Uber Stressed? Suzanne Baum grabs some food and time with Capital’s DJ Roman Kemp to talk mindful eating, finding calm and the importance of switching off in our busy lives.
Roman Kemp is a man of many talents. TV presenter, author and Capital Radio breakfast host, the 29-year-old has a lot on his plate. This leads us very nicely into today’s interview, as we are here to chat about a new campaign he is doing with the food delivery app Uber Eats, where he has helped create a mindfulness audio guide, encouraging us all to embrace the art of doing less before we sit down to eat.
On the back of his new book – Are You Really OK? – where Roman talks about losing a friend to suicide – he knows more than most people how stress can be all-consuming – having spoken out about how depression and anxiety is something he has suffered from for a long time. I talk to the star about what advice he has for us ladies when it comes to de-stressing and living in the present moment.
Let’s talk mindfulness, which is very important to you. How do you practice it?
Roman Kemp: ‘Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and fully aware of what we’re doing, rather than falling into the trap of distractions or thinking about the past or future, which can make us feel overwhelmed. I’m a huge fan of the practice, but I do find it challenging, like I’m sure many people do!
‘Mindful eating is something I’m trying right now – the Uber Eats study found that three quarters of UK adults are guilty of engaging in mindless eating habits, like eating standing up or eating straight out of the fridge, which can be bad for digestion, and isn’t helpful if you’re trying to destress after a long day.
‘Since I’ve started being more present while I eat, it’s definitely had a positive impact on my mental health and the way my body feels too. Before eating, I decompress by listening to relaxing music, or a mindfulness guide (like the one I’ve created with Uber Eats, Mindful Mouthful), and while eating, I avoid watching TV or scrolling on my phone.’
What are the biggest issues people face do you think in finding it hard to switch off?
‘Honestly, there are so many things that are stopping us from winding down. The negative news cycle, pressures at work, relationships, social media…it’s natural that it can feel overwhelming at times, whatever your age group or background.
‘I myself have struggled with streamlining my thoughts and just focusing on the thing that I’m meant to be doing – my days are pretty hectic, so I have to really stop my thoughts from going at a million miles an hour.’
Who will benefit from your mindfulness guide?
‘People from all walks of life can benefit from Mindful Mouthful, but especially if you’re always on-the-go with work, social commitments, trying to exercise and everything else in-between. Life can feel like you’re on a constant treadmill, and so it’s often difficult to stop and take in your surroundings.
‘But it’s so important to be in the moment, and take note of what you’re eating and enjoy it. This guide is teaching people to embrace the art of doing less, by encouraging them to take a moment to pause, reflect and relax, before sitting down to enjoy a meal.’
Do you scroll your phone when eating or can you switch off?
‘I always put down my phone when I’m eating, but I can’t lie, I’m often guilty of finding comfort in watching TV while I’m eating – but I actively try not to do it as much as I can. There are so many reasons why these distractions are bad for you, but most importantly, you’re not in a state of relaxation if you’re not focusing on food. Food is fuel, and you should enjoy every moment of the experience.
For our readers, what would you suggest for women in particular when it comes to de-stressing? What has worked for you?
‘I’m the biggest advocate of saunas. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a sauna then use it – it’s your best friend. The health benefits are unbelievable and genuinely I can spend hours in a sauna, going in and out every fifteen minutes. I really feel like when I come out, I feel like I’ve got a new lease of life and have destressed.
‘I get too distracted to read but think it’s a great tool for people to use in terms of zoning out and getting absorbed in another world. Personally, I also love things like going for a walk or swimming too.’
Your new book encourages people to talk and open up: that must help stress a lot? Can we touch upon the importance of talking?
‘Opening up and talking is definitely the main thing you can do to de-stress. It’s that classic phrase of “A problem shared, is a problem halved” – it really is so true, because you’re getting different perspectives that will help you rationalise and solve issues.
‘Sometimes you can be a horse with blinkers on and can only see a problem one way. But, as soon as you open that up, you’ve got several avenues to a solution. Working as a team is always better, and talking gives you that team, and I will always be such an advocate for that.
‘It’s so hard to hear that people feel alone and trapped in their problems – I want to encourage as many people as possible to open up and feel strength in numbers.’
Roman has partnered with Uber Eats to create a mindfulness audio guide, encouraging Brits to embrace the art of doing less before they sit down to eat. Mindful Mouthful is available on all major streaming platforms, including Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Music.