It is easy to say you just could not help yourself when you go for that chocolate cake slice after struggling to survive this latest disaster. Life is full of ups and downs, it is unavoidable. Splurging on that indulgence may help to ease the burden when you are in meltdown mode, but that help is temporary and will not endure long enough to see you through the rest of the disaster. Since we all face the worst of times, it is necessary to learn to cope with the little bumps in the road to help you develop the healthy habits for stress relief that will keep you away from guilty food indulgences when you have reached your breaking point. Here are my top ten that is repeated regularly to my clients to help them stay on track with their health goals.
1. Take a walk. No better way to relieve tension then to walk it out of your system.
2. Meditate. It is a practice that should be completed daily to help move your focus beyond your limitations and bring your dreams and hopes into reality. There is no rule that states you cannot meditate more often to find your center when life throws you more hardships than you think you can bear.
3. Go for a drive. Driving can be very relaxing for most people, especially when you are able to do so in pleasing scenary and avoid bad traffic.
4. Listen to music. Watch out for the hard core hits with beats that pound in your heart. I am talking about the calmer tones in any genre that make you feel calmer.
5. Sit outside and just listen. The world outside is full of sounds that can attract the senses. Close your eyes, or watch with eyes while your mind wanders.
6. Visualize your goals. Like mediatation, you want to remind yourself regularly why indulging just this once is really not worth it. Your goals are.
7. Call a friend. I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to eat because I was too busy gabbing.
8. Occupy your hands. Knit, sew, garden, paint, draw, sculpt. Activities such as these and working with wood or folding paper focuses your attention to your task and off your taste buds.
9. Drink water. Yup, water. It cannot be repeated enough that drinking water curbs your appetite; especially when you are aware your body can survive far longer without food than it can water. In most cases we mistake thirst for hunger. So, drink 32oz of water then wait 15 minutes and drink another 32oz. If still hungry after another 15 minutes then grab the celery sticks or bell pepper slices.
10. Window shop. Remember the ones about meditating and visualizing? If your imagination just isn’t cutting it, then reality certainly will. It can be easier to dream of what you want when you can see what you want.