Hi! I’m Jenna. Welcome to The Spark Wellness Newsletter. I’m a holistic mental wellness coach. I operate at the intersection of mental health, self-care, nutrition and REAL LIFE.
This is what you can expect to receive in my weekly(ish) newsletter:
- Strategies for managing stress and overwhelm
- Evidence-based research and recommendations you can use to take care of your mental wellness
- Recipes and insights that can help you use good mood foods to boost your energy – the best antidote to stress!
Curious? You can also check out my bio and my work here.
I've got three spots open for 1-1 clients. There is still time to take action on your wellness goals for this year and, at the same time, build a foundation for success for next year. Reply to this message and I'll send you more information.
What is your hunger trying to tell you?
Congratulations! September is over. You made it through the transition from summer to the school routine. Now that you've gotten everyone settled, you've got some time to focus on yourself.
Changes in schedules and routines like back to school can be disruptive and stressful. They require extra effort and attention as you support the people around you. It takes energy to keep yourself grounded while you hold space for your family as they find their balance.
At my house, we have three kids at three schools. This means kids are leaving and arriving home at different times. Plus, for the first time in a loooong time, we have in-person activities in the evenings. (I'm really missing the simplicity of logging kids onto Zoom for lessons and meetings! It was way easier than driving kids. I forgot how much effort goes into getting everyone to the right place with the right gear and on time.)
With all these changes, I've noticed I'm getting hungry at weird times. I'm checking in with my body frequently to see what's going on. What is my hunger trying to tell me?
Part of the reason is that I'm getting up and eating breakfast earlier, so it makes sense I'm ready for lunch sooner.
Another reason is that going through a stressful or busier time takes more physical, mental and emotional energy. My brain and body need extra support to keep up.
When I'm sitting in front of the computer for too long, my hunger is also a sign I need to take a break from the computer, have a drink of water, get up and move around. My body is using hunger cues to get my attention.
What is your hunger trying to tell you?
We often get confused between actual physical hunger and emotional hunger. We end up overeating, snacking, and making food choices based on cravings or convenience. Pay attention to the messages your getting from your body and use these clues to help you tell the difference between physical and emotional hunger.
Once you've figured out why you're feeling hungry, you can decide if what you need is food or water to fuel your brain and body, or some other type of nourishment. Maybe you need a break or change in activity, some movement, connection with another person, support and encouragement, or different sensory stimulation.
Next time you feel hungry, take a minute before you reach for a snack. Take a breath, focus on your body and check in to see what your body needs. Sometimes it's food, but sometimes it's your body's way of getting you to listen and letting you know something needs your attention.
If you're not sure what you need, it could be that it's been a long time since you stopped and listened to your body. If you've been focused on what everyone else needs and overwhelmed by everything going on around you, it's not surprising that this listening inside feels unfamiliar and you might feel uncertain about your body's messages.
Remember when you had a new baby or new pet? It took some time to understand their cues, but after some time you could recognize the difference between a hungry cry and a tired cry from your baby, and you could tell if your puppy wanted to play or needed to go outside. It might take some practice to figure out what your body is saying. But, I promise you, this is a skill you can strengthen - and it's worth the effort.
Take care and be well,
Jenna Kelland (she/her), PhD (Adult Education)
Holistic Mental Wellness Coach
P.S. Do you need some 1-1 support with creating daily routines that support your wellness? Let's finish off the year with a focus on your self-care. I've got 3 spots for new coaching clients. Reply to this email to find out more about how we can work together.
I'm on YouTube!
Check out my latest blog post: 4 Ways to Calm Your Body and Mind When You Feel Overwhelmed
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Need quick, healthy meal ideas for your busy family? Join Real Food for Real Families to see what I'm doing.
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Watch Mental Health Mondays on Mondays for simple, practical strategies to support your mental wellness!