By Dana Magee, RD
How to make your commute part of your self care, healthy lifestyle, and eating disorder recovery. Here are 5 tips on making the most of your commute!
1. Where have podcasts been my whole life?
I have been driving 45 minutes to an hour to and from work for years without podcasts and now I don’t know how I did it! Mine’s nothing compared to the commute some people have, sometimes 2 hours one way! I am loving using podcasts to help my mindset driving through the DMV traffic. Podcasts help me learn new tools to help my clients, and am able to share them with fellow commuters.
I am absolutely loving the Love, Food podcast by host Julie Duffy Dillon, a Registered Dietitian. She shares in our REBEL against dieting mindset and dieting culture philosophy. Her voice is so compassionate and her approach is totally in line with us at Empowered Eating. I can confidently encourage my clients to peruse her podcasts knowing that they will be in good hands. She also features other big names in the eating disorder recovery world to give even more tips and insights. I learn multiple things every podcast. At 20-25 minutes they are never boring and really easy to listen too. You’re bombarded by dieting society constantly so having 20 minutes of your day focused on body positivity is so valuable!
I also love the ED Matters podcast which also features big names in the eating disorder recovery world spark helpful conversation about eating disorders. I was honored to be a part of ED Matters last month. You can check out the taping I did “When Food Sensitivities are Eating Disorders in Disguise” and learn about how food sensitivities and eating disorders can affect treatment!
2. Eat a snack.
Yes, I know, it is not the epitome of mindfulness to be driving and eating. However, we must be flexible! There are few perks to packing a snack for your drive home. One perk is that it will help you honor your hunger because the timing works out. Aiming for eating every 3-4 hours is a great guideline. Your drive home from work/school/practice may fall within the time frame of having a snack- with a busy schedule and choosing between missing a meal or snack or eating in the car finding a way to feed yourself is top priority! A snack on the way home can also help take the edge off hunger. You won’t get home starving! It’s very hard to make a healthy choice when you are starving. We tend to grab what is convenient not spend extra time to fix something balanced. Eating a snack on the way home may take the urgency out of the equation and allow you the time to enjoy preparing a meal.
We can probably agree that food may get overused as a reward in our culture. Of course it can be a part of rewarding yourself, but when it is always the reward it may be a sign to add more options. Reward yourself with a kickass playlist. Download one from itunes or use your subscription to Spotify when you meet your goals! Not only will this be some great self care but it will also give you a way to celebrate your successes!
Don’t limit yourself to music. It can be a book on tape or comedy show if you prefer! Rebecca loves the Library app for audio books (fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, funny or your most recent book club selection).
Use the cue of getting in your car in the morning and/or after work to do some guided meditation. I love the Calm and Headspace apps because they are only 10 minutes- that seems much more manageable to me than when I picture meditating! The guided meditation is great because it helps redirect your attention to your breath when it may start to float over to your to-do list. Doing this when you get in your car in the morning or right after you park in the parking lot at work and/or after you turn off your car in the driveway can help reduce manage stress so you start the day on the right foot and/or leave the stress of the workday outside of your home. Getting into the habit may take some time so try it out a few times a week and see how you feel.
5. Skip the traffic.
Instead of going home fighting your way through traffic, schedule some of your self care after work while traffic dies down and makes your commute a bit more pleasant. Can you unwind at yoga class or maybe a bookstore or coffee shop? Can you spend some time on yourself before your home responsibilities take over when you walk in the door? Be sure to pack a snack- you may get hungry getting home a bit later!
Once again, early detection and treatment are key! Do your part as a provider to get educated. I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about screening and treating eating disorders. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.