Do something just for you.
- Learn how to do progressive deep relaxation. Do this instead of overeating.
- Listen to music.
- Take a long bath.
- Get a massage.
- Go out with some friends.
- Buy yourself some flowers.
- Get a haircut.
- Take a new exercise class.
Find reasonable alternatives to deal with stress without overeating.
- Purchase books or magazines. Go to the library to read them and avoid eating.
- Join a health club. Make a commitment to exercise 3-5 times each week. Find a partner to exercise with and keep you motivated.
- Take a class and learn a new craft. This will keep your hands busy while you watch TV, surf the web, or talk on the phone.
- Leave the house to avoid excess eating.
- Take a couple of laps around the mall before or after dinner.
- Mow the lawn.
- Weed the garden.
- Clean the house.
- Consider buying a piece of home exercise equipment. Exercise while you watch TV.
Take steps to manage your stress.
- Be aware of your stressors.
- Reduce your emotional reaction to stress. Take a deep breath and try to relax.
- Practice how to deal with major stressors in your life.
- Learn what you can change. Decide what is worth fighting for.
- Build up your physical reserves. Take care of yourself by:
- Cutting back on caffeine consumption during times of stress.
- Eating healthful meals. Be sure you are meeting your nutritional needs. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov if you aren’t sure about what you should be eating.
- Getting enough sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping, see a professional.
- Having some fun. Take vacations and leave your stresses at home.
- Learning to say no. It's ok to take care of your own needs.
- Including friends and family in your life, regardless of how busy you are.
- Setting realistic goals for yourself.
- Expecting some bumps in the road. Things will get better over time.
There's more than one way to beat stress eating! To share this information with your clients, download the free handout below!
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.