When you hear the term “nourishment,” what do you picture? A big, steaming bowl of soup that fills your belly? A slow, deep stretching session that awakens your body? An hour-long chat with your best friend that feeds your soul? The answer is D. All of the above. Nourishment is about so much more than the ingredients we put into our bodies.
As parents, we’re consumed with figuring out the best way to nourish our babies. How long should I breastfeed for? Which brand of formula is best? How many books a day should I be reading with them? Did they get enough sleep? Did I get enough sleep? It's a never-ending cycle of questions we ask ourselves as we make sure our tiny humans are getting the best we can offer them to help them grow and thrive. We work hard to nourish the development of our children, but what about ourselves?
Nourishing our bodies
This will never be a space where we talk about diets and weight loss. That’s not what nourishment is. When we talk about nourishing our bodies, we're talking about something that will look different for everyone. Nourishment can be making your favorite dinner with seasonal ingredients found at your local farmer’s market. It can be a leisurely walk around the neighborhood while baby naps in the wrap. Maybe it’s your own 30-minute nap time that you need to feel refreshed and your best. What makes your body feel as good as it can for the season you’re in? Nourishment is for the long term. Nourishment gives us the strength we need to power through long days after even longer sleepless nights. Our bodies crave and deserve whole, well-rounded nourishment.
Nourishing our minds
“Mom brain” is so real it hurts. But we promise that one day the fog will lift and you’ll start to feel more like yourself again. Have you ever noticed that when you’re inundated with mental noise, it’s harder to stay calm and be productive—much less be as present as you’d like to be with your children? We contemplate the past, we dream about the future, we worry, we anticipate. Our minds grow filled with an endless stream of chatter. We nourish our brains by striving to continuously learn and by providing respite through stillness. It’s a strange balance, but it’s a form of nourishment our brains desperately need.
Nourishing our souls
Creativity often gets put on the back burner when there’s a newborn in the mix. Even if you don’t consider yourself "a creative person," you likely have your own unique way of living creatively. Creative expression brings joy. Maybe your form of creativity is doing crafts with your kids. Or thrift shopping. Or writing poetry. Whatever fills your cup is what nourishes your soul, and it’s important to make space for whatever that is in this phase of your life.
Think about nourishment: How does it show up for you? Describe the sensations, the thoughts, the way your mind and body feel when you experience it. Explore it, describe it, welcome it. How does nourishing your body affect your emotional health? What are you doing on a consistent basis to care for your soul? How do you relax, rest, and unplug? Is consistency hard for you when it comes to caring for your overall mental and physical well-being? What’s one change you can make to remove any obstacles you’re currently facing?