By Stephanie Sisk APRN, Certified Specialists in Obesity and Weight Management.
I’m going to say something that might surprise you.
It’s okay to cope with food.
We all know food is comforting. That’s why they call them “comfort foods”. If you’re feeling down or stressed, it’s okay if you want to enjoy a treat or order your favorite pizza that night.
This is going to happen.
I practice and preach weight management on a daily basis and still have a hard time not turning to food when I've had a long day. We all struggle with this. We’re human!
The important thing here is making sure food is not your only way to cope with your emotions.
Relying ONLY on food results in an unhealthy relationship with food.
I want to you take time right now and think about other ways you handle your stress levels or emotions. Having trouble of thinking of something?
Here are 17 ways to combat your stress eating:
- Go for a walk (listen to a podcast you find entertaining or music you love while you walk!)
- Color a coloring book (try adult coloring books with markers or colored pencils you love.)
- Take a hot shower or bath (play relaxing music, light a candle and set the mood to wind down!)
- Light a candle, grab a cozy blanket, curl up and read a book (turn off your phone and make sure no one bothers you).
- Play a game on your phone (try Bingo or Candycrush)
- Knitt, or learn how to knit. (Do some good and knit little hats or blankets for a homeless shelter or hospital).
- Watch your favorite comedy (Love me some of the Office or Schitt's Creek when I'm feeling stressed).
- Drink a cup of hot tea (Try "Tension Tamer" by Celestial Seasonings).
- Call a friend (someone that you know will lift you up!)
- Sit down and snuggle/pet your dog or cat (who doesn't love their pet, this is what they're for!)
- Do a paint by number (In some cases, paint by numbers can be even better than coloring books - it takes all the thought process of choosing colors out)
- Meditate (Time to find your zen).
- Listen to your favorite music (either pump up or relaxing music, try the Mood Booster playlist on Spotify or Pandora)
- Use a stress ball (enough said)
- Sit down and stretch (It feels good to relax your muscles and focus on your body)
- Make a list and check off tasks you complete (It will be more satisfying than you think!)
- Write down at least 3 things your grateful for - (focus on the positive!)
Make a list, today, of at least two things you can turn to the next time you’re feeling down. Write these down, put them on your fridge, and use these as a reference the next time you're feeling stressed or you've had a long day. Use these first, before you open that fridge or cabinet and see how you feel! 🤗
And remember, everyone struggles with turning to food when they're stressed. This is normal! If you find yourself doing this, hit the pause button, recognize it, and MOVE ON. Don't dwell on it. This doesn't mean you're a failure. This means you're normal!
This is what Prevail is all about. Developing a balance and a healthier relationship with yourself and food.
Have an healthy activity you use for stress other than food that we didn't list?! Let us know!
We're happy to help in any way we can! Just shoot us an email or leave a comment if you have any questions at all!