Top 20 Foods For the Soul
Thirst, hunger and sleep are basic human needs that are tangible and easily resolved. But how do we cope with stress and anxiety? Problems at work, an unhappy marriage or money matters are some issues that can wreak havoc with our mental health.
According to psychologists, a positive outlook on life, a good support system of friends and family along with a balance in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels will help us get through life’s many challenges. And don’t forget to reward yourselves with some playtime now and again.
Depending on your personality, the weather, budget and time factor, indulge in one or some of these wonderfully enriching activities to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul.
Put on your gardening gloves and plant something new in your garden. Or just spend the entire afternoon pulling out weeds. There is no bigger satisfaction than to sit with a cup of tea after that to admire your well-manicured garden.
Take your mum out for a leisurely lunch.
This is the perfect opportunity for some quality girl time with mum. Treat her at her favourite restaurant or be adventurous and go somewhere new. Remember to eat slowly, order desserts and savour every moment you have with mum.
Call a long-lost friend.
You’ll be surprised how much lighter you’ll feel after talking to an old friend. While catching up, you will inevitably unload onto your old friend in the process of updating the details of your life. Alternatively, call someone from the past who you want to make peace with. Whether it is an ex-boyfriend, ex-best friend or a relative, it is a soul revitalising experience when you forgive or be forgiven by someone you care about.
Spend an hour doing nothing but staring at the sea.
It has been proven that sound of waves washing onto the beach is great therapy for the soul. Clear your mind and focus on the scenery and sounds that nature has to offer. Alternatively, you can buy a CD that plays the sounds of waves.
Have a good cry.
Don’t hold back when you feel like crying. Just open the floodgates and let it all out. Crying releases chemicals into our brain which numb the feelings of pain and sadness. That is why we always feel better after a good cry.
Perform a random charitable act for a stranger.
At the risk of appearing crazy, you don’t have to do anything big or totally mad. Just a simple act like helping an elderly person cross the road or bringing food to our less fortunate friends is guaranteed to lift the spirit.
Cook a nice dinner for your friends.
Surprise them and expose your secret culinary skills in a 5-course gourmet dinner. You will have fun planning the menu and grocery shopping. For some people, feeding others is nutrition for the soul.
Learn a new sport.
Learn a new sport. If you’re feeling dull and need a change, go learn a new sport. It is spiritually uplifting when trying something you’ve never done before. Group learning is recommended as you save money and enjoy a laugh or two with new friends.
Go vegetarian for a week.
Do something radical and forego meat for at least a week. But make sure you adopt a healthy vegetarian diet by eating enough proteins like tofu, beans and lentils. You may grow to like it so much that you’ll become a full or partial vegetarian for the rest of your life.
Go climb a mountain.
Whether you’re trekking Mount Kinabalu or the Cameron Highlands, the views will blow you away and remind you of how tiny and insignificant we all are. Life is short. Enjoy it.
Eat an entire bar of dark chocolate.
Unfriendly to your waistline but definitely a choice treat for the soul. Not to mention all the antioxidants you get from dark chocolate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Do a movie marathon.
Get ready all your favourite snacks and treat yourself to your favourite classics.
Go for a hard workout that makes you sweat profusely for at least 45 minutes. Run through a park or on a treadmill. Play squash or swim freestyle. The idea is to huff and puff your way to the endorphins.
Spring clean your house.
Cleanse your soul by cleaning out your house and throwing out old stuff. An easy place to start is your closet. Rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in 3 years, it doesn’t belong there anymore. Sell it on www.mudah.my or donate it to the Salvation Army or friends who might need it.
Adopt an animal.
Although this can be extremely rewarding, you must first assess if owning a pet fits into your lifestyle. Being a responsible pet owner means loving your pet and having the time for daily exercise, house-training, feeding and cleaning after it. Research has shown that people who own pets tend to live longer because pets are therapeutic in so many ways.
Play with children.
If you don’t have any of your own, play with your friends’ or relatives’ children. Kids are funny and have the ability to make us laugh. Their innocence and openness refreshes the soul by reminding us how we can simplify our lives.
Play your favourite CD as loud as you can.
Close your eyes and sit back. Take it all in. Or dance around until you work up a good sweat.
Volunteer your time at a chosen organisation.
Whether you choose children, old people or animals, the experience of helping the less fortunate will bring you back to earth and appreciate your own life for what it is.
Make a resolution for yourself.
You don’t have to wait for New Year’s Eve to make a resolution to lose weight or to save more money every month etc. Start making changes now and feel renewed!
If all else fails, retail therapy will prevail. Go back to basics and indulge in the traditional all-time favourite activity women were born to partake – shopping.