By Deborah Olson, M.A. LPC
Yes, eating a healthy diet packed with nutrients and vitamins is important for maintaining a healthy body. Yet, many of us neglect the vital ingredients needed to sustain our mental health. Simply put, we must nourish to flourish. In other words, feed your soul as well as your body. These activities will help you invigorate your spirit and fuel your emotional wellbeing.
1. Connect with Friends – Play dates are not just for kids. In fact, regular outings with friends have proven to have healing powers. A Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends you have, the less likely you are to develop physical impairments as you age and you are more likely to lead a joyful life. So, join a friend for a meal, take in a sporting event or concert, or sign up for an art class together.
2. Focus on Forgiveness – Being bogged down by mistakes from the past hinders our ability to be happy. We must let go of the things in life that are holding us back. This includes forgiving ourselves for past mistakes and pardoning others for past hurts they have caused us. Put these burdens behind you and move on.
3. Be Present in Your Life – Give your life the focus it deserves. Take time to pause from daily routine and responsibility to find a fresher, happier, childlike version of yourself. Make a deliberate plan to recapture or reshape that spirited part of your soul that may be lost or buried.
4. Practice Daily Gratitude – Seeking and acknowledging the blessings of life reawakens inner child-like glee, raises our happiness level, and decreases depression. Make a purposeful effort to incorporate gratitude into your daily life and pay it forward. Consider making a list of things for which you are grateful or writing appreciation letters to family, friends, or those who have touched your life.
5. Savor the Day – By paying attention to the pleasant things around us, we increase our zest for life and enhance our happiness. Even stressful days offer moments of joy or humor that should be savored. Seek and find these occasions each day, then share them with others while asking them to reciprocate.
6. Embrace Change – The journey back to your authentic self is a work in progress as your chapters in life continue to unfold. Celebrate change. Don’t just let life happen to you, instead revel in it. Search for that new purpose and fulfill your inner needs. It’s time to listen to your soul and trust yourself.
7. Reconnect With Passions – Through pursuing your passion, you nourish your soul. Get back to those activities, hobbies, or leisure ways of relaxation that you are passionate about and that enrich your life.
Are you hungry for a change? Now is the time to retrieve that part of you that is lost and return to your authentic self that has been buried. It’s time to nourish to flourish. Give these tips a try, today!