One of the main reasons we do emotional eating is because we’re feeling stretched to the breaking point. One of the best ways to combat that is with regular, intentional self care.
But many of us don’t know how to do that. And in fact, we may be used to thinking of food and drink indulgences as “self care.” Yeah, it can make you feel better in the short run, but it doesn’t help turn your heart and mind in a more positive direction.
We often think that the most efficient way to fix our disordered eating is by attacking the eating part of the cycle. But in reality, the most effective way to turn the tide is to begin to practice regular self care, which helps even out our emotions and stop the cycle of self-punishment. (I’ve written about this before: 5 steps to address emotional eating; How emotional eating keeps you stuck.)
Here are 25 ways to practice self-care — and only one of them involves food!
- Schedule yourself a daily appointment to watch the sunrise or sunset.
- Go for a goal-free walk at your favorite time of day.
- Wander a flea market, book store, garden center, or hardware store. Your choice.
- Put your phone on airplane mode for an hour or two.
- Add to your gratitude journal – or start one.
- Play with your favorite child or pet.
- Take a guilt-free nap.
- Organize something.
- Wander a garden.
- Re-read old journal entries.
- Write without expectations or self-criticism.
- Read an old favorite book.
- Forgive someone. You might start with yourself.
- Make found poetry.
- Watch inspiring videos. Or funny ones, that just make you laugh.
- Dance to your favorites.
- Cook something that pleases your soul and nourishes your body.
- Spend time in a hammock or lounge chair (weather permitting). Tune into the sounds of nature around you.
- Go stargazing; get out of the city, if necessary.
- Harvest some flowers and/or foliage from your yard, if possible. Arrange them.
- Schedule time with an authentic friend.
- Read some Psalms and pray.
- Take a soaking bath while listening to a favorite book, podcast, or music. (With favorite scents in the water or in a candle, if that’s your thing.)
- Get to bed in time to get eight hours of sleep.
What are your favorite ways to practice self care? Have you seen it make a difference in your health?
Thanks to my Instagram friends for adding to this list: @afreshattitude, @cheesegirlpa, @corinnescleanjourney, @lynettesart, @my_crazy_low_carb_life
Woman outdoors: by Alexandre Croussette on Unsplash
Kansas sunset: by Jana Snyder
Foliage in vase: by Heather Mount on Unsplash