Another one of my favorite talks at the conference was about staying present and mindful by unplugging during the day. Jane McLeod encouraged us to take 30 minutes during the day to do something we enjoy and not think about anything stressful.
That is no easy feat for me as my mind is always working at high speed. Unplugging is something I work really hard at. My happy place to do that is in the kitchen.
Being a future dietitian and working on my dietetic internship I eat, sleep and breathe nutrition. I think about it all.the.time. I love it so much that sometimes the details can overload my brain, which causes me to lose sight of the passion for all things food that brought me to this profession. Being in the kitchen and sharing about food is how I relax and reconnect. All I have to think about is how much onion I need to chop, how hot I need the burner or what spices I need. I just cook and my mind is quiet.
Jane also taught us to try to think of 3 good things every day. I love this idea, and the way I do it is by trying to take mental pictures of 3 things that make me smile each day. I remember them as snapshots in my head. Just the other day I was driving around town, right before a graduation was about to happen….what a nightmare. Just when I wanted to scream in my car, I looked over at two girls sitting on their front porch. They were decked out in graduation caps and gowns sitting together reading the newspaper. Snap. I loved the image of these two friends taking a quiet moment together before their lives were about to change. And, what do you know, I wasn’t as annoyed by the traffic. I wish I could have taken a picture to post here, but the image in my mind makes me smile and helps me remember to take those quiet moments.
<One of my favorite snapshots, captured on camera>
That’s how I stay present.