As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I kicked off the new year with a huge life change which has generated plenty of stress good and bad. We sold the house we’d lived in for 20 years and moved out of state. We have been homeless for the last five weeks. Even though we found a home, we couldn’t move in for six weeks after we sold our house.
Now, five weeks after our move, I’ve started to settle in, but in 10 days we move again—the second time in less than two months.
I’m beginning to feel the stress again. No regular meals, no time to prepare meals, no time to exercise, and a to do list that feels never ending. And as that pressure builds, I find myself grabbing foods that aren’t as nutritious for convenience and frankly stress relief.
Squeezing exercise in is also going to be a challenge, and when I exercise less, my sleep is impacted, which increases my stress.
Eating makes me feel safe. It calms me. It occupies my hands and my mind, but this is not how I want to handle my stress.
So today as I was contemplating what to blog about, I came across Diane Carbonell’s blog, Stress Eating: How to Manage and Stop It. She offered seven suggestions for managing stress eating.
- Acknowledge that you are stressed. This helped me recognize I was ignoring the stress and pretending it wasn’t there, which often caused me more stress.
- Stay active. Exercise is a proven stress reducer and a guaranteed way to stay out of the kitchen. This is one area I will make every effort to work on.
- Get enough sleep. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but I’ve found that when I’m exercising I sleep better, so if I exercise, I will get more sleep as a result.
- Get help from friends and family to manage your stress and avoid overeating. Brainstorm ideas for solving problems that are stressful.
- Eat in moderation. I never pay attention to what I’m eating when I’m stressed. The next thing I know, I’ve eaten twice as much as I normally would have if I hadn’t been stress eating. Portion control, portion control, portion control will be my mantra.
- Eating healthy foods is crucial for me. Not only do I control my calories better, but my body feels better when it’s getting good nutrition.
- Recognize the warning signs of stress in my body. This is definitely something I need to work on because I’m usually knee deep in stress before I realize I’m stressed.
- I’m adding number eight. When I eat, I will sit down and be aware of what I’m eating.
Paying Attention to Stress
My goal this week is to pay attention to the stress I’m experiencing and deal with it, not stuff it with food.
Have you found ways to manage stress eating?