Would you consider yourself a “stress eater?”
If there were a like button…the clicks would be unstoppable. Stress (and it’s bff Anxiety) have a super intense and powerful affect on our desire to do something that makes us feel better. And food is usually the easiest answer.
The past several weeks have been high stress in my life. It’s work related, which many of you can relate to, and I’m blessed it’s not something within my home. For others of you, it might be in the home. In which case…I’m a huge fan and supporter of counseling! :)
When I leave this stressful environment, I can feel my blood pumping stress through my body. It’s so intense. I’m tired from it, and yet I can’t settle down. Even though I try “positive self talk” and remind myself this isn’t as big of a deal as it seems….the blood pumping won’t…slow…down.
And I want to feel better. I want to release it all. I want to calm down. And I really think food will help. I have strange thoughts come to my mind that never come to mind like asking my husband if he wants to go out for ice cream or that I just NEED to stop at Sonic for a large diet coke. I haven’t stopped at Sonic for a large diet coke in about 10 years. But that’s exactly where my mind goes when I feel stressed.
Some days these past several weeks….I’ve given in. I’ve dipped pretzel after pretzel in the hummus and not because I was hungry. I’ve also come home and fallen asleep on the couch from the exhaustion of the stress.
I’ve also had moments of handling it the right way. I know it’s super cliche, but there have been a few days I went for a walk when I got home and I felt so much better. I’ve also read a good book when I had a few moments and it helped turn my mind off. I’ve asked my husband to say a prayer over me when I couldn’t quite say one myself. I always feel more at peace after someone I love says words of prayer upon me…and it often leads me to pray more on my own afterward.
Here’s the thing. We’re going to have stress. Guaranteed. But it’s how we manage it that allows us to enjoy life anyway. And in a healthy way. There are all sorts of unhealthy ways to handle that blood pumping stress. Sometimes that glass of wine sounds really good but I shouldn’t make it a habit to cope with my stress. Going to the mall or Target might make me feel better in the short term…but I really shouldn’t be trusted with a Visa when I’m stressed and wanting to feel better.
I won’t always pick the right thing, but I want to be aware that I’m picking something. There will be days that I eat something from Mr. W’s snack cabinet instead of putting on my tennis shoes to walk because I’m ticked off and stressed and this is just going to make me feel better and I just want it and it’s been a hard day and just get off my back! BUT if I can acknowledge what I’m doing and chose the healthy way to cope with stress more often then the unhealthy way…I just might manage the stress enough to still enjoy the rest of my day.
I won’t enjoy my day if I’m sleepy because of the wine. I won’t enjoy the rest of my day if I feel guilty about the money I just spent at Target. I won’t enjoy the rest of my day if I’m feeling guilty because I ate 3 pumpkin cookies before I even started making dinner. The wrong ways to handle stress sound great in the moment, but never leave us feeling better in the long run.
Going for a walk. Reading a good book. Calling my best friend. Talking with my husband…all these things lead me on the path of enjoying the things outside of life that bring JOY and not stress. Balance my friends…it’s all about the balance :)