Taste Success Wellbeing: Nervous System Nourishment

With only 5 weeks to go until Christmas, we are all too familiar with that overwhelming sense of pressure that can often go hand-in-hand with the ongoing festive celebrations.

Instead of adding to your pressures, we want to share our top 5 tips with you for ways that you can nourish your nervous system through the busy season and into the holidays: 

  • Home-blend some teas from your local health food or organic shop: Chamomile, lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, and passionflower are all wonderful choices. Play around with flavours and create your own calming blend.

  • Practice mindful acceptance of invitations. Your time is precious, and there is a lot of temptation at this time of year (and a lot of fun to be had also), but if your tank is already nearly empty, think about how you truly wish to spend your time over the next couple of months. Tapping in to the feeling you get when you think of the invitation or event is often a great way of instantly assessing whether it's the right thing for you or not. One of Tracey's favourite sayings is "you can't out-think your feelings". Simply put, we may try to "push through" despite how we feel, but feelings don't usually go away - they are our truth.

  • Build some mindful breathing into each day. You may face each day during the busy season with a lot to do, and a sense of urgency to "get everything off your desk" before the holidays. Try this simple practice for just one week - it may just help you feel more settled about your day, beginning and end. When you wake up in the morning, whether naturally or to the alarm, take a big, full body stretch in bed, then take a long, slow breath. You may wish to count to four on the way in, hold for a count of two, then breathe out for a count of six. Take it slowly, then move into your day with the mental speed turned down just a bit. You will find that you still achieve the same amount, but in a more measured way. Try to do the same thing when you settle into bed each evening, before you pick up a book (or phone!).

  • Imagine yourself as a swan. This is something Tracey teaches at her health retreats. It may sound a bit funny, but imagining yourself as a slow-moving creature can really help the degree at which you rush about each day. Think to yourself, "Today I am going to glide". If you can partner this up with a gentle smile, then you are really going to settle your nervous system into a calmer place.

  • Make sure you have what it takes to make energy. Our energy levels are produced in our cells by the nutrients we digest from our food. It's pretty basic chemistry, but if you can get a good food routine going, with dinner leftover for lunch the next day, and some lovely vegetables, wholefoods and protein in place, your cells have what they need to make the energy you need to get through. The nervous system relies on amino acids (from protein) as building blocks, so even if you're rushed, some simple egg dishes or the addition of nuts and sprouts can really help.

    If you’ve been struggling to establish a good food routine, our 12-week Foundation programme is the perfect support to get you started. With weekly menus and shopping lists, our programme is really designed to support you through the busiest times so you can keep your stress levels in check.

Tracey Loughran