How to Nurture Yourself Inside and Out

By Caley Philipps October 6, 2014

One of my favorite things about my job is the super cool people it attracts into my life. I spend my days hangin’ with massage therapists, energy workers, acupuncturists, coaches and therapists. It’s awesome! And, I totally benefit from their wisdom all the time. It’s actually part of how I keep growing + learning and upping my personal game. Like last week. I had an amazing session with a dear colleague who got me thinking about the difference between self-care and nurture. And my own self-care vs. nurture routine(s).

Turns out I’m a pro at one, and whatever comes before novice at the other.

I like to consider myself a bit of a self-care pro. Sure, it’s part of my work, but I also practice what I preach. I mediate, I get massages + energy work, I walk by the water whenever I can, I know about my food allergies and follow ‘em, I learn (often), I grow (often), I take long baths, lose myself in my coffee every single morning, I keep a gratitude journal…. I mean seriously, the list could go on and on.

So when my friend asked what I do to nurture myself, I was totally surprised by my loooong pause + “I’m not sure” response.

What gives?

My first thought was, “But self-care IS nurture, no?” Turns out, not so much. They seem the same. They’re both about taking care of you. But, when you pull back the layers you see how different they really are.

In a nutshell: all nurture is self-care, but not all self-care is nurture. Mind blowing!

So I started a nurture journal to help me (+ you) understand and up my (+ your) nurture routine.

And here’s what I’ve got so far:

Self-care is the action. It’s something outside ourselves. Nurture on the other hand is a feeling. It’s something inside us. That we need to feel good.

Self-care, especially if you lean towards the over giving + over functioning side of things, can turn into just that: more giving.
More checking things off the list. More things you “should” do.

Nurture is about being in the present moment. It’s when you let in and fully experience self-care. It’s that warm belly, fueled from the inside, peaceful feeling. Like chicken soup when you’re sick.

In other words, nurture is about having rather than doing.

Turns out, you can totally turn (almost) anything into a nurturing experience. Here’s how:

1. Set your intention. Be crystal clear about what you want to get from each thing you do. When you want nurture acknowledge that.

2. Be present. For EACH step. This reminds me of Ally McBeal drinking coffee. (See below) One of my all time fave clips! Slow down. Take your time. Be present + savor each and every step.

3. Allow. Allowing means letting the good feelings in. Not making to-do lists in your head. Not thinking about how much your BFF, hubby or kids would love this. Not blocking, or skipping over, the joy that’s coming from this experience. Instead, allow the love + nurture to wash over you and enjoy every single moment.

*This post was originally published on Caley’s website, Life Purpose Coaching. For more from Caley visit

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