July slow your own – screen-free eating

Did you like what I did there? A bit of word pun?! Sow your own…slow your own?! For those that don’t know, I LOVE gardening. And there’s no better metaphor for planting little nuggets of change in your head and growing them into a new way of living than talking about sow your own seeds. Yep, it’s cheesy but I love it. Proud to bring the cringy word puns right to your door!

So let’s get this slow living attempt on the road!

I’m going to be trying to add a new way of living slowly into my routine each month. I figure adding a new behaviour on a monthly basis isn’t too daunting, and gives a good amount of time to see the impacts, and potentially gain a new habit (they say it only takes 21 days…).

That’s not to say that I’ll be keeping every single one up past the month. Some may be life changing, others might be a, well, flop. But that’s the beauty of it: I get to find out works for me. I get to slow down, engage with what I’m doing, and see whether it works for me (that’s the key, and hence why it’s called slow your own). And I’m excited!

I’ll be dropping in each week with an update on how things are going. And if you want to join along then I would love to hear how you’re doing too!

So month 1: July. What will I be doing?

Screen-free eating!

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During the work week I eat both my breakfast and lunch at my desk whilst working. At the weekend I’ll often eat breakfast as I scroll through social media or watch dinner with the TV on in the background.

Guys, this is so unhealthy! And it epitomises the antithesis of slow living.  It’s like we feel like eating is an inconvenience that gets in the way. That eating is not enough in itself, that we have to be doing other tasks all at the same time. Maybe we don’t even feel like we have time to eat and are therefore cramming it in in between sending emails.

We’re not even noticing the food we eat. I can be eating away whilst I write a bazillion emails, and I look down at my lunch and it’s all gone, yet I don’t really remember eating it. I am eating completely mindlessly.

So what will I be doing?

  • Eating mindfully. Taking the time to really pay attention to what I’m eating: the taste, the texture, the smell, the colours
  • Not going on a screen (phone, computer, TV) at the same time as eating
  • Single tasking on eating, that’s to say I won’t be doing any other activity other than eating at the time (apart from having a conversation if I’m with other people)

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Why am I doing this?

  • In the past I’ve been bad at taking lunch breaks at work. This is so important for getting out of the whirlwind of work, resetting our anxiety levels back to normal, and refreshing our brains. Whilst I’m getting better at taking a lunch break, I always wait until I’m back at my desk (and working) to eat.
  • I currently choose to eat at my desk because it’s a crux to making time pass easier. Work is less painful if I’m eating yummy food at the time. And that’s bad.
  • I think it will help me to appreciate the food I’m eating more, both in terms of seeing it as nourishment (giving me vitamins and nutrients and energy I need to be my best) and also the journey it’s been on to get to my plate
  • There’s evidence that being distracted when you eat can prevent you from digesting food properly or can even lead you to eat more food than you need

What are going to be the biggest challenges?

  • RAIN. I live in the UK, and the stereotype that it’s always raining isn’t that far off being true. At work we don’t really have anywhere you can go and eat that isn’t at your desk. Therefore you either have to go and get lunch in a cafe/restaurant (which as a vegan is a challenge, not to mention that it doesn’t even come close to fitting within my lunch budget) or go and find somewhere outside to sit. However in the rain…that’s not going to be a top option.
  • I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA! Ok, so it may be verging on an addiction (and possibly needs to be a future monthly challenge) but if I’m eating alone then mealtimes provide one of the best opportunities to catch up on social media.
  • Breakfast. I eat breakfast at work because it achieves 2 things in one go. I get to eat breakfast AND I fit in an extra half an hour work. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll get up earlier to eat breakfast before work, or just travel in later.
  • Not seeing food as an inconvenience. Boy, that statement demonstrates exactly why I need to slow down. When I’ve tried screen-free eating before, I’ve got really annoyed at how eating is getting in the way of my to do list. Crazy that, given that food is probably one of the most basic and important to dos in life! I start eating and suddenly feel like I need to scoff it all down so I can get on with the next task. In fact, often the thought of me not being able to get on and do things actually raises my anxiety levels. So I really want to crack this as I think it will really set the tone for slower living.

Eating mindfully is something so many people have recommend to me, and I really believe in it. And yet, I don’t do it. I’m hoping this month I can change this.

Leave a comment below with whether you already do screen free eating and how you find it. What tips would you say were keen to making it work for you?

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