Stress: Restricting Self Care

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As stress increases, self care decreases.

Stress and emotional eating | Self care behaviors ignored during stressSo the more stress we have, the less likely we are to make time for ourselves.

As food restriction increases, bingeing increases. So the more we restrict, the more vulnerable we are to bingeing.

Learning how to habituate self care is so important when working to manage stress and out of control eating.

Many of us we manage our stress with emotional eating. The more stressed and depleted, the more we use food to take care of ourselves.  Perhaps, we could call this  pseudo-self care.  We think that we are finally doing something for ourselves with fooding, but the food isn’t really filling the true need for self care.

How can you value self care and remember to include it in your day?

  • Think about creating a self care habit.  What habit do you want to experiment with?
  • When you are creating a new habit it is easier to add it to something  you are doing.
  • Make it  really easy to do, like stretching a few times a day or deep breathing.
  • Look for something fun or creative to add to your day such as a Gratitude Tree.

The Gratitude Tree

When stress increases it’s easy to complain, writes Carol O’Dell of Caring.com. Remembering to be grateful needs a nudge. Studies have shown that being grateful boosts the immune system, curbs depression, and even contributes to a better night’s sleep. Creating a gratitude tree is a perfect family craft; it’s something everyone can add to, and it’s an easy way to bring nature into your home.

Follow the Gratitude Tree for a fun activity that can help you to make  self care a priority.
What ways can you stop restricting self care and start creating a new habit to manage stress in a healthy way?

5 responses to “Stress: Restricting Self Care”

  1. Deb says:

    This was an interesting concept for me. I just always assume I deal with stress by eating. But it’s broader than that and I like the self-care notion. I ‘close down’ in some ways. I get slack with my grocery shopping, and my writing (sort of), I ease up around the house and ‘wallow’ a lot more.

    I guess I’ve known that I sometimes feel so overwhelmed I suffer from apathy, but it’s interesting to consider the ‘when’.

    Deb

  2. Julia says:

    Adding joy into my life is a daily (or weekly?) practice that I’ve been surprised is HARD TO DO. We get so caught up in the routine of life (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). When I take a moment to step back from an activity I’m doing and ask myself, “Why am I doing this? Is it helping me? Is it a duty that I must fulfill? etc.”, it helps me refocus on ME. I am in control, not my to-do list. Because so many of us have such long to-do lists, JOY MUST COME IN SMALL BITS. I like to take my time in the shower. I like to listen to cheesy music in the car and sing along. How about everyone else? What are some other ideas?

  3. […] writing for A Weight Lifted talked about stress and self-care. I was reminded that stress can result in more than binge-eating (my worst habit!). It can manifest […]

  4. […] increases, self-care decreases, leading to emotional eating. I could so relate to this article on A Weight Lifted and appreciated the helpful […]

  5. […] Including self-care in your routine: “Many of us we manage our stress with emotional eating. The more stressed and depleted, the more we use food to take care of ourselves.  Perhaps, we could call this  pseudo-self care.  We think that we are finally doing something for ourselves with fooding, but the food isn’t really filling the true need for self care.” […]

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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