Thursday, December 9, 2010

Healthy Habits; Taking yourself out of the situation.

Janetha posted an interesting post on Healthy Habits, which really got me thinking. I think a problem with many of us is NOT dealing with emotions. Or rather, dealing with them in unhealthy ways. In keeping with the 'Healthy Habits' theme, I wanted to introduce another 'healthy' habit that many of us could benefit from. Getting out of the negative situation!

Learning how to remove yourself from the situation that is causing you to cope in unhealthy ways is one of the first steps in realizing that you are worth it. Many people struggle with emotional eating, guilt, fear, anxiety, self worth and feel pressured to put on the 'all is well' front. I think it's necessary for us to realize that it is okay-  more than that: HEALTHY, for us to be able to recognize and feel that we are not okay at all times. Whether it is feeling the pressure to look a certain way, suppress emotions, appear put together and perfect, successful, or buy that perfect present; all of us succumb to pressure at times. Being able to put distance between us and the emotion is a great way to gain perspective. I call it 'Getting out of the eye of the storm'. REMOVE yourself physically from the situation.
This is one of the best ways to EMOTIONALLY and psychologically remove yourself from it as well.

I recently was feeling so stressed out, and the entire fridge lay temptation to being consumed within an hour. It is often hard to think 'How will I feel after this' when you are just trying to numb the emotions/fear/feelings down and get through your day. Rather than giving in, I recognized that I needed to get out.It is hard to stop, so rather than mentally exhaust myself trying to rationalize with myself, I grabbed my laptop, note book and headed to my favorite Starbucks. Getting out among people really helps get you out of your head. Listening to the Holiday Music (Josh Groban), listening to the laughter and conversations of people around me, and seeing all the people around me really helped.

Now I realize that it is seldom this easy. But having a 'back-up plan' and listening to your intuition, recognizing that something is off and you are not coping is one of the best habits we can develop. I think that too many of us have developed or started working on this habit too late in life.

Here are some ideas:
Even if it is for 5-10 minutes, get away. Go for a quick walk, go window shop, or just sit somewhere safe until you can gain perspective and calm down a bit. You need to think straight and when you are riled up, this is no state to be making decisions in.

-When you are feeling a bit better, allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Pain and hurt, as unpleasant as they are, are a healthy and integral part of our psyche.
-Take deep breaths!
- Distract yourself. I like walking through Chapter's or book stores, Home & Bath stores, grocery isles... anything with a lot of stuff to distract me with. Ironically, this lets me think clearer!
- Have a back up plan. If you are going through a rough time, brain-storm a few ideas ahead of time that you can do if you ever feel yourself getting overwhelmed. Join  a Yoga class, buy some paints, pick a favorite walking path, or head to your favorite grocery store (there are no right or wrong places-as long as they are safe!).
While this time of year is hard for so many people, the festive spirit and music/lights make it a wonderful place to reminisce, reflect, think and getaway without feeling too isolated and lonely.

I think so many of us put too much emphasis on trying to align ourselves with how we think we SHOULD be, vs how we really feel. This 'dis-alignment' causes so much grief.

Obviously, having someone you can talk to is essential to our well being. It's a hard step to make. We may not always be successful in extracting ourselves from toxic situations; the pain may be too great at times, and we may feel too tired. But those rare occasions that we are able to get out, and forgo the emotional binging, or whatever behaviour it is we end up regretting, it is the most empowering, and joyous feeling.

And for those times that you don't, and you do eat everything in your kitchen, cupboards, pantry, freezer etc, remember: IT'S OKAY!!! We all make mistakes, and we all go through times where our actions leave us feeling depressed, frustrated and regretful.

Just remember, that one day does not define you. Nor does one week, one month, or one year. Each day is a chance to make a fresh start, take a little better care of ourselves, learn to be in-touch with our feelings, and learn better ways to cope. Forgiveness of self and self-love are one of the healthiest habits I know.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree that removing yourself from a precarious situation is the best way to handle it! Sometimes after dinner I just keep snacking away on chocolate chips until I finally put them back in the kitchen and leave. And once I'm out of a 5 foot radius of the chocolate chips I am totally okay!!