How I Nourish Myself During Tough Times

*Photo by  Laurel Street Kitchen    

Between the tragic shooting in Las Vegas and the devastating wildfires here in the Bay Area, the last couple of weeks have been HARD. It's been unimaginably heart-wrenching for those directly affected and my heart goes out to them, their families and their communities. 

I've felt inundated by recent events- it's in my inbox, in my feed and it's all everyone seems to be talking about it. I've been feeling some guilt and shame about being okay and practicing gratitude during a time when others are grieving so much. But then, a friend said something that totally shifted my perspective...


hat's when I was reminded that I have a choice: I can allow external things to control my life, or I can take responsibilty for my energy state by taking the best care possible of myself right now. Doing this puts me in a richer energy state, a state in which I can be of higher service to the world around me.

By no means do I follow this list perfectly everyday, but these are simple the tools I use either keep my energy state high or shift it:

  1. Basic needs: Am I hungry or thirsty? It seems silly, but I first make sure my basic needs are met. It's easy to forget sometimes when I've been sitting at the computer for hours.
  2. Sleep: Prioritize extra 😴. Research has shown that sleep gives the body and brain time to repair itself. We especially needs this during times of despair and over-stimulation. I take a melatonin and read a hard copy book before bed to wind down. 
  3. Breakfast: Prepare a healthy, protein-rich breakfast the day before so I don't have to think about it first thing in the morning.
  4. Sip on bone broth: If I'm feeling so energy-poor that I'm unable to eat, I sip on bone broth. It has been used by humans, across generations and cultures, for hundreds of years for its nourishing medicinal qualities.
  5. Get outside: If I'm feeling stuck, going for a walk outside usually helps me shift my energy state so I come back refreshed and with a new perspective.
  6. Baths: Treat myself to a 10-minute Epsom salt bath with essential oils to start or end the day.
  7. Exercise: (I've been missing my runs lately with this extra smokey air) It always gets my endorphins flowing and my energy state up, even if I have to drag myself out the door sometimes. 
  8. Connect with loved ones: Call the people you love to say hello. Doing this helps me feel more connected. Anything I can do to feel connected (in a nourishing, healing way) is helpful during these times.
  9. Be with community: For me, this means going to Friday services and praying collectively with my community. It means hosting family and friends for an easy Shabbat dinner or going to a co-working day with my Honeymoon Israel community. 
  10. Celebrating joy, always: Last week at services, one of the rabbis said that celebrating joy and blessings becomes even more important during times of sorrow. There was a couple who was getting married over the weekend and, despite everything going on in the world, we sang and celebrated them as a community. It was a good reminder that we cannot know joy without sorrow.