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A Fresh Approach to Eating

How to Self-Nurture You!

Let’s talk about some new ways to self-nurture yourself without food. I am excited about starting a New Year which is a time of renewal and self-improvement. A time of goal setting and reflection.  And for some of us, a time for restriction and overdoing it. This year, I hope you think about a kinder, gentler way to take care of yourself!

When thinking about health changes, most of us tend to focus on what we eat, and exercise but we often neglect our sleep and managing stress which also play a big part in helping us feeling our best.

I hope that by reflecting more inward it will help move our wellness from inside out!

I hope that some of these self-nurturing ideas will inspire you to feel renewed and rejuvenated.

Self-Nurture Where We Are Often Neglected

What Does Nurture Mean?

Nurture means care for and encourage the development of something or someone.

I have been told that the word “nutrition” comes from the word nurture, and it is similar. And providing healthy foods that our body or someone we love needs is a way to take care of us/them.

I often think about parents and other people we love making food that we love to take care of us. But sometimes this is the main way we think about when we are trying to comfort ourselves and that is okay sometimes.

Now that we defined the nurturing meaning, I want to talk about other ways that we can take care of ourselves and provide comfort. Let’s talk a little more about this.

How to nurture yourself?

Here are some areas that many of us neglect when it comes to nurturing ourselves.

  • Getting Adequate Sleep
  • Limiting Negative Self-Talk
  • Reducing Stress
  • Finding Out What Makes You Happy

Ways How to Nurture Yourself

1. Getting Adequate Sleep

Confession time: I have a difficult time sleeping. Whether it is my middle age hormones, the fact that I have a difficult time turning off my brain before bed or that I am a “worry wort” who thinks of “all the what ifs” when I hit the pillow. I work hard on my sleep hygiene habits, and it has improved a lot over the past 10 years. However, there are things that can get me off track. The important thing is I continue to work on it without a pharmaceutical sleep aid and most of the time it is effective!

Here are some tips to get a better night’s sleep:

2. Limiting the Negative Self-Talk

Does your inner dialog speak polite to you or mean to you?

Often times, at the beginning of the new year, we tend to want to wipe that slate clean whether it be nutrition, fitness, organizing or financial freedom ect.

Black and white thinking also called all or nothing thinking. Which is also known as dichotomous thinking is when we categorize ourselves or our food choices as good or bad. Or when we exercise or do anything to take care of ourselves, we tend to think of it as all or nothing with nothing in between as acceptable.

Let’s make new resolutions to create kinder, gentler and more reasonable goals that you can keep and feel more love for yourself than ever! We often want a quick fix and not a long-term commitment to permanent life-style change but small changes over time make a difference. It’s the unrealistic goals that can’t be sustained.

Take a look at some of these ideas for setting goals that you can live with to help you be successful:

3. Stress and Its Effects on Our Health

Stress: we all have it but many of us don’t focus on healthy ways to manage it. Some of us may even use self-destruction coping mechanisms that can harm us over the long term.

One of these is overeating. Check out two books that I just love by Susan Albers a psychologist who has 100 ways to soothe ourselves that don’t revolve food. How many times have most of us popped in a bite of food instead of nurturing ourselves in other ways.

Hear are Five Main Focus Areas for Self-Nurturing Yourself According to Dr. Albers:

In Dr. Albers first book she discusses these 5 main focus areas and then she provides some ways that you can include these areas in your life.

  • Social-Support
  • Distraction
  • Relaxing
  • Positive Thinking
  • Mindfulness/Meditation

I would like to share a little bit about some of the things that she discusses.

Dr. Albers 50 More Ways to Self-Soothe Yourself

Dr. Albers 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

In this book Dr. Albers discusses the ways to become more mindful to reduce the amount of emotional eating that someone is doing. Here are the main areas where you can be more mindful:

  • Meditation
  • Mindful Breathing
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Mindful Movement
  • Yoga for Emotional Eating
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Soothing Your Senses

Creating a Self-Soothing Box

How do you nurture yourself?

One way can be putting together your own self-soothing box.

I love the idea that Dr. Albers shares to make an emergency self-care kit so it is all ready when you need it! I put together one that has overflowed with some of my favorite things to help reduce my stress.

Everyone’s self-care kits will be filled with different things that help each of us! I look forward to hearing what helps you reduce your stress and how to nurture you! Here are some of the things that I love to nurture myself in my emergency self-nurturing kit:

  • knitting needles and yarn
  • herbal tea
  • enjoyable reading
  • essential oil
  • hand lotion
  • cozy socks
  • handmade tea mug
Here are some ways to Self-Nurture Yourself!
Here are a few of my favorite things that make me happy!

If you have not heard about the damage stress can do to our health, here is one of my previous blog posts that I want to share. There are also a lot of other ways to fight inflammation in our bodies.

4. Find Out and Do What Makes You Happy

I am one of those people who tends to need sunlight and during the winter months unfortunately, I sometimes get the winter blahs.

I have tried to turn this challenge into something positive. I love to knit, embroider, write, cook, create, ect. so, the darker winter months give me some quiet reflective time to set goals to finish projects. dress warm and cozy, light some essential oil fragrant candles and grow some amaryllis and other bulbs.

I was thrilled to learn that there was a Danish term known as hygge that defines this warm and loving feeling! Check out this blog post from last year to learn more!

Make a Reverse Bucket List

Be grateful for all the things that you have.

Don’t spend time fretting and regretting, think of all the good things that you have done in your life. Focus on the good that you have done for others and you. I love the idea from Kate Scarlata to make a Reverse Bucket List. This list reflects on the places we have been and what we have done for others. Not just what we hope to do! I am going to start me one of these!

Implement Your Own Self-Nurturing Yourself Plan

If you need some support and encouragement to get started on how to nurture yourself, I would love to work with you to help you create your own self-nurturing yourself plan.

If you want to improve your eating habits and your relationship with food and yourself, you might be interested in jump starting your health journey with one of Vine Ripe Nutrition’s Fresh Approach to Health Programs. In these programs, you will learn how to provide yourself more love and more self-care!

Implementing Ways to Self-Nurture Yourself

I hope that this year is the year, that you include some self-nurturing in your wellness program! It is important to take care of our inside needs and not only the outward physical health. As an Asheville, registered dietitian nutritionist, I love to share ideas to help improve peoples’ lives.

If you need a collaborative member on your health care team, I would love to work with you. Find out some of the ways that I can help here. I am so glad that you stopped by and hope that you come by again soon! I have lots of great ways to take care of yourself coming up!

If you are looking for a Women’s Nutrition Program, you can find out more about it here. I would love to hear how your plan is going to nurture you.

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