Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where's the Stress Relief, If Not Food?

It's a big question for someone like me (and maybe like you) who eats for stress relief. What are we supposed to do with our stress, when we are so used to eating it?

Feel it
Share it
Do something about it

There are actually a lot of things we can do when the stress gets so high that it feels like hot vapors coming off your head. (Am I the only one who gets that feeling? Like the stress is actually leaking through my hair and radiating out of my head like wavy lines in a cartoon drawing?)

Walk it out
Power through it
Clean house like crazy

Instead of making and eating a bowl of brownie batter like I used to or crunching through a bag of Kettle chips to get my frustrations out, I can make better choices for stress relief.

Visit a friend
Sit in the sun

I do not have to hit the drive thru in order to escape my stress anymore. Sometimes, there really *is* no escape from the stress; we just have to endure it... deal with it the best we can... and try to give ourselves some kind of outlet for the pressure so we don't explode.

Dog sports

It is doable. Not always pleasant, but doable. I will get through this. We have the strength. You have it inside you, too, even if you don't know it.


MargieAnne said...

Your solutions are so positive.

Me, I shut down and huddle with my laptop and play endless games of solitaire or freecell. So boring. So mind numbing. I hardly respond to those around me but I do somehow stir myself to do essential tasks. I've even known myself to put my sneakers on and go walking but not often.

I know all the good things but sometimes I just can't get myself to do them. I hate being in such a state. I envy those who can fill their time and push their anxiety away with housework or something else physical. Times like that even praying gets too hard. Anxiety and stress are huge battles to overcome.

Hope you find something helpful and hopeful during your day.


Princess Dieter said...

For those with partners, let's not forget SEX. When I began this weight loss journey that got me out of obesity, I had to find non-food things, as you mention. I found sex effective. I jumped hubby basically daily, sometimes (weekends) more often. He really liked this coping mechanism. :D It worked really, really well.

I have to restart, as I have been coping with a mild depression that has got me out of my routine, and I think I need to doll myself up and jump hubby daily again. He's gonna like it, so why not?

For me, also, manga and anime. Very distracting and funny manga/anime very stress-relieving.

On we go...

psychochef said...

Well written, and great advice. Thanks for sharing Lyn. I wish you success on your personal journey.

timothy said...

find a hobby yu enjoy, join a book club, whatver, so glad you're exploring options and not letting this overwhelm day and one pound at a time and you'll do it!

Anonymous said...

I like Princess Dieter's solution.

Holly from 300 Pounds Down said...

Amen to this very important post! This is what keeps us in the food and away from victory! The hit fumes coming off our head like wavy cartoon lines was perfectly said!!! And if we don't find alternatives to handle it we are doomed! And many fund transfer addictions too. You've got great suggestions and I've found walking through it will make u stronger in the end!

Lori said...

Thanks for the great ideas. Sometimes in the midst of stress it is automatic to turn to food, and hard to think of alternatives. Everyone should print this out and put it on their refrigerator!

I hope life is smoothing out for you.

Anonymous said...

Blogging helps too !

Anonymous said...

I'm a firm believer in excercise for stress - however, on those days that its pouring rain, or snowing, and maybe you don't want to leave your house i find cuddling up with a good book and a cup of tea is a good way to unwind!!

Also - Princess Dieter - i totally agree with the SEX!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn-

I haven't been following your blog lately and just checked in today. This whole time I was imagining you going off and having this great new life as a skinny girl, and it really saddens me to find out that you haven't been having such a great time of it since I last visited your blog. My life is going great right now (new job, lost some weight, stress management is working out just fine), but it wasn't so long ago that every week, or maybe even every day, there was a huge stress crisis. So just know that you are not alone in these struggles. I have a "what to do when I'm stressed" list on my phone as well as a hard-copy list I got from university a few years ago that I keep in my active work folder.

I've noticed lately that my stress response has also been to stop eating. Not very healthy way to do it though. It's hard sometimes to maintain the right dynamic.

I'm at a training course right now and I've already learned two important lessons: (1) I don't have to eat everything on my plate, and I don't have to feel bad about overfilling it, either. (2) Don't forget about friends -- even just sitting with your friends and watching the scenery go by is better than staying at home and internalizing stress.

Anonymous said...

Get busy in the garden. It is very satisfying and burns calories. The time goes so fast you don't even realize it's time to eat. Anything cleaning and organizing related really helps me. You have something to show for it at the end-unlike bingeing which tears a hole in your soul.
I love your ideas Lyn. I'm praying every day for your boy. You are awesome!

16 blessings'mom said...

I have found myself drinking much more coffee than I used to. Walking helps too, but that requires making sure it is a good time for everyone here to have me go out the door, and sometimes that is more stressful than it's worth. Blogging helps immensely too. And of course keeping the connection with God, and knowing that everything works together for the good - He will not send me more than I can bear. It certainly feels like it sometimes, but then I need to get talking to Him about it and fight for peace in my heart.

Thank you once again, Lyn, for sharing and are not alone!!!

Another Deb said...

There's a lot of testosterone in my house and I find I just need to get out of here and go someplace else for a while. I need my girlfriends (desparately) and have two I can call with anything at any time. They are lifesavers. I still struggle with the food because it's been my lifeline for so long. It's a habit and they are tough to break -- like I'm telling you something you (all) don't already know. Keeping busy helps me, talking to God and getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine, even when it's hot, all really help me deal with stress. Oh, and one more...mowing the lawn. Nobody can talk to me, call me on the phone or catch me. I am completely alone to think and pray. It's great.

bbubblyb said...

Yes, there are so many other things we could "use" besides food, sad that far to often I find myself still wanting to take the easy route. I think that's the problem is that food is the easy well known fall back for me. I'm getting better at "using" other things, especially exercise, but I still sometimes struggle. I'm guessing as we continue to "use" other things food will be less of the first thing turned to, at least I sure hope so. Hang in there Lyn, just keep reminding yourself no matter what you're worth it. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Mindfulness practice and meditation
over the years have helped me accept and cope with life on life's terms..and carving out some quiet space has been the key to good mental health

katie said...

Sometimes I need to change my physical space to get out of my own head, my own way. I get out to the public libary ( cool, quiet) and read magazines or browse books..I also do needlepoint and knit for charity: I knit small 'cage blankets' for cats and dogs in shelters..get yarn and needlepoint on ebay much less expensive.