Dealing with Stress or Anxiety Eating

holiday stressHere is our third tip in our series on coping with the unique food challenges the holiday season brings.

The holidays are wonderful, and fun, and amazing, and yes, stressful. Some of us naturally turn to food when the stress and anxiety start to build. Maybe shifting your focus will help.

Dealing with Stress or Anxiety Eating

The holidays are a time of joy, but also of stress.

Perfectionism often kicks in. You may deeply desire a “perfect” holiday for yourself and your loved ones – like the ones you remember from your youth, or the ones you wish you had. But when you look at this realistically you may see that your perfectionist ideals are only causing stress.

It’s important to consciously counter these perfectionist tendencies. Do this by shifting some energy from creating the perfect holiday toward whatever will ease your stress and anxiety.

Remember that your holidays don’t have to look like those in the movies. In fact you and your family may benefit more from a lower key approach that emphasizes more your family values.

Making a list of the top stressful things about the holidays will help you look for ways to mitigate. Maybe it’s time to change traditions? Or skip some events?

Take this self test and find out if anxiety could be impacting your life.

Also look for what you most enjoy or appreciate during this time of the year and ways you can expand on those. Knowing what gives you pleasure as well as what gives you stress will help you stay in balance.

A skill that can help you is Soaking in the Good. Counter our natural evolutionary bias toward the negative by taking extra notice of all the good things around you. Savor your morning coffee for instance, and notice the beautiful decorations on your walk to work. Really take in that sweaty hug from your child, and the holiday smells in the air.

For more on dealing with stress eating, click the following links to read more about our upcoming Make Peace with Food 12-week group and our Beyond Emotional Eating Virtual group.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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