Reducing Holiday Stress To Avoid Stress Eating
I love the holiday season but it is hard not to feel overwhelmed with all the arrangements, the traveling, the inviting and the visiting of friends and families, the seasonal shopping. And the food, the food, the food. The cleaning, how can you clean when you are out running around doing all the other things? I end up throwing everything into my bedroom. I shut the door tightly, and give the “evil eye” to any curious child who decides on touring the house.
The Preparations and Decorations that the cat enjoys rolling across the room. And of course, the eating, eating, eating, and more eating! Can you feel the stress building up just by reading this? Can you relate? Yikes, you can blow your diet, (I call it healthy or clean eating) right out the window. You held it down in October with only a couple of peanut butter cups. You got through Thanksgiving with only an extra pound or two. Christmas is now thumbing it’s nose at you and God only knows what New Year’s Eve will bring.
Laughter and Enjoyment are Good things
There’ll be laughter and enjoyment, good times and togetherness. That’s a good thing but all this excitement can bring with it some uncomfortable feelings like apprehension, nervousness, and even uncertainty. It’s called stress. Stress increases cortisol levels in the body, it’s referred to as the “old age hormone.” Stress is blamed for most everything but it can be the culprit to your life going amuck. Stress eating can shoot down all your hard work you have accomplished during the past year.
Your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight
It’s at times like these when it’s more tempting than ever to turn to food as a source of comfort, stress eating. Food is all around you and everywhere you look. It’s hard not to pick at the left overs or take a second piece of pie. Your New Year’s resolution to lose weight is about to go down the drain right as you are approaching the finish line!
So what can you do to reduce that holiday stress and the stress eating that goes with it? Don’t turn to the cookie jar or finish off that wonderful bucket of ice cream, or take that last slice of cheesecake.
• The first thing you can do is take a moment to breathe. Really stop everything, and just before your hand reaches the door of the refrigerator, focus instead on the cool air as it passes through your nostrils and feel your lower belly fill as you use your diaphragm to breathe in. Hold the breath in for a second and then focus on the air as you breathe it out through the nostrils, warmer now, and feel your belly cave inwards as the air goes out. I’m not sure if this will overcome the cheesecake and stress eating completely but maybe it will reduce the need to 1/2 a slice.
• Make sure you get your daily dose of fresh air and exercise, even if it is just a walk around the block. Being at a family gathering can get very warm and stuffy and all those people breathing out carbon dioxide and using up the oxygen can cause feelings of stress and cause irritability. And face it folks, you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. You may not like some of them in the first place. You have already noticed Aunt June checking for ” dust bunnies.” Go find the children and get outside to clear the head and calm the mind. It takes you away from the source of food and gets you participating in some healthy exercise. Exercise burns calories and if you have an A1c issue or not, it will help keep the numbers down.
• When you do eat, pay attention, all brain activity on deck!. That is, instead of zoning out and just stuffing yourself silly until you feel the stretch waistband tightening, eat slowly. See the food, smell the food, and really taste the food. Focus on the food as you take a bite. Enjoy the very experience of eating for pleasure. That way, your brain knows you are eating and will recognize the fact and notify you when you are full. You’ll feel full sooner and you won’t be as inclined to reach for more. And this is very important to avoiding stress eating/over eating. It takes 20 minutes for the brain, the master of the body, to know you are full. Wait that 20 minutes before making that second reach. You may not need to.
• Be grateful. Being grateful increases your feelings of contentment and this in turn reduces your stress and lowers the temptation to eat for self-comfort, reduces stress eating. Finding other ways than eating to soothe yourself is healthier and can become a habit. Habits are not always bad, make something routine, something good a routine and your over all life could improve. 30 Days, I’ve read this book. Great motivational book about changing your life by adding good habits. Helps to keep New Year’s Resolutions, prevent stress eating, prevent stress, focus and become organized.
From stress eating to stress management, check out the new CBProads Digital Store self-help information to not only get you through the holidays but help you enjoy them and other stressful events that may occur in this hectic life.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Make that a routine and it will become a Habit.