Who took the cookies from the cookie jar?
Do you have a cookie jar lurking in your kitchen? I have to admit that whenever I don’t schedule “me” time and I overbook my life with work, my kids’ schedules and activities, housework, and managing my business, I snack on cookies. The ways I handle stress in a healthy way is through exercise, feeling my feelings, and taking time to relax. But, old habits die hard and I have this gnawing pestering belief that I “should” not rest because resting is “lazy” when there is so much to be done. So, instead of dealing with that, I eat the buttery cookies my grandmother would always have at home.
Before you judge or placate, hear me out. By no means am I saying that eating cookies is wrong, or if I was snacking on celery it would that make it right? It bothers me when nutritionists recommend their readers to eat celery instead of the cookie. It just helps reduce caloric intake but it doesn’t quench the emotional turmoil you feel.
Often, we eat not because we are physically hungry, but because we stuff our feelings way down where we can’t reach them, numb out from too much going on, punish ourselves because we “suck” so we might as well eat the whole thing, or reward ourselves because, “ I deserve to have that food, I was so good today or I am just too tired to cook something healthy.” The foods we gravitate towards hold so much meaning. That meaning is based on how you regard yourself, family upbringing, rules around meals taught as a child, memories associated with those foods that either made you feel some sort of way about being loved and taken care of.
I bring this up because man has this been an emotional turmoil of a year. And, we have an election coming up, and the holiday seasons that center around food. So please, if you use food as one of the main ways to deal with your emotions, this time of the year can get quite overwhelming. Reach out for help to end the cycle and hold yourself accountable to finding healthier and more strategically effective ways of handling your stress.