Since the people on the internet like lists for everything, BuzzFeed style I thought of doing one myself. There may be many ways to manage Stress Eating, I am only going to talk about five of my topmost today. I am sure everyone has eaten a whole bag of chips, or tub of ice cream, or something equally dopamine-inducing but bad for you in the long run. Hey, I have too!
First things first, even before I begin my list. It is perfectly normal to be experiencing Stress in general. And especially in times like these, in the middle of a global pandemic and unusually long remote workdays. Supervising the kid’s virtual school stressing you out and the virtual school stressing out the kids, You trying to be the best employee, best boss and best Parent all in a day. Something has got to give. Lets make sure it is NOT your health.
I am not playing doctor. Any advice you read on this blog cannot be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing a health condition please reach out to a qualified healthcare professional. I repeat, do not use this blog as medical advice to treat yourself or others.
5 Coping Mechanisms When All you want to do is to eat your way out of stress.
1. Low Information Diet.
This is probably the only “Dieting” allowed in my DeskJobWeightLoss System. If too much information, news, social media gives you anxiety and friends, strangers, and family members all have their viewpoints that may send you into catastrophizing everything, a Digital Konmari might be just what you need. You want news, go to trusted news sources instead of learning your news from Social Media. Personally, I get a lot of my news from Comedians. Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Conan O Brien are still my favorites. News with a good dose of laughter and much exaggeration of the quirks of human nature.
Checking on the news from a trusted source (not social media, not public comments, just the facts) once a day is enough.
You will never know until you try. There is nothing going on in the world that you need to know right now. In fact, turn off all your social media notifications and let people know if it is that important they will just have to find you on a call or text.
“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.”Marcus Aurelius
2. The Tomato Sauce Technique
Ok. Ok. Not the Tomato Sauce. I really meant the “Pomodoro” technique. I am sure you have heard of this. The Pomodoro Technique is a useful Productivity Tool. It involves breaking your tasks down into 25-minute chunks. You start your task at hand and also start your Pomodoro Timer for 25 minutes. At the end of 25 minutes take a small 5-minute break.
You could do many things in the short 5-minute break. Just do not check social media or the news. Go for a short walk. Take some deep breaths. Find a quiet corner and meditate. Drink some water.
There are so many uses for an inexpensive timer like this in a household. Kids could use it to Pomodoro their studies, chores and home work. And they will learn an important life skill too. Teach them the concept of taking a break.
Here is a perfect habit recipe for a Tomato-Timer break. After I turn off my Tomato Timer, I will take 3 deep breaths. And then Celebrate with a High-5!!
I talk more about habits in this post called Greatest Productivity Hack – Do not break the chain. And What has habit got to do with it?.
A lot of what I am talking about here is the proactive techniques for managing your day, even before the stress builds up to the point where you lose control of the situation.
3. Post it Your One thing. Yes. Just the ONE Thing.
This small habit is going to change your everyday life. Whether or not you are a List person (and I am definitely not one), whether you are an entrepreneur or work a 9-5 corporate job. Each morning when you start your workday, take a post-it note and write down the One thing you want to accomplish that day. Just the ONE thing.
Even if you had a To-Do list of 200 things, pull the one thing out for the post-it note. Celebrate when you remember to write the one thing on a post-it note. Check out this post about celebration.
Once you have accomplished the one thing, go ahead and do the next.
Multitasking is Overrated. How do I know? I used to take pride in that skill. I know better now.
It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.Lou Holtz
How Stress affects anyone externally, may vary by the individual, but in general, living in perpetual Stress is harmful to all. Stress is the biggest contributor to poor quality of life. It ages your body, and heart and can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. It also elevates your heart rate. Stress has also been shown to weaken the bones, make you sick! High levels of stress hormones, or cortisol, raise the body’s blood sugar, which can lead to insulin resistance, and also aggravate conditions like heartburn and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Besides constant uncontrolled stress eating could lead to Obesity. I could go on, and cite studies but I am sure you get the point. Let’s get back to the list.
4. Sleep Better. Make a Night Time Routine. Rise of the Bed Feeling Rested, not Tired.
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and getting plenty of rest is important. Skip the mindless TV, social media and read a book instead to finish the day. Sleep Train yourself like you would teach a baby to sleep. Darken the room. Put calm music or white noise. Read Sapiens or Homo Deus. I am not kidding!! They are great books, but the first read is sleep-inducing I tell you.
I also talk about some foods and supplements that help you sleep here – Foods for A Good Nights Sleep. If you must stress eat, these may be the better choices of foods than the chips, cookies and icecream.
5. Get Moving Instead of Stress Eating
Walking is the worlds best medicine.Hippocrates.
Yes. The dude who said – Let food be thy medicine, and medicine food. Also said that Walking is the best medicine. Add nature to it and I bet it will de-stress you. Chase waterfalls, rainbows, rivers, and mountains. They are everywhere, and so much better at calming your stress than watching TV for a whole entire weekend.
Personally I am not the one to go to gym and watch me lift weights on a wall mirror. So find some thing you will enjoy. But I know that I could go on a 20 mile walk and not even sweat it. And You do not need to spend hours walking to get the stress busting benefits of a walk.
Five minutes is better than none at all.
Read more about that 5-minute exercise here. Have You Heard About 5-Minute Exercise?
You do earn a large scoop of ice cream and a bison burger after this hike. I dare you to hike a trail this weekend, no matter how the weather is.
Do you have a desk job? You sit at your desk all day and the job stresses you out. You follow through with a cycle of stress eating the first thing you get your hands on. If you want to finally lose all your excess weight and keep it off forever – without giving up great food, without sweating in the gym. Download this free ebook to learn How to start losing your “computer belly” without counting calories, dieting OR sweating in the gym.
Jerry Seinfeld Experiment: Don’t break the chain. Post #41.