest boards). Let’s lay out what they mean and most importantly how you can actually apply them to your own day-to-day routine. Let’s talk about: Nourish
I’m going to assume you’re familiar with the word nourish – to sustain with food or nourishment; to supply with what is necessary for life, health and growth. At the very core, our intentions to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle usually come down to a desire to truly nourish ourselves.
And I’m sure you already know what it takes to properly nourish yourself – plenty of water, 8 hours of sleep, exercise each day, fresh air, lots of veggies, and going easy on the processed foods.
But here’s where attempts to nourish ourselves can get crazy and counterproductive: when we quickly pile on the nourishing habits expecting it to make radical changes, now. We are bound to become overwhelmed and stressed out trying to keep up with this new and demanding list of changes. It’s the equivalent of running so fast to the point of no long being able to keep up with your own feet. You’re bound to topple over.
Think about how you would go about lifting weights. You don’t jump in to lifting 30 pounds on your first visit to the gym in two years. You slowly work your way up. Maybe you start with the five pounders with the 8’s as your next milestone. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to get there, and sometimes a couple months. But you are patient and show up every day. You know that eventually, you will get there.
This is a great approach to adding new habits in a nourishing way. The point, afterall, to adding these new habits is to feel good! And it’s hard to feel good when you feel like you’re drowning in change and can’t keep up.
As tempting as it is to want to do all the things at once, here’s a way to help you tack on your new lifestyle changes in a way that leaves you feeling great:
1 | List
Start by making a list of all the new habits you would like to incorporate and organize them into categories. For example: fitness, nutrition, mental, relaxation. If you have habits that are big goals, break them down into manageable baby steps.
2 | Choose
Choose two habits from your list to begin with. Ideally you would choose from different categories to create balance to your routine.
3 | Frequency
Next decide how often you will practice these two habits. It’s important to keep this part realistic when you are just starting out. For example, if you want to start running a mile every day it could become really overwhelming very quickly! Whereas a half a mile three times a week would ease you into a routine. I personally love the Seinfeld technique as a way to stay accountable and visibly see my progress.
4 | Practice
Now it’s time to start practicing your habit! For the next two weeks just focus on the two habits you chose from your list. Resist the temptation to stack on more even if you are doing really well! This is all about “slow and steady” progress.
5 | Review
When your two weeks is up review your progress. How did it go? Did you rock it or did you have an off week? Do you need to spend more time strengthening them? If so, that’s okay! We want to really take the time to make sure these new habits stick.
6 | Continue
Continue in this way until you have incorporated all the habits on your list. This will take time, and you will have setbacks of course (we all do!) but staying positive and determined to move forward will lead you to progress and success!
7 | Align
Don’t be afraid to review your list for habits that no longer align with your goals and adding in new ones that do.
Things change over time. Sometimes we become injured or ill and need to scale back what we can do. Sometimes we underestimate ourselves and realize what we are capable of taking on! Either way this is about feeling nourished and great!
– image credit: Death to the Stock Photo