Mindful Eating: Calming the Chaos in the Breakroom

Editor’s note: This is the second in a five-part series on the topic of mindfulness in the salon, courtesy of Jeri Mallow, aka The Mindful Manicurist. See the other posts here.  

You shove down a breakfast sandwich and a coffee on your way to the salon. After your 10 a.m. client, you eat a handful of M&M’s you find on the breakroom table. By 12:30, a half-can of soda is all you have time for to keep your energy level up. At 3:45 you finally get 15 minutes to eat a granola bar and three pieces of chocolate. Five o’clock brings a nice drive home with the rest of your soda. Does this sound familiar?

Mindful eating is a practice that starts with taking your time when eating — indulging in the age-old tradition of enjoying your food and allowing your body to catch up with your brain. Now that doesn’t mean you have to take a 60-minute lunch break, it means if you eat three grapes, they should be enjoyed and treasured.

Here are some ways to slow down and be mindful of your eating throughout your day.

  1. Meal/snack prep. Before your week starts, bag up some fruit, veggies, cheese cubes, nuts, and crackers in snack-size bags. Grab three or four bags in the morning and keep them close by for convenient snacking. They are easy and can keep your blood sugar levels consistent. Being prepared with choices will stop the quick grabs of junk food to get you through the next few hours.
  2. Be mindful when eating. Your client has arrived and you are starving. You can give yourself permission to take five minutes to enjoy a handful of almonds. Eat each one mindfully. (Check out the great exercise below.) And finish with a nice, long drink of water. Now take 30 seconds to take some deep breaths. Think of five things you are grateful for!
  3. Start scheduling 15 minute breaks throughout your workday. Take those joyous 15 minutes to eat slowly and mindfully. Does it seem like someone will always ruin those 15 minutes? It is OK to and kindly, yet assertively say, “I’m sorry but I really need 15 minutes. When I’m done, I will gladly answer your questions.” I usually get an awesome “thumbs up” and some silence. You have control over your chaos!

 

Mindful eating exercise: Try this small method to slow down your eating and enjoy your food more.

Cut an apple into slices. Cut those slices into thirds. Scatter them onto a plate. Use a fork to eat these chucks of apples. Chew each chunk, one at a time, for 30 seconds. Take note of the flavor, the juiciness, the crispness, the full joy of what it tastes like. Take a drink of water between each bite. Relax your shoulders. Place your feet flat on the ground. Sit up straight. Take a deep cleansing breath. You’ve got this.

Next week’s topic: Calming the Chaos in Work Relationships

Jeri Mallow
<p>Jeri Mallow</p>

Nail tech Jeri Mallow is the owner of Hartford, Wis.-based Nail Essentials and Inspire Nail Academy. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @nailessentials and Instagram @nailessentialhartfordwi

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