July is ticking by already, sometimes I wonder how this has happened but then I remember “oh yeah, I’ve done a lot these past few months”. So I’ve decided I can give myself a break for not having set my Happiness Project theme for the month yet. I mean, I have just moved to a whole new city. On top of that I have actual paid theatre-making work taking me down to London for two weeks in a few days. I’ve had my mind off the Happiness Project game a bit – but it’s still been there somewhere, and the resolutions I’ve made so far have definitely helped with this busy and what you could call stressful time.
But when I have taken a moment to think on what the next Happiness Project theme will be, the word that keeps springing to mind is ‘Nourish’. The move and this upcoming work, whilst both great, have left me feeling somewhat unsettled. And that’s okay. I’m still finding my feet in this new place, my work, and the changes I’m making in my life. So what better time to focus on nourishing myself?
At first I thought this was just going to be about preparing and eating nourishing foods. And, whilst it is definitely about this, it’s also more than that. This month is about nourishing mind, body and soul.
The reason I first thought of it with the food is over the past month or so food has become a chore. I found myself, at times, wishing I was some sort of robot who didn’t have to eat. I was resorting to the quickest and easiest food options, even when we had a meal plan boyfriend and I often weren’t sticking to it. Of course, it’s because we were busy and in a stressful time, and at times like this I think we’re all prone to move towards convenience. But neither my attitude, the food I was eating or the way I was preparing it was nourishing me. It was simply a means to an end and I wanted more.
So nourish, it seems to me, is a concept that’s intrinsically linked to the slow living movement. Slow living nourishes us, by nourishing ourselves we can nourish those around us in our actions and attitudes. Throughout my Happiness Project self-care and relaxing have been recurrent themes. Nourish is really a way of looking at these with a different hat on. Perhaps I’ve been struggling to have down time because I’ve not been looking at it through the lens of nourishing activities, but more as ‘I have to sit around and do nothing’. Whilst this can be a way to have down time, it doesn’t always have to be like that. I resonated with this quote from Rebecca Sullivan (aka Granny Skills) chatting to Brooke McAlary on the Slow Home podcast:
“surely down time is about nourishing your soul” – Rebecca Sullivan
So that’s what July is all about (and probably sneaking into early August let’s be honest). Nourishing myself, mind body and spirit. Rather than have a specific set of resolutions for this month I’m just going to focus on that one word – much like ‘trust’ is my word of focus for the year. It’s about taking time to do things that are good for me, but not just that – things that will actively nourish me and leave me feeling replenished and revitalised. Here we go!