Ah, it’s Friday. For many of us, that means it’s only a few hours until we’ve got a couple days off from working for someone else, usually to work for ourselves getting chores done. But we hope we’ll be able to grab at least a little time to relax and do exactly what we want to do.
Sounds wonderful, but the truth is, many times we don’t make any concrete plans for our down time – which I think is a good thing ‘cuz I don’t want my life run by my to do lists any more than it already is.
So what do we do when we don’t make such plans? Often we tune into the media, be it newspapers, magazines or television. Which bombard us with images of “glamorous models with sexy, thin bodies airbrushed to perfection.” Which, of course, makes many of us feel bad about ourselves and shoots real holes in our self-care plans. One of those that comes up in particular when thinking about comparing ourselves is our plans for managing emotional eating.
The quote above is from the book five good minutes in your body: 100 mindful practices to help you accept yourself & feel at home in your body (sent to us courtesy of the publisher to review for our bookstore). It’s part of the Five Good Minutes(R) series which offers five-minute mindfulness exercises to “reduce stress and reconnect with your inner sense of calm.” This book in the series offers 100 mindfulness exercises to “help you recharge your body while releasing tension and stress.” In reviewing the book, I saw plenty that could help a person tackle better understanding and managing the triggers that get in the way of effectively managing emotional eating.
The exercises related to tuning into the media are called “media break.” They’re designed to help us free ourselves from the “influence of unhealthy media images, which can sabotage your happiness.” A couple of the exercises:
- Toss out or stay away from glossy fashion magazines and pick up a good book. I vote for that. Even if it’s a Kindle ( just got one for my birthday. :))
- Shut off the TV, or at least mute the commercials, and pick out a movie that touches your heart, lifts your spirit, or reconnects you with humanity. Watching movies is one of my favorite weekend activities ever. And my favorite movies are just what are described here.
- Call a friend, make a date, cook a meal together, and exchange stories. I know I’m not alone when I say it lifts my spirits to get together with friends. And the idea of cooking together is wonderful. That’s actually one of the strategies we encourage at Green Mountain, to help you feed yourself well. Making cooking a social activity can feed us on so many levels.
The last two exercises take longer than five minutes but are still well worth the effort. Another one that spoke to me is called “kick and grin,” and it does only take five minutes. It involves lying on your back like a baby in a crib, and after a few preparatory moves, “allow your body to move as much as it likes, at any speek. Kick, roll, stretch, flex, and shake, just like a baby or a dog. ” Then they say to “notice your widening grin, and let it fill you.”
Sounds like a great way to fill up a few minutes this weekend. Do you have any great things in store?