How to Combat Emotional Eating and Restless Sleep
I've been really pushing myself over the last couple of months. Using my time wisely, and being really rigorous when it comes to my consistency (it's something I struggle with). I've seen some great things happen because of my drive and work ethic. I'm getting stronger, physically, my networks and content are growing, I'm getting more and more engaged with my audience. But a couple of things have been alluding me throughout these last couple of months; HEALTHIER EATING and RESTFUL SLEEP. Why? Because I've been stressed....
TRANSPARENT MOMENT: I've been really feeling like crap. I'm going through probably the most trying season of my entire life. You've probably been there before. You may be in it right now. No one is immune to the struggle. And when you're a creative, trials can suck all the creativity out of you, if you're not careful (hence, my blogging hiatus this summer). Where I previously was averaging 6-7 hours of sleep, for the last six months, I've been averaging 2-3 hours. Subconsciously, my mind is always on. Filled with confusion, hurt, worry, fear. All the things that have absolutely no benefit to your life have been on my mind. It's not that I'm going to sleep super late, although there are many nights I do, I just am not getting restful, sleep. If you're struggling to wake up in the mornings or you're more tired when you wake up than when you went to sleep, you're probably challenged with restless sleep, too. I totally believe stress can and will make you physically sick. It can and will kill you if you allow it to. With all this restless sleeping and negative thoughts running through my head, guess what else I've been doing? Eating like crap. Why? Because I've been emotional. (*sidenote - I have suffered from depression and anxiety in my past for years, and I thank God that I'm not in that same boat anymore. I am managing myself and my thoughts much better and healthier. If you're suffering from depression or think you may be, PLEASE go get help. There is NO shame in seeking help, and don't let anyone tell you to "just pray about it". God created therapists for a reason).
Ladies, you've been there. Bad breakup, waiting for a health report, argument with a friend or family member. Your emotions run the gamut; from sad, to pissed, to furious, to confused. And nothing slows down that emotional roller coaster like a good pint of ice cream, chocolate, or a juicy burger and fries (a lot of times it may also be a cute purse or pair of shoes).
For me though, it's been those things, but a lot of times, it's eating little to nothing at all, which is just as bad. Sure, I've been working out consistently 5-6 days a week, but I know with proper nutrition, I could be at an even higher level. I say this so that you know that I have struggles to. But I don't let them overpower me completely.
So, for all you emotional eaters and restless sleepers, I've figured out a way that helps me to stay on track and not beat myself up if I lose focus.
SET YOUR DAY UP FOR POSITIVITY AND SUCCESS
This is the holy grail of my method to combat restless sleep and emotional eating. When I prep myself the night before for the next day, I literally cannot be any more efficient. There is no way that I am behind unless I just sit there. Also, in this holy grail part of my method, I am aware to show gratefulness. Are you thanking God each morning you wake up and before you go to sleep? Gratefulness is something that so many of us take for granted. Choose three different things, several times throughout the day, to acknowledge gratefulness towards. We tend to focus on too many #firstworldproblems that don't even matter in the grand scheme of things. After this, you can take advantage of the prep work that you did and cruise on through your day, because now, you don't even have to think about it.
MAKE SURE YOU'RE STILL GETTING SOME TYPE OF EXERCISE/PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
If you are feeling down and going through hard trials, there's nothing like a great workout to pick you up. Working out releases endorphins that make you happy. BUT, if you are experiencing burn out, don't try to go balls to the wall with your workout. Continue to be active, but don't try to do anything that would require your adrenaline to get too pumped up. This can cause major fatigue. A walk, a bike ride, or some activity to help bring your stress levels down will suffice when you're in burn out mode.
SCHEDULE ANY AND ALL ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR DAY AND WEEK
Don't try to conquer the world each day. Have a list of things to do for the week, but go for 3-5 things to complete each day. Many coaches say tackle your most difficult tasks first thing in the morning, and I 100% agree. Well, I'm going to go a step further and say not only tackle your most difficult tasks first thing, but try to get them done earlier in the week, too, if you can help it. This makes for a less stressful end of the day and less stressful end of the week. I mean, you have 7 whole days. The work will get done, if you prioritize and know when to turn off. No one ever said that to be successful, you need to be #teamnosleep. Wind down by journaling, listening to mellow, easy going music. Emotional eating doesn't solve the issue you're dealing with. Yes, it may feel good for a moment, but after that, the food digests, and because it's probably not healthy food fueling your system, some of it will turn to fat, causing weight gain. Lack of sufficient rest will cause weight gain, too. And to boot, any fitness gains you're trying to make will be in vain because your body isn't able to rest, recover, and rebuild.
Make sure to give yourself exactly what YOU need in your day to thrive. Combat your stress and restless sleep by calming your mind to get sufficient restful sleep, adopt a healthy lifestyle that doesn't cause burn out and worry, and your body will begin to crave more healthy foods and you will avoid emotional eating.