Being a physical trainer and nutritional therapist, it’s no surprise that I talk and write a lot about healthy eating, active living, weight loss and the like.
One cannot overestimate the importance of nourishing the body with wholesome food and keeping it strong and supple via strength training, cardio and stretching. But there’s more to health than kelp smoothies and sumo squats. We also need to nourish our spirits.
Making the time to do things that bring us joy and peace is just as important as carving out the time to cook a healthy meal or perform a workout. These things can vary widely: Hiking, taking a warm bath, fishing, knitting, getting a massage, go-kart racing, bird watching — it’s different for everyone.
Sometimes we are in such a frenzy living out our hectic schedules, we have no idea what feeds our spirit and brings us joy — in which case, we need to sit quietly and figure it out.
Calming the mind is essential to my happiness. Being in a line of work that is physically demanding, often with loud music pumping from the stereo system, I find that making time for silence is of the utmost importance to my well-being.
Meditation is helpful, though I’ll come up with any excuse in the book not to do it. (I have opted to scrub already clean toilets in my house rather than sit down to a 20-minute meditation session.)
Yes, we often resist the things which bring us peace, I have yet to fully understand why, but when I do take the time to sit quietly, breathe deeply and just be, it is a balm to my soul. I end the session feeling lighter, calmer and just plain better.
Gentle yoga is another form of relaxation which is beneficial to darn near everyone. While my mother and sister are naturally flexible, I find it an arduous feat to bend forward and touch my toes. When I perform yoga regularly, the combination of stretching and deep breathing is very relaxing, and my tight muscles love me for it. It benefits both my body and spirit.
Flowers make me smile and bring me joy. I love spending my Sunday morning at the farmers market, looking over all the glorious bouquets and picking one or two for my home. God bless my husband, patiently waiting as I roam from one flower stand to the next, mulling over the various floral arrangements before deciding on the perfect one.
While this simple act of flower shopping may seem trivial, the ritual fills my soul with a sense of peace and serenity, and the gorgeous flowers brighten my home and my spirit all week.
Give your spirit the attention it deserves. Figure out what simple things make you smile and bring you joy. Not sure? Then you need to sit quietly and listen. Your spirit will tell you what it wants and loves.