I think I was born anxious. If not, I developed anxiety early in life. I know stress and anxiety are not the same thing, but for me anxiety led to stress. Even as a little girl, I wanted everything to be just so. I wouldn't quite call it perfectionism, that came later. But if things were just right in my little world, I became anxious and then stressed. My coping mechanism at that time was to cry.
As I grew and matured, I learned it wasn't a good idea to go around crying all the time and learned to cry when I was alone. That is probably when I learned about stress eating. Being young, and active and having a kid metabolism, it didn't manifest itself until later in life. Even then, I was able to exercise most of it away.
In college, I chose a high stress major and career - accounting! Maybe being an accountant isn't as high stress as a brain surgeon, but people can get very stressed when they get bad news about money. I loved making presentations to the board when times were good. When they were bad, that was another story indeed, especially when there was a 'kill the messenger' type on the board. Working for myself from home has alleviated much of that stress. Still, with my personality type, I found stress in other areas of my life.
In trying to lose weight and put an end to the emotional eating, I'm looking for other ways to ease stress. Just a few that work for me are:
- Taking a grown up time out - just walking away from the computer screen if it is work and doing something else for a few minutes. Since I am at home, I can load/unload the dishwasher or something like that. When I come back with fresh eyes and a fresh mind, I can sometimes see the solution that I could not before.
- Taking a bath - this one is generally reserved for evenings although I could take a bath in the middle of the day. I discovered this when my father died and I was an emotional wreck for months! Sometimes, 65MD would gently suggest that I have a bath when it got so bad.
- Scheduling free time - or more like time away from work to do something else like sew or read. Right now, it is scheduling time to work on the bedroom project.
- Going outside - this time of year is so refreshing to me. I love the rebirth that spring brings. I love the more relaxed nature to summer, and I rarely get too hot. (I don't do this so much in the winter time.) Feeling the sun on my face for just a few minutes makes those worries melt away. I just discovered a NY and NJ health insurance company called Oscar that rewards their members for going outside and just taking a walk with their Misfit program. Every members gets a fitness tracker and sets their own step goal. Whenever they meet their steps that day, they earn $1 and receive cash reward each month. How cool is that?
Has anyone got anything they have discovered that works for them? Leave a comment. I'd love to know.