As we enter what is being referred to as the “third wave” of COVID, it seems that a lot of people are entering the third wave of loss of resilience in the face of ongoing stress. Lots of folks are stress eating as a way of coping with their emotions so, today we’re going to unpack just one idea for managing stress.
Imagine you needed to cut some wood for a project that you are doing. Would your first choice be to head to the kitchen and get a steak knife to cut the wood? Hopefully not! A more effective tool would be a saw. In the same way, you wouldn’t get a saw and try to use it to hammer in a nail.
Now imagine that you have a tool box in front of you that has “My stress management kit” on it. When you open that box, what’s the first thing you see? For a number of people, the answer is food…and we’re not talking broccoli and fish, we’re talking potato chips, chocolate, candy etc. For some people it’s a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.
What else could you put into your toolbox? Maybe your running shoes are buried somewhere in there. Maybe it’s a deck of cards or a favorite game for you to play with your family. Maybe it’s a bathtub and some candles and a good book. Maybe it’s a picture of your favorite place on the beach or in the woods where you like to go to relax. Maybe it’s a picture of your friend that you can always rely on to chat when things seem dark.
Start adding things to your toolbox. Pile things in there as an alternative to food. Try some of the other tools rather than always going for the food. We know that sometimes you will go through every other tool in there and still end up eating whatever food of choice is in there for you…but sometimes you won’t! Eventually you will have so many other tools that the food is rarely your go to anymore.
At MDWL, we understand there are so many factors involved in the management of weight. Our goal is not just to teach you how to eat, it’s designed to give you the tools you need to tackle the situation at hand and come out the other side feeling more confident in your skills as you proceed in your journey to better health!