When I became single for the first time in my young adult life, I feared eating alone. I was concerned that people would stare at me and wonder why I was by myself. I imagined the older women on a business lunch seeing me in my booth all alone and whispering how sorry they felt for me. "Poor girl, all alone for lunch" is what they would think.
Well how naive was I? Eating lunch alone is fantastic! You get to be on your own without having hold a conversation with someone else. As a therapist, this does not come very often in my usual work week. A mistake that people can make when they dine alone is to be glued to their phones. Well, stop it already! Below are things you can do instead of playing on your phone when dining alone.
1. Read a book: Yes, a book with paper pages and a cover. It is a great way to enjoy your time while waiting for your food.
2. Do some writing: Yep, going back to paper and ink people! Instead of texting, why not write the person a note? It is more personal.
3. Practice breathing: As you sit in your chair, you can bring awareness to your breath. You may even notice that you seem to feel anxious, hyper, lethargic, etc..doing some belly breathing can help. Practice bringing air down to your abdomen by your belly button. Notice if it is easier to take in air or release. No judgment is very important!
4. Give gratitude for your meal: When you receive your food, take a moment to thank the people and places/things that were involved in preparing this meal. Think about the soil, fertilizer, water, seeds, animals, farmers, chefs, etc..This gratitude allows for the food to fully nourish your body, mind, and soul.
5. Practice mindful chewing: What? I am supposed to chew my bites 25-30 times before swallowing? The answer is yes. This allows you to really savor your food and nourish your body. Practice it!
See, eating alone is sexy! Healthy alone time is not only sexy but healing! I hope you feel inspired to eat alone and practice these things.
Do you need help implementing some of these ideas and live in the Kansas City area? I would love to meet with you to discuss your specific situation. To make an appointment, you can reach me by email.