The Care/Nurturance System
The Care/Nurturance system has a tendency to be maternal. Women are nest builders as apposed to men. Men typically have a weaker motivation for catering behaviours, women have a tendency to have maternal nurturance instincts. These instincts are activated by changing tides of hormones, increasing estrogen, prolactin, and oxytocin in preparation for baby making. These nuro-chemicals facilitate maternal moods that also facilitate strong bonding. They also ameliorate depression and promote prosocial moods.
Nurturing activities can promote the release of endogenous opioids and oxytocin, creating feelings of warmth and attachment and increased confidence. Nurturing activities are also self care activities, positive encouragers through caring touch, physical contact, sensation and pleasure. This can come in a wide variety of ways through interpersonal relationships, friends, family, co-workers, taking care of pets, massage, hot baths, and incorporating prayer or meditation, being out in nature, doing gardening, yoga, and it can also come in the form of the ways in which you chose to nourish your body.
It is good to look at these care/nurturance opportunities as medicine that you need to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. It is good to eat foods that contain the medicines that you need in order to stay healthy, the medicines in foods are vitamins and minerals and good fats, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, volatile oils that have different smells that alter awareness, the balance of blood glucose in the form of fibre stabilize mood, slowing the uptake of sugars, detoxifiers, and provides a means to altering of consciousness.
It is good to remember that mood follows food and that diet is essential but it is not sufficient, eliminate your exposure to additives, preservatives, hormones, toxic pesticides, and fertilizers, and if you improve digestion you improve your mental health by nourishing the brain both first and second (first in your head, second in your gut). The key is to be able to keep your care/nurturance system alive by creating a strategy to access them and make them affordable, it is so easy to turn your care/nurturance system into your stress system. So the healing power of your emotional care system has to stay in the arena of nurture.
Children can be demanding, pets can be frustrating, gardening can be exhausting, massage and yoga can be expensive, and eating healthy can be expensive too as well as time consuming. In order for you to be able to keep your food preparation in the arena of nurturance/ care is to meal plan by writing up a grocery list in advance in order to save money and time. Sit down and look through those flyers to see the opportunities for sales and use your credit card for the points so that you can feel additionally good (when my dad gets points on his optimum card, it’s like crack cocaine to him. He gets the flyers on Thursday, looks through them on Saturday, goes shopping on Sunday. He even goes before 9am so he can beat the old biddies to the deals).
So pick a day of the week to organize your food and food prep for the week, you can even wash and prepare your vegetables for the week. Travel with your cooler bag filled with eggs and cheese and fruit and your water bottles, and when shopping utilize those day old sales bins and shelves with veggies to save extra money. Even invest in a home garden!
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