HOW TO FEED YOUR SOUL WHILE IN ISO
By Noor Rafi.
The days have rolled into weeks and many of us are now starting our second month in isolation. Feeding our souls has now become as essential as feeding our bodies. We consume food as a means of survival and also satiate our unexplained cravings. Many nutritional books address these eating habits, but few really make the connection of directing our thoughts and our food as a ‘spiritual’ practice, essential for feeding our souls.
Our thoughts and feelings are nourished with what we consume. The mind is vitalized when there is a healthy input of food. Constantly overindulging in unhealthy foods is like injecting toxins into the body. The consequences show up in the form of various health issues, deteriorating skin and hair, and even in how we feel inside.
For positive well-being, informed food choices are necessary. We must understand why we eat certain items and how our diet affects us. It is often said that “you are what you eat”. This is because an intake of healthy foods actually flourishes and rejuvenates the soul, mind and body.
However, many people do not know what they are eating, nor are they aware of the inferior quality of their consumption patterns and their nutritional values. One part of the problem is that many of our food choices reflect physical addictions. We often eat to feed our emotional needs or lack thereof. Chocolate is known for it’s ‘feel-good’ feeling as it raises the level of serotonin. We’re all guilty of drowning in a big tub of ice cream especially on the low days. And our cheat-days fly out of the window especially when we’re too stressed, or too happy.
Another reason we have fixed eating habits is familiarity. We are conditioned to eat certain foods and not others, because that is what we were fed as children. Having grown accustomed to the same routine, we don’t challenge our consumption choices. Unfortunately, this cheats our bodies of mental and spiritual nourishment, leaving large, untapped potential for our greater well-being.
It’s important to acknowledge that there are seasons when our souls feel as deep and thriving as a wide river. And other seasons when our souls become parched streams. As of now, most of us and our souls can relate to the latter as the entire planet is faced with a debilitating crisis. The Corona Virus pandemic has banished us all to our homes for an uncertain period of time. It is uncertain how long we will be confined inside and it’s jarring. But the silver lining is that it would be a very fruitful exercise to adopt some of these methods right now. In this process of replenishing ourselves, we can acquire much-needed nourishment inside out.
Spend Time Outdoors:
Have you been strictly confined inside the four walls of your house? This is great for your safety but distressing for the mind and body. We may not be able to step out beyond our homes, but our gardens and balconies can now be our saviors and our little sanctuaries. So go outside, breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds chirping and take a look at the beautiful, vast sky. Immerse yourself in nature and experience what it has to offer. If you have a pool, swim. If you have a garden, then lay in the grass. Sit outside and revel in the beauty of mother nature. You’ll be doing yourself and your soul a favor by refreshing your senses.
Crank the Tunes!:
Music is actually very therapeutic. This is the time to discover new music or relive your favourite nostalgic tunes. Shake off the boredom and stress by singing along out loud or get on your feet and dance away. This will be even more fun with your kids or partner. Or go solo, wild, and free.
Revive yourself from the idle life by shaking what your momma gave you and using those lungs to belt your favorite chorus! Or perhaps something more classical is up your alley. I promise you that no matter the genre, your spirits will be lifted. Through dance, feel-good endorphins are released in the bloodstream and cortisol is lowered, reducing stress. And it’s an efficient way to exercise and burn those calories too.
If you have a Spotify subscription, you can find fun ready-made music playlists according to your mood. Another fun way to find your favourite old music is The Nostalgia Machine. Just insert the year you wish to rewind to and get the chosen eras’ famous hits for streaming. Due to the Corona lockdown, the world famous Royal Opera House has made its opera and ballet performances free for all. You can also avail a free 7-day plan for Broadway shows.
Considering there is no going out or real socializing, there’s a lot of time to kill. Hello, social media. It’s an incredibly useful tool, that is letting us stay connected and informed. But overconsumption and hyper awareness can result in added stress and negativity.
Take some time away from these devices. Shut off the computer, cellphone, TV, video games, and tablets. Instead, focus on yourself, your home, your hobbies and real-life activities. Without constant comparison to others and the desire to be “in the know,” you can be more aware of what is good for you and what your soul truly yearns for. In fact, this social media cleanse will end up rinsing and detoxifying you from the inside.
Take the cellphone charger out of the wall and find a way to recharge some good ol’ fashioned you!
A routine workout will keep your serotonin levels in check, help to maintain your weight, and keep you centered. Studies have shown even a little exercise has very good effects on mental health. You can also avail free online workout classes being offered across the board. For more regional resources check out @fitnessstdiox Karachi’s, premier fitness studio. Owner, Jeannette Faruque is a ray of sunshine in the midst of this madness. Another great resource is , Symmetry Gym Dubai,you also don’t have to be living in Dubai to subscribe to Amir Siddiqui’s super informational newsletter. Amir’s workout program is his signature form of Fission~Fusion training that has been crafted over decades of training in the United States.
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A good book has the ability to take you into another world for a brief amount of time. While travelling is a no-no, reading gives us this much-needed break and experience. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to finish or search for a new one. We promise it will be a treat to cozy up and get lost in a wonderful story.
There is also no doubt that reading makes you more intelligent. It broadens your imagination and horizons, which is a great way to feed your soul. Have you ever met someone with a happy, intelligent soul? Seems like a no brainer to me!
If you’re not a reader, just listen to an audio-book. Many of these resources are currently free and can help singles in isolation cope with their down time better. Apple users can find free books in their phone apps. Amazon’s Audible also has plenty of options. And if you are old school and love the weight and feel of a book in your hand then check out a wonderful regional resource mybookshelf.com.pk They have a wonderful assortment of books that you can borrow online without having to step out! The founder Kamila Habib is also doing an incredible job of reviewing genres and top picks so choosing a book is an effortless exercise.
Bless Your Meals:
Blessing your food and drink is an important spiritual practice. Eating healthy yet delicious is what your soul will thank you for. Even your heart, mind, and body will be happy. Follow healthy recipes with a punch of fun. Get your aprons on and enjoy cooking hearty-healthy meals with your family.
While we self-isolate, we really can find a multitude of ways for soul-searching and attaining inner peace. It’s all about perspective, and turning this situation into an opportunity to manifest positive vibes resulting in a better, healthier you.