Using Intuitive Eating Strategies for End-of-Semester Success
As the end of the semester approaches, many of us become caught up in the stress of exams, papers, and deadlines. Amidst all the chaos, it’s important to take care of ourselves, especially when it comes to our eating habits.
Intuitive eating can be helpful all the time – and especially when stressed. Mindful eating involves paying attention to our bodies’ hunger and fullness cues, as well as our emotions and the physical sensations of eating.
Here are some tips for incorporating mindful eating into your routine during the end of semester crunch:
- Listen to your body: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re full, stop. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of things and forget to pay attention to our bodies’ signals. Try to take a few deep breaths before eating to help you tune in to your hunger and fullness levels.
- Eat mindfully: Instead of scarfing down your meal, eating your snack while scrolling through your phone, or simultaneously eating and working on an assignment, take the time to savor each bite. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and smells of your food. This can help you feel more satisfied and reduce the urge to overeat.
- Embrace flexibility: Intuitive eating is all about listening to your body’s needs, so don’t be afraid to switch things up if your hunger levels or preferences change. If you’re craving something sweet or salty, honor that craving and enjoy it mindfully.
- Check in: When you notice yourself reaching for food, ask yourself “What am I hungry for?” When physically hungry, food is ideal. When stressed, sad, bored or feeling some other emotion, there might be another strategy you can use such as physical movement, going outside, talking to a friend, or doing something creative. Food can be comforting, and using it in that capacity is also ok. Pay special attention to the comforting sensations of taste, smell, temperature, and texture in those moments.
The end of the semester is a busy time, but taking care of yourself is as important as acing that final exam. Try incorporating some mindful/intuitive eating practices into your routine, and notice how they make you feel.