When we think of nourishment, we tend to think first of food. Perhaps we remember a favourite soup that was eaten by a warming fire. Often the memory is associated with a person who added to the sense of wellness. Nourishment for our well-being, our happiness and sense of belonging are all fed by a multitude of influences in our environment. To really nourish your mindset, you must make  a conscious effort to increase the positive aspects and minimise the negative ones.

During the last 12 months, it has felt hard to control many aspects of our lives. What we had previously accepted as our day-to-day, no longer exists for most people. The changes have been so complete, so invasive of our routine that it is easy to question how you are meant to function in a ‘normal’ way. Creating time to nourish your mindset has not been a priority when, for many, being able to purchase the most basic form of nourishment, our food, has become impossible.

It is never going to be the perfect time

Of course, the truth is that it is when we are in this situation that we most need to nourish our mindset. I know there are experts who will tell us that this is not the right time to start a new habit of mindfulness and that it takes effort and time to nourish your mindset. Hindsight aside, every moment you spend, telling yourself they are right, is wasted time that you could use to start a new positive routine today.

My top tips to start a routine to nourish your mindset

Create a daily mantra to remind yourself that you deserve nourishment.

Something along the lines of ‘I will invest time in my wellness and happiness today and I deserve to feel nourished by doing so.’ Or perhaps ‘Today I will invest in nourishment for my spirit and for my body to support them in thriving with wellness and joy.’ It is a very personal thing, and you deserve to spend time on working on these words. Feel free to use mine until you find your own.

Allow nature to nourish you.

Even it this only means opening a window and letting in some air. Connection with the outside, with nature and weather all have an impact on our sense of wellness. Nature provides us with vitamin D, even on a fairly dull day, which is essential for happiness. Getting the sun on our skin tops up this happy hormone, so if you’re lacking sunshine, I highly recommend a daily dose of vitamin D spray.

Do something physical.

This is a big challenge for me as I have pain and mobility issues, so I’ve been making sure I get at least a four to five minute walk in our woodland every day. The added bonus of being in the trees, which I find so calming, is something I am grateful for. Whatever your physical ability, making sure you allow yourself to add this to your daily nurture list is a priority. No stories about not having the time on this; you know you’ll benefit from it and the impact it will have on the rest of your day will be positive. I know I get more done and to a higher standard, when I take breaks and give my sense of wellness some nurture time.

Stop with the stories you tell yourself about eating.

This is a tough one and it got tougher than ever during the last 12 months or so of lockdown. We often say things like ‘I was naughty, I ate a cake with my tea’ or ‘I’ve been bad today. I ate lots of crisps.’ These negative associations around food, our nourishment, are not a good thing for your mindset and general wellness. Change your language on this, and acknowledge that you were in need of some comfort and that this food reminds you of good times with a certain person, or in a special place.

Find your meditation, whatever that looks like for you.

Meditation does not have to be cross legged ‘om’ ing away and being at one with nature. If that isn’t your ‘thing’ then you don’t need to force it. Instead, you can decide what your version of meditation sounds, feels and looks like. I love time with the trees, listening to the birds and the water in the woodland stream. Often, I add music to this, either listening to a playlist or singing myself. I have a client who finds listening to ZZ Top at high volume, in a lovely bubble bath, works for him. And another who says archery is her meditation. She spends an hour shooting arrows at haystacks on her property to reconnect with her inner calm. It really is up to you to define your version.

These five steps are small but significant and each one can make an instant impact on your sense of wellness and nourishment. Start with the one that felt most achievable and relevant.

I’d love to hear how you get on.

And if you’re looking for some inspiration, ask people in your networks what they’ve been doing to support and nourish their wellness during the last year. There are some creative ideas that others are finding helpful and are worth a try.

From my heart to yours