What a crazy time in our lives. I don’t think any of us could have predicted 2020 would be quite so difficult, especially so early on in the year. As moms, I think we feel this at an even deeper level. We want the best for our kids, our family units as a whole, and with so much uncertainty in our world, it can feel overwhelming. I think we could all use a collective deep breath, as we navigate these challenging, uncharted waters, don’t you?
One of the areas we tend to stress over when life gets crazy is our eating. As is feeding our families (and ourselves!) isn’t hard enough some times, put the anxiety of a global pandemic into the mix and we start worrying about things like how many cans of beans we should have stocked in our pantry, how our health is going to fare if our bellies don’t see another leaf of fresh spinach for an entire month (kids everywhere are cheering) and at the same time, we have a tendency to turn to food to cope with the emotions of it all.
We feel the push and pull of wanting to serve our families, and be in control, all the while, feeling as out of control as ever before.
Here’s where I want to provide you with some encouragement:
It’s 100% normal to be feeling this way– you are not alone. As an Intuitive Eating counselor, I help women stress less about food so they can enjoy their lives more fully; and I have worked with client after client this past week who is feeling the stress and strain of feeling out of control like never before. And where I can’t take the stress of the outside world away, I can provide some tools to stress less, exactly where you are.
Because even in the midst of crisis, we can use this as an opportunity to tune in to what our bodies need and serve them in the best way we know how- with nourishment, and a huge side of grace.
Three tips for feeling less crazy around food during a crazy time:
1. Recognize that this time is only temporary.
As hard and scary and unknown this time can be, it is, in the grand scheme of our lives- just a blip in time. We can take one massive deep breath knowing that whatever happens during our time alone in our homes, going a little crazy watching Frozen 2 for the fourth time… today… whether we eat our entire stash of Girl Scout Cookies, don’t exercise for two whole months, sit on the couch a little more than we’d like or eat way more boxed macaroni and cheese than we had ever planned– this time will not be forever.
2. Create a self-care toolbox.
Anxiety is HIGH, these days. Everywhere we turn there is information overload, and just like with nutrition information, it can be hard to weed through and hard to identify what’s true and what isn’t- and this can cause even MORE anxiety.
Stressful and anxious feelings often lead to one of two things when it comes to how we approach eating:
- We crave comfort. Food is easy. Food is available. When we feel like we are trying to hold it together for everyone around us. It’s easy to turn to food for that release.
- We crave control. When things feel out of control, we often have the desire to control. This can send us into desiring control around food (which causes more stress, and isn’t productive for long-term nourishment) or overeating to cope with the feelings of being out of control.
This is the SAME reason everyone bought all the toilet paper- a scarcity mindset, the idea that everything might go away, makes us feel like we need to hoard it all now.
Although baking tray of brownies and enjoying them with your kids is a wonderful way to pass the time of social distancing, we also don’t want to be eating the whole pan- and this is where self care comes into play.
The more we care for ourselves, the better we connect with our feelings. The more we connect with how we’re feeling, share and express these feelings, we can choose positive ways to cope with them- yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, walking, healthy distraction, connection time with family– instead of turning to food.
3. Get back to the basics.
What baseline things can you do to take care of YOU, today? Health doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated.
Have you taken a shower, yet, mama? How about had something to drink other than that mug of coffee (or three- and I’m not talking about wine!)… Can you go for a walk outside with the kids for some fresh air and a dose of Vitamin D? Are you getting to bed on time and waking up at a reasonable time (aka- getting enough sleep and sticking to a regular routine)? How can you include some nutrient-dense foods even when availability is low (but no stress here, mama- remember- it’s temporary).
I know we all want to live healthy, happy, whole lives- and just because we’re off our routines doesn’t mean we need to throw away all our healthy habits and spend our days in a Girl Scout Cookie Coma, but it also doesn’t mean we need to stress about it. We can focus on the little things, take this time as an opportunity for connection with our kids, establish a new routine and embrace this situation as just another season in our lives.
Sign up for free 30-minute wellness consult with me, here!
My brand new online course, on pre-sale now: Uncomplicated Eating: learn to stress less about food and enjoy life more. Get 15% off using code MOMUNITY.
For more great reads, subscribe to our newsletter.