How do you nourish yourself?
I remember last year a friend was creating a set of “nourish yourself” cards with lots of ideas on how to nourish yourself. She had nearly finished and said she needed just one more, could I think of something?
No. As it turned out, I could not.
I was so perplexed. How hard can it be to nourish yourself? Why couldn’t I think of anything!
I realised that I WAS doing quite a few things to nourish myself – so I might book in appointments for myself for a massage, Kinesiology session, facial or to have my nails done, or go out to a yoga class, or take myself out for brunch or for a coffee, or spend time with friends and my husband, or buy myself something I wanted.
But I realised nearly everything I was doing was reliant on other people. I was nourishing myself from the outside, if that makes sense. And in many cases, outsourcing the nourishment to other people!
It’s not that this is wrong, I just realised that for me, I wanted to look at more ways that I could create that nourishing feeling for myself from within.
As a *complete coincidence* I realised around the same time that I was in fact adrenally fatigued. I know, right? What are the chances of that kind of coincidence?! I’ve realised that certain personality traits tend to create a greater likelihood of becoming adrenally fatigued. Awareness of this makes a big difference.
So this year, I’ve been consciously exploring ways to nourish myself and doing them more often; cooking, meditating, using oils, taking baths and more recently, incorporating some restorative yoga into my life, which I’m finding really does allow me to nourish myself completely from within.
What is restorative yoga?
Restorative yoga usually involves using blankets or other supports to go into really comfortable, easy postures that you hold for a period of time.
As you relax into the posture, and really allow your body to sink in and be still and calm, you are allowing your parasympathetic nervous system to be activated. It’s responsible for your rest and digest activities. When it’s balanced, you’re likely to have good digestion, sleep well, have a strong immune system and generally feel relaxed and calm.
Your parasympathetic nervous system is not in balance when you’re adrenally fatigued.
As I talked about in my adrenal fatigue post, there are many activities in our daily lives which stimulate our adrenals, and comparatively few that work to relax and restore us at a deeper level.
If we don’t consciously add them into our day, there may be none. No wonder we get exhausted!
Restorative yoga is a great antidote to adrenal fatigue
I’ve included several videos below, so you can explore some restorative yoga for yourself. Restorative yoga is great to do at night before bed to help you sleep more easily and deeply. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Just one pose such as lying with your legs up the wall for ten minutes might be all you need to start to relax at a deeper level.
As an easy starting point, child’s pose is one of the easiest poses you can do. In restorative yoga, you use blankets, cushions or a bolster to lie on, so you can relax more deeply. This video is really short, you might just watch it the first time and then try it for yourself – go into the pose and lie there for a good 5 -10 minutes and just allow your body to relax. Allow yourself to be as comfortable as you can possibly be, so spend a bit of time getting yourself comfortable first.
This is a slightly longer video (4 mins) that guides you through a restorative practice that includes a breathing exercise, forward bend and a supported backbend (you’ll need a firm cushion to lie on).
This next video goes for ten minutes and poses include a heart and hip opener, child’s pose and legs up the wall.
These videos are all a great start with restorative yoga. You might just continue to use these, or once you’ve watched these videos, you might just choose the 2 or 3 poses you like most and spend 10 or 15 minutes going through them before bed.
Be curious! Try different things and notice how you feel during the poses, immediately afterwards, how you sleep and how you feel the following day.
Here’s what I’ve been doing
Personally I have used both My Yoga Online ($10/month) and Yoga Glo ($18/month). I’m loving Yoga Glo right now. Both have a wide range of videos in different styles and lengths. I love going to yoga class too, but I decided I needed a way to incorporate yoga into each day more easily, and to be less governed by class times as to when I get my yoga.
I’ve been doing some yoga nearly every day, even if it’s just a short restorative sequence in the evenings. It makes a big difference and I love having a way to consistently nourish myself that isn’t dependent on eg food, booking an appointment, other people, scheduling, having to be somewhere etc.
If you don’t want to pay for an online membership site, use the videos I shared and see what else you can find over at youtube.
I’d love to know how you get on!