Do you tend to gain weight as the seasons change and the days get shorter? Are you finding yourself emotionally eating or stress eating as you watch the pundits on TV deliver the latest scary news about the economy and our retirement/college savings?
‘Tis the beginning of the season, in so many ways–and this year especially–for overeating, stress eating, and an attempt at comfort eating.
How do we avoid this trap? Remember that it is a trap. Overeating when we feel stressed and out of control tends to leave us feeling more stressed and out of control in the long run.
When it feels like life is taking us for a wild ride and things feel out of control, make sure you don’t ignore the places that you can be effective. Take a look at the post I wrote on overeating and the economy. Make a list of comfort strategies that don’t include food and eating. If you are already turning to food for relief, consider translating your snack food spending into a self care budget. What could you spend that money on that might really feel indulgent or comforting? Allowing yourself to spend money in this way might be difficult, but we do ourselves a disservice when we tell ourselves we can’t afford to buy ourselves flowers but spend the same amount of money on doughnuts or the fast food in an attempt to cope with stress.
Every day, try identifying one thing you can do that helps you feel effective and in control. This may or may not have anything to do with food and weight and it may be unrelated to the topic you are stressed about. You might consider committing a random act of kindness, cleaning out a drawer, creating a budget, or setting aside time for some physical activity. Just do something! Be proactive and then follow through. It will help. Every evening give yourself credit for what you did as well as for the old habits you didn’t turn to.
It’s a tough time. Small steps help.
Take good care,
PS: Here are some additional resources that can help:
Free webinar on taking control of emotional eating