Nourishing Life │ 養生

Rest

Move

Connect

Nourish

Create


Your daily choices nourish your life.

Nourishing life, or 養生 yang shen, is a healthy- living foundation of Chinese medicine. Here’s five important yet simple tenets of nourishing life that guide my lifestyle recommendations. I hope this structure supports insight into your choices, illuminating areas where you can weave more stability into the basket of your life.

Rest

Nourish yourself with quality sleep, restful solo time, and rejuvenating breaks throughout your work day. 

Quality sleep

  • Honor your optimal sleep and wake time
  • Start winding down your day at least one hour before your desired bedtime with a restful evening wind- down ritual. Turn off your phone/ computer, then do something relaxing, such as stretching, reading, journaling, or listening to soothing music
  • Sleep hygiene: create a restful space for sleeping

Restful Solo Time

  • Meditation/ reflection/ “simply being” in silence 
  • Schedule in at least one unscheduled “day of rest” each week

Take Breaks

  • Take five minute work breaks at least once an hour, such as stretching or walking

Move

Move everyday in fun ways that feel delicious for you, alternating active strength- building movements with relaxing muscle-lengthening stretching movements.

  • 10 minute daily walk (at least)
  • Daily morning/ evening movement practice
  • Yoga (such as 3 sets of sun salutations every morning, or yin/ restorative yoga in the evenings) 
  • Swimming is a wonderful low- impact full- systems exercise. Also consider dance, jogging, biking, surfing, hiking, etc.

Connect

Deeply connect with yourself, nature, and community through meaningful work, time outdoors everyday, and nourishing relationships.

Self- Connection

  • Meaningful work that aligns your gifts, values, and interests, offers opportunities for growth, and benefits your community and our planet
  • Sense of purpose + progression towards goals
  • Balancing work + play= Prioritizing values + Time management

Community- Connection

  • Reciprocity in nourishing family/ intimate relationships
  • Mentoring and being mentored 
  • Rituals and celebrations

Nature- Connection

  • Time outdoors (ie. walking, sit spot, adventures) 
  • Relationship with place. Cultivating gratitude.
  • Gardening (ie. house plants, mints, air plants, succulents) 

Nourish

Eat a local and seasonal whole foods diet that’s appropriate for your body and lifestyle, with well- balanced colorful meals, integrated herbs and spices, and intentional eating times and practices.

  • Simple home- cooked meals
  • Reduce processed foods, sugars, trans fats
  • Intentional “brain food” with information intake
  • Eat slowly and gratefully. Enjoy the process, and notice nuance! 
  • Eat at regular times
  • Stop eating at least 2 hours before bedtime

Create

Regularly reflect on your life through organic creative practices: writing, drawing, movement, and/ or vocalization.

  • “Morning Pages”: 1-3 pages of freeform writing/ drawing every morning
  • Ritual reflection + visualization: weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly 
  • Shape & stillness

Rest

  • How and when do you rest throughout your day? Week? Month? Year? 
  • Do you feel well- rested and nourished? 
  • How’s your sleep quality + quantity?

Move

  • How often and when do you exercise? 
  • What kinds of exercise/ movement do you love? 
  • What areas of your body feel tight, or weak, or just right?

Connect

  • How’s your relationship with yourself? Your work? Your family? Your community? Your natural environment?
  • How do you support others? How are you supported? 
  • Who and what do you love?

Nourish

  • Which foods/ eating habits make you feel great, or not so great? 
  • What’s your diet usually like? 
  • How’s your digestion?

Create

  • How do you cultivate intentionality in your life? How often, or when, do you do this? 
  • How do you reflect on and process your life experiences? 
  • How do you vision/ manifest your desired future?
  • What creative practices/ rituals do you enjoy?