How to be more Mindful Throughout the Holidays
I recently traveled for work to attend a conference. For the most part, the conference was quite bland and I didn’t learn much new material. Regardless, I think you can learn something from any experience big or small. My biggest take home was around mindfulness. How can I be more mindful in my work life, which got me thinking, what about you guys! This isn’t a new term to me and it might not be for you either if you’ve been following for a while. I talk about mindful eating often with my clients, through social media and we even have a module dedicated to it as part of West Coast Nutritionists online course. So you might be wondering what I learned from a 90-minute presentation on the subject. First of all, I focus my energies into mindful eating which is just one component of mindfulness. And the final thing was more of a reminder on how much more needs to be shared about the topic.
For those reasons, I created this guide on how to be more mindful throughout the holidays. We already know that the holidays are a stressful time but what can I do as a nutritionist to help you through it?
Personal training? Nope, I’m not a personal trainer, although I believe in the importance of movement each and every day.
Financial advice? I’ve told you in the past that I’m a penny pincher and my close friends would say “Megan is so good with her money” but no.
Personal relationships? As hard as it can be to deal with other people and your family through the holidays, I’m not here to be your shrink. I want to give you tactical advice from my area of expertise: nutrition.
Cue Mindful Eating.
It’s interesting that we’re in a place where we need to describe mindfulness because it really isn’t complex. Mindfulness is giving focus to what we are doing. Mindfulness is being present. Mindfulness is being in the moment. Mindfulness is being aware. Mindfulness is being conscious. Aren’t we conscious now? Take 30 seconds to focus on one thing, this could be an object an idea, your breath and then come back to me. I’ll wait right here…
Now, tell me, was that challenging? Was it harder than you expected? Did your mind wander? We’re you able to bring it back? My hope is that doing that exercise will motivate you and give you a glimpse into the benefits of mindfulness. Now onto my specialty the eating part!
6 tips for mindful eating throughout the holidays:
Choose one meal a day to enjoy without distractions. Turn off the electronics and give attention to your meal. If this is too much, you can start with a snack or beverage and build yourself up to a full meal.
Acknowledge the different attributes of the food you’re eating, get descriptive! Chew, over and over again. Smell. Use all of your senses to appreciate what’s in front of you.
Pay attention to how your body feels. Listening to these cues will be especially helpful at the large celebratory meals. Your eyes might be bigger than your stomach, use a small plate.
Quality over quantity. Make the choice to go with what works best for your body and don’t rush anything. I use this strategy in all aspects of my life, not just food.
If it doesn’t fulfill you, do you still need it?
Appreciate what you have, the holidays are a classic time to be grateful but you don’t have to stop here. Each meal, each drink and each snack should be appreciated for the entire journey that food has taken.
Now I know this might seem a little woo-woo but the truth is, this is how the world used to be before we all got “too busy” for the little things. I took the opportunity to appreciate one thing each day in November and it was the perfect reminder. We’re not perfect but if we include mindfulness into our life a little bit at a time we will get positive results in the long term. I hope you know by now that at SL/M Nutrition Coaching we’re all about LONG TERM results! This isn’t a quick fix but it’s a start! If you are looking for long lasting results in 2019 check out my most popular package this time of year.
Happy Holidays to all! Thank you for following along this year, I appreciate each and every one of you. I look forward to writing for you more in 2019! If you’re dying to know more about something leave me a comment on this post!