Did you know that nurturing yourself, in every sense of the word, is very important to overall balanced health? The absolutely necessary, and most obvious, way we nurture ourselves is through the food we eat daily. Food can nurture us physically and/or psychologically. For example, you might not choose to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread for its nutritional value but psychologically it may bring back feel-good emotions from other happy times. It’s always good to remember both when sitting down to a meal or snack and check in with which category is the healthiest choice at that time.
Besides food there are so many ways we can nurture ourselves. Some people exercise, others go out and hug a tree or spend time outdoors. Reading an engaging book can do it or volunteering to help others. It’s not always about spending money, or accruing objects, although it can be. The best way to see if some thing or some activity is nurturing is to ask, “Does this take care of me?”.
When you aren’t taking care of yourself your body will send you warning signals both mentally and physically and sometimes, in order to get a quick fix of nurturing, your body will crave sugar as a sign of a lack of nurturing. Taken in SMALL, THERAPEUTIC amounts for anyone without blood sugar issues, sugar can act like a tonic, especially to our digestive energy which is primarily concerned with nurturing the mind/body connection according to traditional Chinese medicine. Unfortunately, 99.9% of Americans already take in too much sugar for it to be used therapeutically. So, if my patients find themselves craving chocolate, candy, dessert or all of the above, I recommend that they take a look at the big picture: Are they nurturing themselves enough in non-food ways or are they depending too much on quick-fix sugar?