“But I don’t want to feel the bad feelings!”
Stay-at-Home Weight Change Factor #4:
Feeling a need to calm, soothe, and/or fill the void of uncertainty with snacking.
Along with being at home 24/7, all the systems & schedule upheaval came boatloads of uncertainty.
- What’s going on?
- How long is this going to last?
- Will my loved ones get sick?
- How do I make this all work?
- What’s going to happen next?
- How can I work and teach my kids sufficiently?
- Will my kids even learn anything this way?
- Will school even open again in the fall?
- Will I still have a job?
- Will I be able to find work?
- How do I keep my family healthy—mentally, physically & emotionally?
- When will things get back to normal?
- Will things ever be normal again?
Even if we’re not consciously thinking these things, many of the questions & concerns are simmering in the background, boiling to the surface every so often.
There’s so little we’re actually in charge of, that the need to do something can feel really strong & the easiest thing to do is nibble, munch & snack in the moment.
For that moment, while we’re eating, we’re taking action & doing something that’s soothing.
Problem is eating’s just a band-aid in the moment, & overeating lends to all kinds of other stresses down the road.
Plus, the problems are still there, the bad feelings are still there, the doubts & worries are still there long after that chip/cookie/candy/beverage is gone.
Solutions to try:
As ‘un-fun’ as it is, we need to let ourselves feel the feelings. Eeeew, right?!
Yeah, but it’s either feel the feelings or eat the feelings.
So instead of grabbing that snack, try this:
- Stop & name what you’re feeling.
- Say it out loud or write it down.
- Ask if food is really going to fix that.
- If the answer is no, walk away for at least 10 minutes.
And if your anxiety is through the roof, try sitting down & Box Breathing:
Inhale 4 seconds,
hold breath 4 seconds,
exhale 4 seconds,
hold breath 4 seconds
Repeat for 2 min.
Close your eyes to make it even better!
The more we practice, the better we get at dealing with our feelings & the less we’ll be snacking impulsively.
It’s something our future selves will thank us for!
We can do this!
In it with you all the way,