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Some days seem better than others.

Today was one of those days. This evening, as I write this, I feel energised and content.

What was it about today that made it feel just right? Was it the fact that I enjoyed my work? Was it the fact that I had a particularly nice lunch?

Or might it have been the sunshine?

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first. Then I began to analyse and replay the day through my mind. In retrospect it seems to me now that I treated myself in a way that was nurturing. We live in a culture where nurturing others is approved of but self nurture is sometimes seen as a weakness or as being somewhat self indulgent.

On the train to work I spent some time in self hypnosis – yes many Hypnotherapists do practice what they preach. This was part of my nurturing time as well as a time to explore and be creative. Creativity has an empowering and rejuvenating effect on the mind. It can be a gateway to positive feelings but it is a part of us that is not encouraged enough in work or leisure time. Work can be mundane and leisure time can often be passively consuming entertainment which can have a dulling effect on us.

I also had breaks during my work which included a rare piece of chocolate cake. Sometimes indulgence needs to be a part of life. However, I think the breaks were just as important as they gave me time to relax before refocusing. Pushing ourselves mentally sometimes can be counterproductive. We may get the work done but can be left feeling irritated or exhausted at the end of the day.

If we can begin to build self nurture into our lives as a habit, then during stressful or difficult times we have a tool which we have developed which can support us and keep us positive.

So my recommendations to achieve contentment on a Friday evening: 1. Find a creative outlet for your inner artist or dancer or writer. 2. Give yourself regular breaks to recover your energy. 3. And of course have the occasional chocolate cake.

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