I haven’t made it a secret that I’ve been struggling. Fitness, stress and work have been heavy on my mind.
And I don’t know about you—but when I’m stressed the habits I need most seem to be the ones that fall first.
First to go is cooking. I love to cook. I love to enjoy a meal. But as soon as I am stressed, I start eating processed foods and pizza, because I like those foods and they are easy. But they take a toll. Even though my weight is healthy, I can still feel the impact of those foods on my body, my stamina, my energy, and my moods.
I’ve worked really hard lately to balance stress eating with healthy eating. I actually brought a frozen dinner to work to eat for lunch earlier this week. I actually crept into my office to eat it in secret because I was embarrassed. I didn’t even enjoy it. I was just lazy.
So I went home and made this casserole:
Now this was a delight: spaghetti squash roasted by the teenager, then I mixed it with tomato sauce, kale, chick peas, feta and Italian cheese blend. I sprinkled in some nutritional yeast for extra vitamins.
Speaking of vitamins, when I’m stressed I stop taking mine. I don’t eat as much at meals when stressed so I don’t have a full enough stomach to take my vitamins. On top of that, then I end up snacking and binge eating chips or Doritos.
Another bad habit when I’m stressed is over-cleaning. In a desperate attempt to control something in my environment, I clean until I exhaust and/or hurt myself.
And if you see me skip a blog entry, that could also signify I’m tapped out.
So how can I self-soothe?
- Text friends and make arrangements to go out. Today I texted my husband and asked if he could visit me at lunch time. I cried and told him my fears and my struggles. Despite the fact that I asked him to move out in June, and we’ve lived apart with minimal contact for eight months, he hugged me and held me and that made my cry more. I think that was the best hug he ever gave me. He made me feel protected. So I thank him for that.
- Play with the kittens, cuddle with Nala (my Goffins cockatoo), manhandle one of my older cats or listen to the budgies sing.
- Watch stand-up comedy. I love stand-up.
- Shave and moisturize. Something about soft, smooth skin is reassuring.
- If I’m not going to the gym, I at least need to do physical therapy exercises for my S1 joint in my back and my balance.
- Write more.
- Does budgeting count? I hope to do a blog entry on budgeting. I don’t mean paying bills, I mean planning the future use of anticipated income. It also makes me feel in control.
- Occasionally splurge on a fancy coffee or a treat. But not often enough to qualify as stress eating.
Okay, I’ve shared what I had to share. I’m going to watch some Gordon Ramsay now. Another relaxation technique. Eventually I want to blog about his different shows. He is very prolific.