Have you found yourself stressed from the COVID-19 pandemic? The virus and many changes over the last few months have impacted all of us in some way. Are you having a difficult time managing your stress during the pandemic? One common reaction to stress is overeating. Here are a few tips to help you turn stress and eating into a positive influence for your life.
Knowledge is control. Know your personal triggers when it comes to eating.
- Is there a specific time of day you eat uncontrollably? Make this time of day your workout time or be extra aware of your actions.
- Do you find yourself mindlessly walking to the pantry or refrigerator looking for a snack when not hungry? Only keep small portions of your snack foods available and stick to one of them per day.
- Journaling your intakes and moods can help with making positive choices, especially during the times your eating finds you the most vulnerable. Record your thoughts, actions and feelings. Look for eating trends and how you respond to stressful situations. Journaling causes awareness, so this knowledge might deter you from eating unhealthy or unnecessary calories.
Resilience. Overeating is bound to happen from time to time and that is okay. Overeating is not desirable, but the self-destructive “after talk” that occurs after overeating can be more damaging. One of the most important lessons to learn is to forgive yourself before you make another unhealthy choice or overindulge.
Exercise is a wonderful stress-reliever. Choose the form of exercise you enjoy and do it often. Whether that be a round of golf, weight-lifting, yoga, hiking a nearby trail or walking to your favorite hunting spot. Make it work for you! Even a short walk can get your mind off food and help you deal with what’s stressing you out.
Meditation can help you handle stress. Try taking three to five deep breaths before giving in to a food craving. After your deep breaths and taking a moment to pause, ask yourself if you still want that specific food.
Mindful eating can help stop stress-eating before it even starts. Slow down and savor the foods you choose to nourish your body. Being mindful takes time, so be patient with yourself. Read these mindful eating tips to help you refresh your eating habits.
Sleep may be the answer to deal with stress and overeating. When you repeatedly don’t sleep well or go to bed too late, the lack of sleep can play a role in your ability to fight off infection, keep your weight at bay and feel focused and energetic. By getting the recommended amount of sleep (seven to eight hours per night for adults), you will be able to better manage and likely not overeat. Read these sleep tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Coloring helps relieve stress as well. And as an added bonus, eating is hard when your hands are occupied! Find adult coloring books online or at your favorite book or craft store!
Hope these tips help you manage your stress and eat healthier during the pandemic.