Nourishing Your Nervous System In Recovery

Compass with needle pointing the word well-being. 3D illustration with blur effect. Concept of wellbeing or wellness

By Jolene Park

Jolene Park

As you encounter various experiences, situations, interactions and decisions throughout your day ask yourself this simple question: “Is this nourishing?”

Who are the people that you surround yourself with? Do your friends, family members, co-workers, intimate romantic partners uplift or deplete you? Have you chosen healing mentors, practitioners, healthcare providers who listen and tend to you? What about the environments you place yourself in at work and home? Are they clean, cluttered, and weighed down with stuff literally or metaphorically? What about nature? Do you have a place in nature that you can access and visit easily and frequently?

What about those conversations you have in your own head? Or the conversations you have with others? Are they uplifting, supportive, nourishing? Do you speak up for yourself or do you swallow and suppress your feelings, words, or truth? Do you nourish yourself with quiet time, reflection, rest? Are you in a nourishing work situation and environment? Does your work provide nourishing compensation for your contributions? Do you make nourishing decisions about how you save and spend money?

Do you move, stretch your body in a self-compassionate (nourishing) way? The style of exercise or time spent exercising isn’t as important as how you use exercise. Exercise is not meant to be a self-punishment for something that you ate or drank, instead exercise is meant to boost endorphins and build physical and mental strength. How do you use exercise?
Which foods do you eat on a regular basis? Does the food you choose energize and fortify you? Why do you select the food that you do? Is it delicious, nutrient rich and nourishing? Or is it convenient, processed, and something that you’re eating because you think you should? How often do you cook your own nourishing meals?

Do you connect to something outside of yourself on a regular basis? Prayer, gratitude, forgiveness or other practices? What sustains and anchors you? How about play and pleasure? Or is this an area that’s malnourished and pushed to the back burner? Is pleasure a forbidden, scary thing? If yes, why? And finally, once your cup is full with true nourishment in various forms how do you offer that out to others? This isn’t just about what you’re getting, accumulating, doing, and using, there is a boomerang effect to nourishment as well. Once you have filled up your own cup it’s time to help “feed” and uplift others.

Building a supportive, consistent routine of nourishing practices, habits, relationships, and choices is the true nourishment that sustains and strengthens us.
This is not about being perfect, punishing yourself or being a purist. Instead, this is about bringing ease, fun, and enjoyment (healthy nourishment) to all areas of your life. We live in a time when we have access to more Healthy Discoveries – resources, options, practices and support than ever before. Start now. Make nourishment a part of your daily focus.

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