Sometimes, when we are experiencing a difficult day or season in our lives, we think we deserve to splurge a little. Maybe start our Monday morning with a few doughnuts, pick up some take-out after a long day of work, or enjoy a bag of chips on the couch, just to unwind. While it's definitely necessary to make sure we are taking care of ourselves daily and become especially nurturing when we're going through hard times, we need to sit and reflect on how we can truly honor ourselves. Those fleeting and temporary moments when we are enjoying the release we experience while eating something that's good, but not good for us, in the long run, you're really only masking the upset. Don't get me wrong. I know eating a treat during a stressful day can sometimes be extremely effective to make the situation subside, bringing you to a “happy place”. I used to have a tea and cookies break at 4 pm almost every day. But, clearly, that wasn’t something that was conducive to living a healthy life and it wasn’t really helping me since the "fix" was so short-lived.
My challenge for you: check in with yourself during one of those moments when you're seeking release with food, (or shopping, alcohol, etc.) and ask,
"What is really going on right now that is making me want to splurge on ______________?"
"How can I really serve myself in this time of need?"
When you think big picture, you will realize that there may be some inner work you need to focus on. If you need to let off steam or you’re feeling depressed, go exercise. If you are stressed and need an escape, try a new delicious clean recipe that will encourage a healthier lifestyle. Or, maybe, read or watch a funny TV show. Any positive replacement or real solution that will help serve that inner urge, not just mask it. Again, bigger picture. 10 minutes of enjoyment while eating a snack that has negative long-term effects on your health? Or, a healthy alternative that will not only quiet that inner voice and craving, but, also, will generate a positive outcome! (Weight loss, increased energy, clear mind, etc!)
If you’re on the go and want to enjoy a little refreshment, grab a water or tea and flavor it with lemon and a few drops of stevia. That may not sound like a treat but the more you train yourself to entertain alternatives and realize that “it” really is a temporary fix, you’ll see that "it" is really not much more than a placebo.
Those of you who are addicted to sugar and have candida overgrowth will realize something similar but it’s no joke that you could be experiencing withdrawals. In that case, remember that it’s not you who “needs” the sugar, it’s the bacteria that is wanting to multiply and wreak havoc in your system.
Taking this a step further, here is another technique that has helped me and continues to help me make good decisions. When I have plans to go to the gym or skip out on that pile of dishes or laundry, I check in with myself asking “Why don’t I want to get that done?” Most of the time, I will find that it has been a taxing week or the weather isn’t ideal and I think, “I want to treat myself to a work-free morning/evening.” And while sometimes it is extremely necessary to not only give yourself a little break but many little breaks or pauses throughout the day, I will realize, to really genuinely serve myself, I will get at least one of those tasks completed. Not only will it give me a sense of accomplishment, but, it will also keep my world of wellness in alignment and that’s a bigger favor that I can do for myself than having an overly restful morning or evening…that’s not even really restful because I’m thinking about what I should be doing.
Give it a try. You may surprise your body, mind, AND soul! : )