selfcareIn my blog post from last week, I outlined why the urge to eat the entire bag of Wheat Thins is message; it’s a signal to stop and look a little bit deeper to see what’s going on inside. This frantic, compulsive feeling can be taken care of when you begin taking better care of your inner needs. Yes, taking care of YOU really will help you stop binging!

The truth is…none of us REALLY wants to inhale a million and one calories in one sitting!

Excessive overeating is how we’ve learned to cope-to stuff down what we don’t want to deal with, to make something “go away”, to deal with stress. (click to tweet!)

But if you learn to deal with those things as they arise, to slow down, to process, and to allow your needs to be a priority, you won’t reach that crazy, eat your pantry type of episode.

This is one of the most important times of the year to make YOU a priority. The stress of trying to buy 101 people gifts, feeling obligated to attend every single family obligation, attending party after holiday party, and stressing about all the holiday craziness can wreck havoc on your body and mind.

When you start to incorporate activities and rituals into your life that take care of your needs, that “I need to binge” feeling will begin to fall away, naturally and effortlessly.

You know the airplane oxygen mask analogy: put on your own mask before helping anyone else. That metaphor applies here. When you are taking care of yourself, you inevitably feel better and healthier, which enables you to actually ENJOY the people you’re with, the food you’re eating, and the parties you’re attending. All without excessively overeating.

Here are 15 ideas to slow down and take care of YOU.

  1. Write in a journal (or if you don’t have one, start writing a few times a week. You’ll be amazed at what comes out when you start…)
  2. Sit in bed for 5 minutes when you wake up and just BE. Check in with yourself before you check in with your phone.
  3. Take a walk or hike in nature (bonus points if it’s a quiet, restorative, soul-inspiring place!)
  4. Soak in a hot bubble bath with relaxing music.
  5. Steal a morning to yourself (especially if you have kids!). Sit at a coffee shop or spend a few hours doing exactly what YOU want to do.
  6. Say no to a family obligation or holiday party you really don’t want to attend-without feeling guilty.
  7. Read a good book.
  8. Take an extra yoga class during the week.
  9. Do a mindful eating practice for one meal a day (where you really taste and savor your food)
  10. Connect (in-person!) with someone. Really, truly listen when they talk. Be there for them. Talk about what’s going on with you. These deep connections with another person truly sustain our souls.
  11. Try something new you’ve always wanted to do. Go to a museum, enroll in a dance class, download Spanish on your ipod to learn as you drive…explore a new hobby or interest!
  12. Listen to a guided meditation before you go to bed.
  13. Exercise JUST for the sake of moving your body. A Zumba class, a long run, or an activity that feels GOOD (not something you’re doing to burn off the cake you had).
  14. Unplug. For 2 hours, a day or as long as you can. No computer, no phone, no email. It is amazing how much this can restore your energy.
  15. Start a gratitude practice. This is something I’m working on. Find 5 things each day you are grateful for (bonus points if you write them down!) It can something as simple as “I am thankful my mom called me” or as big as “I am grateful I got a raise”. Searching for the good trains your brain to look for what we can appreciate in our lives now (not when everything is “perfect”)

This week, see if you can pick 1-2 to incorporate into your routine. This will really help begin to take care of yourself on a deeper level.  This is so important, especially as we move into the “crazy eating” time of year-the time when society seems to take “eat, drink and be merry” to an entirely new level.  Use some of these ideas to inspire you to find ways you can bring more nourishment, presence, and satisfaction into your life.

The good news is that the more nourishment you bring into your life, the less you’ll turn to food to nourish you. (click to tweet!)

And isn’t that what we are all really after? 🙂

Tell me, which numbers will you incorporate this week? Or share an idea of your own in the comments!

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