It’s totally normal to be feeling all the feelings right now.
It’s also understandable to look to food to deal with those feelings.
Take it from one who used both food and alcohol to deal with daily life for decades before breaking free of that pattern of coping.
Food provides us with joy, comfort, and sustenance
We associate it with good memories, big life moments and family
Sometimes we use food to help define ourselves—in our jobs, cultures, and even relationships.
Here’s the ‘kicker’ though…
The more we use food to bury how we feel, the worse those uncomfortable feelings get.
Add in guilt, disgust, disappointment with ourselves for ‘doing it again’ and without knowing it, we are sub-consciously keeping that cycle going.
At the moment everyone is experiencing feelings of uncertainty in this pandemic and many people of all ages and genders are looking to seek comfort in food, even people who never really think much about food. They are gravitating towards the familiar foods, the reliable, safe foods, the ones that haven’t changed, the ones they know they love!
Safety and comfort is what the human brain wants and needs, so it makes sense that a times of stress and the unknown, food is like a stable, safe and reliable friend.
But when you find yourself feeling like food and cravings are controlling you, its like being stuck in a never ending ground-hog day of emotional or binge eating or drinking.
The good news is there is a way out.
No, its not will power and food rules, deprivation or dieting!
You can ‘opt out’ of the habit and create a different pattern of dealing with your feelings.
Is it the easiest path?
But it’s the only one that will provide relief. And that’s something we could all use more of right now.
Our brains (and lives, for that matter) tend to work in cycles.
But the stress eating and/or drinking cycle?
It’s one you can opt out of.
Here is something to take on board and to be honest I had remind myself of this often when I finally put down alcohol and allowed myself to feel
No one died from a feeling
Sometimes we don’t like them, but they won’t kill us!
Feelings are like clouds, they are always moving and changing, and as long as you don’t try to ‘hold on’ to unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings, they will soon drift and change…
Feel those feelings, name them, acknowledge them, rather than trying to push them down or change them with food or to blot them out with alcohol.
Then let them go!