One of the fabulous things about living in this day and age is that, as women, we have access to many more opportunities than our mothers and grandmothers. Don’t get me wrong, I know there is still a way to go when it comes to gender equality. But (Australian) legislation now enables women to stop work to have a baby, with a bit of financial support, and gives us the security of ensuring that we have a job to return to. We can really “have it all” without having to choose do I want a career or do I want a family.
So, just like me, many mums find themselves in a situation where they are “balancing” a job, a partner, and children. Add to that extended family commitments, further education, a home business, appointments, social commitments, hobbies and possibly a desire to improve health and wellbeing.
But as a parent, I’ve entered a whole new realm of mindless eating!
What do I mean by Mindless Eating?
I spend a lot of time preparing my daughter’s meals, as I prefer to make most things from scratch with fresh ingredients. I also work part-time, have regular chiropractic appointments for both me and my daughter, and I love to commit us to fun things like bush playgroup, gymnastics and swimming lessons. Even on a “quiet day” there is still piles of housework. It means I make excuses about being too busy to stop and eat slowly and mindfully myself. I spend most of my meals standing up whilst cooking hers, or on the run, or in a hurry before I have to put her down for her nap.
I’m equally as bad with drinking tea. I love chai tea (as you can read all about here!) and I make the effort of preparing a chai at least twice a day. But do I sit down and enjoy it mindfully? Nope, I drink it while getting dressed, washing my face, dressing my daughter, prepping her snacks for the day, packing the car etc. Considering chai is one of my most favourite things, I know I’d enjoy it even more if I was able to be present with it!
Why is Mindless Eating such a problem?
You may have read my previous post, Stress Busters for Busy Mums, but today I wanted to specifically focus on a particular technique for stress and emotional management – Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or “tapping” as it’s commonly referred to.
Although I learned of tapping many years ago, I have only been working with it consistently in the last 6 months. The catalyst for this commitment has been through a body confidence perspective, after reading Jessica Ortner’s book “The Tapping Solution For Weightloss and Body Confidence”. The main concept behind this book is that we often make our poorest food choices when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. However, in this article, I want to focus on tapping for stress and overwhelm more generally.
Recently at work, I had about 4 things major issues come up in the space of about 15 minutes. My heart rate went through the roof and my stomach was in knots. I was feeing so overwhelmed that I couldn’t meaningfully take any action. I was paralysed with stress. I decided to grab my car keys and sit in my car to conduct some rounds of tapping. The impact was incredible!
Tapping is a fantastic tool that is completely free, accessible, painless and safe!
What is tapping?
I often feel like life gets the better of me, and I don’t know where to begin to get things back in order. Everywhere I turn, I just see more and more things requiring my attention:
- The kitchen is chaos
- The washing has piled up and I’m running out of clean underwear
- The lounge is covered in toys, puzzle pieces and books
- My personal email has 150 unopened but semi-important or interesting emails waiting for me
- The fridge is empty and there’s nothing for dinner
- I’m behind on my study
- Colleagues from work are texting wondering if you could just quickly do something from home
- The dog is in desperate need of a walk and is barking and bouncing all over the place
- And lastly, my little darling daughter is trying to grab my hand so that she can lead me into her bedroom to play!
Perhaps this is a normal day for you? Over time, these feelings of overwhelm can pile up to chronic low grade stress, or even depression or anxiety. So what do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and only you can do it? Continue reading