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  • Writer's picturePaige Smathers

When You're Eating, Eat

You know what makes us uncomfortable? Just doing one thing at a time.

This is a very normal human thing. Our lives are busy and there are many demands on our time. It makes sense that we try to maximize our ability to get things done by multitasking. I definitely fall into this trap myself and I can find myself feeling a bit uncomfortable noticing that it is extremely difficult to just do one thing at a time.

As I notice that discomfort come up for me, I practice some curiosity. Why is it so hard for me to just drive? Why is it hard for me to just work on this Instagram post? Why do I feel the need to listen to a book while writing an article, while answering emails all while hanging out with my kids? (That's a slight exaggeration, but actually fairly true for me.)

In the past, I'd just see that discomfort come up and run away, but these days I'm working on leaning into that. And I'm still learning about what this is for me and why I have the tendency to multi-task and I'm learning some fascinating things about myself.

Here's what I'm learning:

I'm learning that there's power in leaning into discomfort. I'm learning that discomfort doesn't necessarily mean I'm doing something wrong. I'm learning that I can develop less of an aversion to discomfort and as I change my relationship with uncertainty or difficulty, I am far more focused on what matters. I'm learning to non-judgmentally witness the stories my mind tells to make sense of the discomfort I experience, and to recognize they're just stories—not necessarily even true. I'm learning that I am often actually far more productive when I step away from multitasking. I'm learning that there's more to life than productivity.

But I do know this: when I practice doing just one thing at a time, it feels good and I tend to learn something new about myself. It sometimes brings up some uncomfortable feelings, thoughts and emotions, but it's so liberating to know that it's okay when those pop up—I can open up to and make room for them.

This isn't to say you should never listen to a podcast while on a walk (doooo it, listen to Nutrition Matters on your walks), or never talk on the phone while doing the dishes. You do you! But, there might be some value in observing your tendency to multi-task and get curious about why that is for you. And, eating your food is a great way to practice this. When you're eating, eat. Try it! Tell me how it goes.


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