So many of us are spending more time at home due to the unprecedented situation with Covid-19. In a time of uncertainty, you may be feeling that your routine has been through off; you might be eating more or less or struggling with being around food 24/7 if you are quarantined at home. We wanted to give you some helpful tools on how to navigate this new landscape so you can continue to build a healthy relationship with food!
- Check in with your hunger
Part of practicing mindful eating involves checking in with yourself and asking “who is hungry in there?” If you find you have more time than normal on your hands, you might be dealing with lots of different kinds of hunger beyond just stomach hunger. It’s easy to eat reactively without practicing this check in. Next time you find yourself wandering to the pantry or fridge, spend a moment or two dialing in on where that urge to eat is coming from.
- Feed the right “hunger”
There are seven different types of hunger: mouth hunger, nose hunger, eye hunger, stomach hunger, cellular hunger, heart hunger and mind hunger. Only stomach and cellular hunger truly mean we need food for fuel. If you determine during your check in that you are experiencing a different kind of hunger, it can be helpful to feed the hunger that is knocking. For example, if your hunger stems from boredom, occupying yourself with a project can help. If you are feeling down or lonely, phone a family member or friend.
- Find swaps
Let’s be real – sometimes even if we practice checking in with our hunger, we just feel munch-y or want something sweet (mouth, eye, nose, heart or mind hunger at play!) Instead of white knuckling through or restricting yourself, find healthier swaps that satisfy! If you are wanting something sweet, go for a small square of 70% dark chocolate, frozen grapes or fresh raspberries with a coconut milk drizzle. Crunchy? Carrot sticks or bell pepper slices might do the trick. Salty? A handful of salted nuts might satisfy. Get creative!
- Set a schedule
It’s natural to feel unmoored during this time. Trying to keep to a routine as much as possible may help add some stability into your day. Set meal times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and practice mindfulness when eating between meals. The more you eat balanced, nutrient dense meals (fiber, protein and healthy fats!) the more satisfied you’ll be and the more you’ll keep your blood sugar stable!
- Practice non-judgment
This is uncharted territory for many of us. Approach your days with compassion. There will be times where you might not practice mindfulness around eating and that’s ok! This is a practice that you should cultivate your whole life, so reconcile yourself to some hiccups along the way. The most important part of being mindful is becoming aware of your habits and stepping away from the self-criticism and judgment that tends to creep in.