The other day, I was lonely, angry, exhausted, hurt, and generally disgusted with life. So I did what I often do: I went straight for the cupcakes. (I have found that pizza and ice cream are viable substitutes as well.)
For a split second, I felt much better. But then I felt much worse. It’s a self-defeating habit. It’s not healthy. It makes me feel bad about myself. And the problem is still there.
But self-soothing is vital. When you are under stress, it’s good to come up with coping skills. But it’s also important not to be self-destructive. Turning to drugs or alcohol or out of control spending or red velvet cake is not the way to go if you really want to feel better in the long run.
When you’re experiencing stress, try to be kind to yourself rather than doing something that will ultimately feel more like torture. Here are some suggestions that I’m going to try to take instead of consuming sugar and/or grease:
Take a bath.
Take a walk.
Talk to a friend. Ask for a pep talk.
Elevate your feet.
Relax in a hammock.
Read a good book.
Hug your dog.
Netflix and chill.
Listen to music.
Get a massage.
Journal it out.
Work in your garden.
Create some art.
Do something nice for someone else.
Feed the birds.
Do your favorite hobby.
Ride your bike.
Wrap yourself in something soft and warm.
Light a candle.
Walk barefoot in your yard.
Go swimming. Float.
I think the trick is to identify when you need to be soothed, and then take charge of what that soothing looks like. Yeah, coffee ice cream may seem like the easy way out of your mood, but in the end, it’s not the best celebration of you. Choose a healthier path to calm your nerves so that you can be present and capable of finding a solution to your stress.
I think this is great advice. Now I need to take it. Wish me luck!
(Barring all of the above, maybe I should force the cupcakes upon the source of my stress instead of eating them myself. That would be satisfying. Maybe I’m on to something, here!)