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Episode 3: Eat Without Distractions

Description: This week, we're revisiting an old habit that dies hard. With a little more intentionality, the Self-Care Squad will be on their way to happier and healthier lives!

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode three of season two of Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. I'm so glad you're here. This week's invitation is going to be this: I want you to commit to eating at least one meal every day without any distractions whatsoever. I had this invitation or a similar invitation in season one, but just like so many ... so many of our, of our attempts at starting new habits, this one could be one that slipped away. At least it has for me. I recommit to this one again and again and again ... and yet, it still seems to slip away.

For the past, oh, I would say about week, week and a half, now I've been really working on this, and it's been a game changer. It's one of those strategies that I would say is such a simple strategy. I mean, my goodness, here's the strategy: eat without distractions. But, it doesn't mean it's ... I myself, personally, just got into a bad habit of meals that I eat alone. And, for me, quite honestly, breakfast and lunch, most days I eat by myself. And, what I discovered is I actually wasn't eating by myself. I was eating with all my friends on social media. So, I would sit down and pick up that phone and scroll and eat, and scroll and eat, and scroll and eat ... and, got worked up about what I was viewing on social media. I shoveled the food and food and faster. And, when I got done eating, I just was stunned, because I didn't even realize ... I didn't ... Well, let's say I didn't even realize how much I ate. I didn't realize or pay any sort of attention to how my food tasted. I didn't do any sort of check-in to see, should I still be eating, or am I actually good? Like, I just shoveled it in.

And in fact, when I got anxious about anything I was looking at in social media and eating more quickly, that was impacting my digestion. It was just this awful cycle. And, it just didn't feel relaxing in any way. You know, we think ... Oftentimes, we would just pick up our phone for relaxation. But, in actuality, oftentimes it really is not relaxing, especially, especially when we're doing that scroll, scroll, scroll. Especially now there's a lot in the world with people that have strong opinions. So, so what I committed to was putting the phone away, turning the phone upside down. I actually discovered for me that I needed to move my phone out of arm's reach. The temptation was too great. So, putting it ... just away while you're eating, and then, you know, maybe trying to add a few other mindfulness practices, to pause ... Just pause, take a beat, take a deep breath before you have your first bite. After you've had a few bites, pause, check in, ask yourself, am I still here? How is this tasting? To be really grateful for the food that you have on your plate, to pay attention to textures, all those mindfulness elements that we know ... To really slow down and think about all of our senses, the smell, and the taste, and again, the feel the texture, and just get in tune with that will make for a more pleasant eating experience.

Again, this is an area that's hard for us as educators. We don't get this luxuriously long amount of time to eat. I know many of you are probably just shoving food in your face in your car on your way to school. You're having some sort of quick drink, right? Or, you are trying to do 700 things on your to-do list during your what, 12 minute lunch period? I know, but I think that if we can commit to taking that time back, that's a way that we can live our best lives.

Now you don't want to change everything all at once, and it can feel overwhelming to try to think about changing routines and habits. I want you to start with just thinking about one meal, one meal each day, that you might be able to eat without distractions, to slow down. Maybe one day this week, you're going to get up early enough to actually eat breakfast at home before you head to school. And, you're going to do that without distress. Maybe it's going to be at lunch that you're going to give yourself permission to not try to answer 12 emails, grade 16 papers, do all of the things and eat instead. You're going to just eat and see if this makes a difference.

What I discovered from this is it made a difference in a lot of ways. It helped me slow down and reset and take a beat and just get myself back in the present moment. And, it helped me be grateful for my food and to pay attention to it, to eat less actually, because I wasn't just shoveling it in. It helped with digestion, all of those pieces. And, it's important for us to pay attention to if there are good things or advantages about engaging with this, because that will help us continue to do this. So, when we are able to lock in the difference ... So, just me articulating right now, the difference of when I actually eat without distraction and all the reasons why I love that, that will help solidify this new habit in my brain, because the next time that I go to eat and I find myself drawn towards my phone to pick it up ... Oops. My brain will kick in and say, No, no, no. Remember. Remember this is the way we live our best lives to just allow ourselves the chance to eat again. You can't necessarily do this with every meal. Maybe you can. And, if you can, oh my gosh. Amazing. But, maybe you just start again, just one meal a day. If that feels overwhelming, start with just a couple meals this week or just one meal this week. Just one, just one where you promise ... Commit to really allowing yourself to enjoy the meal. Totally on your own. No distractions, no TV, no phone, no nothing. Just you and your food and see how that makes you feel.

Report back or report out over on the Facebook group. I love, love, love, love to know how you are engaging with these invitations, what they mean for you, putting your own spin on things. I can't wait to hear.

As always a huge, huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this job I get to do. And for you. Our bad ass, Self-Care Squad. My gratitude is so huge. Thank you for spreading the word. Really, word of mouth is how we find each other. And, it makes me so happy to just watch our squad grow and grow and grow with these incredible educators from all over the world. Quite honestly. We're so, so happy you're here. You guys, have an amazing week. I'm cheering so hard for you.

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