Ways to Curb Stress Eating | When You Just Want to Eat That Donut

Ways To Curb Stress Eating | Beth Gets Brave

**I feel Iike I need to add a little disclaimer up here before I get going. I am not a doctor, nor any sort of health professional. I only know what works for me in regards to stress eating. Consult a doctor if you need to. Also, I’m not telling you to skip meals or not eat anything ever! Eat when you are hungry and recognize when you are not.**

It’s no secret that I have a lot going on in my life right now. (Well, it’s kind of a secret. I don’t really get into specifics.) And with that comes enormous amounts of stress and anxiety, on top of my usual stress and anxiety. My formal diagnosis is moderate social anxiety, moderate anxiety, and mild depression.

I’ve been a stress eater for most of my life. It didn’t help anything that my mom bought lots of junk food so it was always there. When I got in trouble (or feared getting in trouble) I’d sneak a bag of Cheetos into my room. Or a can of soda. Or just snack constantly all day.

Up until a few months ago, I did the same, off and on. It wasn’t good for my weight, skin nor my health. During the worst of my situation, I stopped eating most days. Barely getting enough water. Anxiety and fear cause me to overeat/eat when I’m not really hungry, but they also cause me to stop eating and avoid food altogether.

I’m getting my stuff together not only for me and my own health, but for the three little copycats that live with me. I’ve been noticing that my kids are starting to sneak snacks when they really shouldn’t be hungry. Here are some thing that work for me when I want to eat all the things.

Drink a glass of water

You can put some lemon in it, ice, berries, essential oils – whatever you want. For me, I like ice and a straw. I feel like I drink more water using a straw (less work maybe?) I’ve heard that sometimes when you think you are hungry, you really just need water. I aim for 200oz a day, but usually top out at around 140-160oz. Get a pretty water bottle if you need to. I have a 64oz Rubbermaid water container that I have on my desk to fill my 24oz water bottle with when I’m running low.

Know your triggers

I talked about this above. Mine are fear and anxiety. It is brought on more often when my kids are gone. I tend not to eat much, if at all, on those days. I know as time goes by, those days will get easier to deal with, but for now, I set reminders on my phone to eat a snack or two. Some get triggered by anger. Others sadness. Figure out what it is for you and learn how to deal with it in another way.

Try meditation

I recently downloaded the Headspace app to get rid of the tight, painful feeling in my chest (Gabby Bernstein says that’s where I keep all of my fear, anxiety and stress.) I’ve done several (short 3-5 minute) sessions since then and I think it’s working? I’m not quite sure yet. I’m definitely going to add this to my morning routine, since I’m up at 5 am anyway. There are several other mindfulness/meditation apps. I encourage you to try them out and find one that works for you. So far, I’ve only used free ones. (In all honesty, I kind of love the voice of the narrator on Headspace…)

Which brings me to…

Exercise

Get outside if you can. It’s nearly winter here in northern Minnesota, so I’m trying to go for more walks. I’ve never been a runner, but I may take up jogging next spring. Also, try some yoga. There are some yoga workouts in the Sworkit app that I’m going to start incorporating to my bedtime routine – and I’m also going to get my kids involved. I’m finding lately that excercise is the answer to quite a few of my worries.

Get a new habit

Emotional/stress eating is pretty much a habit. So to break it, you need to replace it with something else. I’m replacing mine with exercise and drinking water. I use the nifty little habit tracker in my inkWELL Press planner each month.

InkWELL Press Planner
Photo via inkWELL Press

Call someone

If you really just feel like eating everything in your house, pick up the phone and call (or text, if you hate talking on the phone like I do) someone who can cheer you up but also not shame you if you do end up eating that whole tub of ice cream in one sitting.

Just Don’t Buy Junk Food

It’s cheaper, in the long run, to just leave the crap at the store. Buy the little squares of dark chocolate, some chocolate covered almonds, fruits, veggies, whatever sorts of healthy things you like and stock your house with those.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If you happen to eat that king-size candy bar, oh well. It was just one. Realize that you can choose to try again. Make a better choice next time. It will be ok!

Ways To Curb Stress Eating | Beth Gets Brave

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Currently Reading in September

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave

I don’t have much free time these days, but in between assignments, and in the middle of the night, I like to read. I’ve been working on these books for awhile but I’m hoping to finish them this month.

To Be Read

The first is Lord of the Shadows. (You can google these. I don’t have affiliate links or anything.) I started reading the Mortal Instruments series a few years ago, and just don’t want their storylines to end. I had a hard time getting back into this particular story but it’s picking up.

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave (4)

Caraval. I will admit I¬†have not started this one yet. It’s sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to read it. It’s super popular on Twitter and Instagram, in the different book/writer/author/instragrammer circles. It sounds really interesting though!

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave (4)

This is another one I’m having trouble getting into. I think it’s because it’s not my preferred genre (I like a little more…supernatural…flair to my books). But look at the cover! So cute!

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave (4)

The Universe Has Your Back. Wow. I’m only a few chapters in, but I may have to buy this book so I can highlight the crap out of it. I’m taking so many notes, and have done some of the meditations. It’s time to make a change, and I welcome it.

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave

My She Reads Truth Bible (I am linking this one just so you can see how pretty they are. There are a few cover colors to choose from and each book has a handwritten quote or drawing at the beginning.) I need peace. I am craving peace. But I am still so lost. I am hoping to join a Bible Study at my local church this fall to help me understand what I’m reading and apply it to my life.

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave (4)

What’s on your fall reading list?

Currently Reading in September - Beth Gets Brave

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First Day of College | Hopes & Fears

First Day of College | Hopes & Fears

I’m finally doing it – going back to school. I’m more than a little nervous – about all sorts of things. Will I be able to handle it? Can I really be a single mom going to college full-time? Can I write all the papers, take all the tests, give all the presentations? Probably. Actually, my therapists say “YES. YOU CAN. AND YOU WILL.” So I guess I’ll be fine ūüôā I need to do this.

I’m in a different place now than I was 12 years ago. Yeah, I’m single again, and I’m definitely not looking for a relationship, just like last time. But I have three kids depending on me now, looking up to me and how I deal with school. I’m hoping to find a desk we can all use after school, during homework time. Neither kid had homework last year, which didn’t sit well with me. So I’m hoping that their teachers this year assign them some sort of work we can do together. Setting up a good homework routine is high on my list of to-dos in the first month of school. Setting goals will be KEY in my being successful.

On a lighter note, school supplies! I first noticed them at Target the first weekend of July. It took a lot of restraint not to buy everything right then. And the stuff in the Dollar Spot? So cute! I think I’m going to have to rearrange the living room soon to make a “school spot” and decorate it. I ended up buying four black and white notebooks (on sale 4 for $3). That’s the extent of my school supplies, other than my ridiculously overpriced used textbooks. I’ll buy more when I know what I need. *Note to self – you need a flash drive!

I’ll be using my inkWELL Press Academic Planner for this school year. I have been using it since the end of July and it already holds my older kids’ school schedule and Hannah’s preschool schedule. I go back and forth on which pens I use. Sometimes, I use InkJoy Gel pens¬†(despite the bad reviews – I have never had an issue with any of mine), sometimes the Sharpie pens. Most of the time, I just use a pen from the bank, the doctor or a hotel. I don’t think I’ll get all fancy with my study notes like everyone on StudyBlr¬†though. Way too time-consuming.

As I go through my school year, I’m hoping to learn some tips and tricks to share with other single moms who are in school or want to go back but are hesitant. I put off my dreams for twelve years because I was told I was just a mom and that’s who I had to be. I wasn’t “allowed” to do anything else. I could have hobbies, sure. And I did, like ¬†photography, writing and reading. I didn’t think I could ever contribute anything meaningful to society, or accomplish goals other than washing dishes, doing laundry and cleaning up vomit. I have goals (some are pretty lofty!) and I can still be a mom – a good mom – while living out my dreams.

None of the links are affiliate links. I don’t do that at this time. I just genuinely love the products!

First Day of College | Hopes & Fears

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Fall Semester Goals

Fall Semester Goals | Beth Gets Brave

It’s official – I’m a college student. The semester starts today. I was up at 2 am, looking through all of the online info that my professors uploaded. And wondering what I got myself into. Anyways. That’s a post for another day.

I’m a goal-maker. But I will also be the first to tell you that I rarely follow through with those goals. I can type out a list of a hundred things I want to accomplish, and that list will just sit in my files forever, completely forgotten the moment I hit save.

I am actively working on that issue right now, by setting small, easily accomplished goals and checking them off. I’m approaching college in the same way – setting long-range goals and breaking them into smaller goals so I’ll have success. I’ll be re-working these goals later on and doing a mid-semester check-in.

Here are my goals for the next five months:

  • my kids – they are my first priority. Making sure they are happy, well-fed and well-taken care of is top of my list. My going back to school will be a big change for us all – mom will have homework and papers to write – but I’m hoping that when the big kids see mom doing homework they will put up less of a fight (we’ll see).
  • get at least Bs in all my classes¬†–¬†This is aiming kind of low, but it has been a long time since I’ve had to write for credit. The thought of having to format papers with some sort of style (AP? See? I don’t even know!) is a little daunting. I’m also taking a creative writing class so I’ll have to write some poetry for grades! Didn’t really think that thought when I registered for that class.
  • use my planner all the time – I have an academic year InkWell Press Planner that I’m using for school this semester. I went through it a few weeks ago, adding in days off and college activities listed in the school’s calendar. I might color code classes and assignments, but I don’t know if I have the patience for that. It’s why bullet journaling never worked out for me.
  • follow workout/morning/evening/self-care/house cleaning routines – I need to make some charts to hang up around the house to make it easy for us all to remember exactly what our jobs are. I’ll be using a cleaning calendar from Clean Mama (used it in the past with success) and I’ll be sharing my other routines later.
  • set up Google calendar with my class info – I use the calendar on my phone all the time. If a reminder doesn’t pop up on it, I probably won’t do whatever I’m supposed to do. I do have these calendars color-coded!
  • blog about my experiences – I plan on writing about college from the perspective of a single mom. We’ll see how consistent I can be.
  • make one friend at school and make time to get together outside of school¬†–¬†This is going to be tough, considering I don’t really like talking to people. It does help to know that I won’t be the oldest person in my classes¬†or the only one with kids.
  • work hard – Succeeding in college, being the best mom I can be and adulting all at the same time will be tough. But I’ve made it through 100% of my hardest days, so I know I can do this.

Fall Semester Goals | Beth Gets Brave

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When You’re In A Bad Mood

When You're in a Bad Mood | Beth Gets Brave

It’s hard, day in and day out, doing the same things. Feeling the same feelings. Fighting the same battles. I used to have a really tough time getting out this hole – deep, dark, bottomless but I’ve learned some tips to make my bad days seem…not so bad.

DRINK WATER

It’s obviously the healthiest beverage choice and the cheapest. I keep a 64oz container of water in the fridge, ready to go when I need it. Staying hydrated is important anyway – but this is the best choice when you are grumpy. Caffeine makes me jittery and hurts my stomach, which doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, no matter how good it may taste at the time.

GRATITUDE

I am grateful for so much in my life. My kids. My family. My friends (it still makes me smile, writing friends. I spent many years alone.)¬†After all that’s happened, I look back on how far I’ve come – and my kids – and remember that God used that experience to shape me into what I am now – and what I have yet to become. Sit down and make a list of everything you are grateful for today.

MUSIC

Listening to some music usually helps me feel better. I use Spotify¬†and have certain playlists I go to when I’m feeling icky. My current favorites are the Moana soundtrack (especially¬†Shiny)¬†and my Christian radio playlist. Unfinished by Mandisa and Hard Love by NeedToBreathe are some really motivating ones!

EXERCISE

I hate exercise. I hate being outside. I hate being sweaty. But there’s something about moving, burning calories, that makes me feel so much better when I’m done. My current go-to is walking, but I’ve been thinking about trying yoga – I know my kids would love it – and the benefits are endless.¬†Do you have any tips, YouTube channels or advice on how to get started with yoga, especially as someone who is not flexible at all?

MAKE A LIST

Sometimes, I make a simple to-do list, adding things like: eat breakfast, wash the dishes, take a shower. When life gets crappy, seeing even routine things crossed off a physical list can be powerful.

JOURNAL

Write it all out. Get it down on paper, or type it out on your computer or phone. It can help you sort through what’s making you so grumpy. It’s like venting to a friend. Or…

CALL SOMEONE

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Most of the time, they will be more than willing to listen and they may even have some suggestions. Bonus points if they meet with you in person. Sometimes, when you feel crappy, you don’t want to be alone.

GET A HOBBY

Find something you genuinely love to do. For me, it’s taking photos of my kids, writing YA paranormal fiction and reading through the Harry Potter series.

When all else fails, lounge on the couch and binge-watch some Parks & Rec or Supernatural. Sometimes, you just need to feel crappy for a little while. Just don’t let it go on too long!

 

When You're in a Bad Mood | Beth Gets Brave

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What I’m Listening To

What I'm Listening To | Beth Gets Brave

I’m probably really late to the party, but I just downloaded Audible and Podcasts onto my phone recently. I signed up for the 30-day trial to Audible last night and got two free audiobooks.

Audiobooks

Next up on my list to listen to:

Podcasts

I’ll be writing a follow-up post, with my thoughts on these audiobooks and podcasts soon!

What are your favorite podcasts and audiobooks? What should I add to my list?

What I'm Listening To | Beth Gets Brave

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My Journey to Brave

Beth Gets Brave

I was recently inspired to get my s*** together from one of my favorite memory keepers, Ali Edwards. She wrote a post about her wellness journey and it made me think about my own life and everything I have going on right now. As focused as I am on my kids and getting them through this, I know I need to take care of myself too. Up until now, I’ve done a pretty poor job of that.

I eat too much junk and drink too much hipster coffee (even though I’m not a hipster). I binge-watch way too much Parks & Rec and read Harry Potter too many times. I don’t drink near enough water and don’t really like being outside (deer flies are the devil).

I’m negative and pessimistic. Every situation is the end of the world, and anxiety pretty much runs my life. I don’t have any really close friends and it’s social anxiety’s fault. Depression keeps me from feeling okay about my body and my life.

But that’s not how I want my kids to grow up. That’s not what I want for us – for me. We deserve better.

To me, being brave means stepping up – Rising Strong – and taking care of myself and my kids. Taking back control of all the things in my life and letting go of the ones that don’t matter anymore.

I am working on a solid plan right now to improve all the important areas of my life. I want to be honest and open about my struggles and triumphs, because I was silent for so long. I hope you’ll join me!

Beth Gets Brave

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