We are living through stressful, unprecedented times. If you’ve been struggling lately with stress and emotional eating, you are not alone. With gyms closed, grocery shelves empty and the realities of social distancing thrust upon us, the temptation to turn to food food for solace can be strong.
So I thought it would be helpful to share suggestions to help you stay on track when times are tough and anxiety is high.
How To Curb Anxiety in Stressful Times?
Barbara Danza in the Epoch Times shares 10 Simple Ways to Curb Anxiety, which include:
1. Stepping Away from the News.
Watch less news. Interview and opinion shows on TV and talk radio shows that add to one’s understanding of the situation can be valuable. But watching depressing, panic-inducing news will only make you jittery, anxious and depressed. It’s good for the news networks’ ratings, but it’s bad for your mental health. Opt instead for calming music, uplifting and inspiring content or silence.
When we are anxious our breath often becomes fast and shallow. Here’s a quick and easy breathing exercise to help make your breathing slower, deeper and more regular.
Get up and move around, stretching out your arms, legs, back and hips as many times as you can during the day. Here are some easy yoga poses to counter the effects of too much sitting and a short yoga practice to improve your mood and 5 minutes of gentle stretching to improve flexibility.
4. Getting outside.
Step outside. Being in nature improves mood and thinking. Take a walk. Sit by an open window. Spend time in your garden. Try sitting on the ground with your back up against a tree. You’ll feel better.
5. Staying hydrated.
Here’s a list of 23 ways to get more water throughout the day.
6. Eating well.
Though it can be tempting to want to soothe ourselves with salty snacks and sweet treats, nutrition is even more important during stressful times because it helps keep your body healthy and your immune system strong. The last thing you need right now is the emotional and physical ups and downs created by sugar overload.
7. Decluttering. Cleaning.
Tackle a space, large or small to gain a sense of control and accomplishment. It may even help you lose weight.
8. Getting sufficient sleep.
Allow yourself extra time to unwind. Here are some of my favorite essential oils for better sleep.
9. Giving Thanks.
Take a few minutes every day to list all that your are grateful for.
10. Nurturing your spirit.
Take care of your body, mind and soul. Connect with your higher power. For me that means more time in prayer and reflection. Read, listen to or watch uplifting inspirational material.
Create Structure and Routines as Much as You Can
There is not a more important time to embrace the good habits that you’ve work to cultivate than during periods of stress. Structure and routine can help us stay grounded and calm. They serve as an internal support system bringing stability and comfort to our lives, especially during uncertain times.
Celebrate your small successes, no matter how tiny they seem. Had a shower and got dressed? Good for you. Chose water instead of soda? You go! Refused to toss the cookies and chips yelling to you from the grocery store shelves into your cart? Yay you!
Make adjustments as necessary. With my favorite yoga studios shuttered I’m turning to Apps, and the Internet instead.
Weight Watchers workshops are available as webinars you can attend from the comfort of home.
FaceTime and the Phone can replace coffee and lunch dates helping you stay connected to those you care about.
Coping Suggestions Shared from Fellow Weight Watchers
“I’m cooking and having great meals. Lots of fruit for snacking and walking 7 days instead of three. I’m an introvert so I love being home. The stress is playing games with my sleep though. Knitting is my solace and audio books!” ~ Cynthia C.
“Actually eating less due to some anxiety over all this. Since school is out for now, I’m a paraprofessional, I’m keeping busy around the house and have been taking walks at least once a day. Surprised I’m not stress eating more!” ~ Pam L.
“I’m retired and stay home a lot. My challenge has always been carbs. If I open a bag of chips to dole out my portion, I might later finish the bag. So I’m doing a lot of talking to myself, reminding myself that I’m not hungry. Then I’ll either go for a walk and read a book or both. My desk files are being labelled. My closets are getting cleaned out. There are any number of projects lazy old me has to do.” ~ Sue F.
“I have been eating healthier because I haven’t been going out.” ~ Tabitha S.
“Meal planning and shaving off a few points (green plan) because not walking as much. Maintaining weight loss. Stay positive happy and healthy.” ~ Angela C.
“We have been spending time away from everyone by ‘hiding out’ at a place at the beach. And for the past few days, I’ve been walking the beach each morning. Each day, I’ve gone further than the day before!” ~ Annmarie W.
“Woke up this morning and told myself that it was going to be a great day. Walked 4 miles enjoying the morning.” ~ Elizabeth B.
“I am reorganizing my pantry area so I can better stock what I need to be healthy.” ~ Lesli
“I finally got everything together and made a giant pot of unstuffed cabbage! I not only had it for dinner but had 5 containers to freeze for future meals!” ~ Mary M.
“I treat this as a time to Pray, connect with people I haven’t talked to in a long time, house reorganizing, getting those weights out to finally use, going for a walk, trying out new recipes, watching movies with my hubby, WW viral workshops and viral prayer services, staying connected with family and close friends on their health. This to shall pass. Stay well my friends!! God Bless!! ” ~ Linda
Inspirational Quotes for Stressful Times
“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” ~ Hermann Hesse
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~ Thích Nhat Hanh
“Don’t try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. God opens millions of flowers every day without forcing their buds.” ~ Osho
“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” ~ Brian Tracy
“Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.” ~ Ziggy Marley
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~ William James
“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life—no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Whenever I am afraid I will trust in you.” ~ Psalm 56:3
“This, too, shall pass.”
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