How to Nourish Yourself During the Holidays

How to Nourish Yourself During the Holidays

Self nourishment was the theme of the last women’s full moon circle I hosted. The theme had less to do with the full moon cycle and more to do with the fact that this word — self nourishment — kept being presented to me in the days before the circle. Through online articles, podcasts and newsletters I enjoy reading. 

When the holiday season can be more overwhelming and stressful than it is joyful and peaceful, I wondered how I could plan to nourish myself during the final quarter of the year so that I wasn’t moving into 2022 already exhausted. 

First I needed a definition and this is the one I liked the most:

“Self-nourishment is taking ownership of our wants and needs, while at the same time accepting that other people, in part, have a role in their satisfaction outside our control.” — Michael Samsel

I resonated so much with that one sentence. So often we rely on others’ for our wellbeing. Letting others’ actions and energy impact our own actions and energy instead of taking ownership of ourselves. 

And how often do we expect the people in our lives to know what our wants and needs are without saying a word? Probably more often than we think. I know I am guilty of this, and the hurt feelings of not having your wants and needs met is so painful, yet we hold the key to taking care of ourselves. 

We also discussed in the circle how self-nourishment is different from self care, and my friend had a clear insight — self care is more like maintenance and self-nourishment is more like growth. I loved that idea and it’s so true. 

When I think of my self-care, it’s things I already do on a regular basis to stay balanced and on track — meditation, journaling, morning yoga practice, hiking, getting a massage, taking a hot shower, dancing in the kitchen or singing at the top of my lungs in the car. 

When I think of self-nourishment, I think of all the things I know I need to do to take care of myself but perhaps these are new habits I’m working on or things that are difficult to do — cooking healthy meals at home, eating mindfully, drinking plenty of water, keeping my living space clean and organized, going to bed at a decent time, limiting my alcohol consumption and not procrastinating on important tasks. 

I like to think of it as my present self setting my future self up for success, knowing I am taking care of my own needs and not expecting others to do it for me. Knowing that developing these healthier habits will nourish me in a deep way that allows me to show up the way I want to in the world. It doesn’t mean I always do these things, but I know I’m a work in progress — we all are. 

So I will present you all with the same journaling prompt I offered at the women’s circle:

In what ways do you plan to nourish your mind, body and spirit this holiday season so that you can begin 2022 with enthusiasm and energy?

Here’s what I came up with:

Mind: Reading, writing my novel, limiting alcohol consumption, eating healthy whole foods

Body: Growing my yoga practice, mindfully eating, introducing new indoor exercise for the winter (swimming), drinking plenty of water

Spirit: Setting healthy boundaries and saying no when I need to without guilt, quality time with friends and family, solitude and rest

Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone to let go of their unrealistic expectations of what the holidays are supposed to look like and make these final days of the year what you want them to be. As Glennon Doyle pointed out on her podcast this week, it’s your holiday, stop doing all the things that stress you out about the holidays and do what nourishes you!

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