November 13, 2016
Everyone reacts to uncertainty and instability in different ways but one thing is for sure, this kind of volatile change affects all of us; how we sleep, how well we minister to ourselves (or how poorly), and it most certainly affects what and how we eat and drink :).
Often, we think that food can take the feeling of stress away. If I eat this ____food (fill in with your go-to food) I will feel better. And in the immediate moment, while the food is in your mouth, maybe it does soothe you. But as you probably already know, that feeling is usually fleeting. It is a double loss. The food will not make the feeling go away and it typically makes you feel worse.
Food plays a powerful role in our lives, it nourishes us, it fuels us, and in times of stress and anxiety, it comforts us. But too often we undermine our own health in the pursuit of the quick comfort that food can provide.
While we all fall victim, remember in times of stress and uncertainty first take control of what you can: yourself
Feed the spirit
Here are some strategies from Jae Berman, the Head Coach of Habit, for making it happen. Pick one or a few ideas from the list below, mix in your own and take some action.
- Breathe. When you’re about to reach for that Snickers bar, take a couple deep breaths while counting to 10. Repeat.
- Better yet, get the junk out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind. When life is stressful, avoid temptations.
- Start the day off right with a balanced breakfast with protein, carbohydrates and fats made of whole real foods.
- Eat clean. Go for whole, real foods and avoid processed ingredients. The body does not need the fake stuff right now.
- Eat vegetables. Lots of them. Fill half your plate with vegetables as often as possible.
- Choose wisely. If you just can’t manage to cook during a stressful time, choose restaurants and cuisines that will steer you in a healthier direction.
- Stay hydrated. Stress can take quite a toll on the body. Even if you’re sitting down during a stressful period, your body is on overdrive, and that is dehydrating. Get lots of water in.
- Move your body. Go for a workout. Take a walk. Grab a moment to get the blood pumping. Don’t necessarily focus on what you think is the best workout for you, but rather what you think will make you feel better in this moment. If you think high intensity intervals will help, do it. Even just a stroll outside during your lunch break can help calm the stress hormones.
- Sleep! Sleep is usually the first to go during periods of uncertainty, but it is often what we need the most. Take time to get ready for bed, along with staying in a nice dark room for at least seven hours. Also, try to limit your internet consumption before bed, stressful news does not help you calm down your nervous system.
- Do something fun. Watch a funny movie or two-minute YouTube clip. Get a massage. Get out in nature. Spend time with people who make you happy, and eat a healthy meal together.
- And if you’re going to eat that bar of chocolate, slice (or 3) of pizza, or drink that glass of wine, by all means, enjoy it. Guilt should never be on the menu
For the full article, check out our post on Medium.