If you’ve found yourself eating when you’re not really hungry, you might have caught yourself in the midst of stress eating. As a caregiver, your emotions can get in the way of healthy habits you’re trying to follow. That can sabotage your ability to keep caregiving if you’re not aware of what’s happening.
Journal about How You’re Feeling
If you’re eating more or eating foods that aren’t as healthy for you because you’re stressed, you need to examine your emotions more closely. Journaling is a perfect way for you to do that. Even if you’re not sure what to write at first, keep at it. Just write down what happened on a given day or how you’re feeling. Eventually you’re going to start getting to the root of the matter if you keep at it.
Start Keeping a Food Log
Something else that you can start doing is to track what exactly you’re eating. You don’t need to make any changes at first, just start noticing what you’re eating. As you keep journaling about your feelings and tracking your food intakes, you’re going to start to notice how you’re feeling right there in the moment as you’re eating. This may be a new experience for you, because stress eating is usually a mindless activity.
Find Someone You Can Talk to about What’s Going On
Being a caregiver often means that you’re isolated. This contributes to stress, of course, and it can contribute to other emotional issues, too. It helps if you have someone you trust that you can talk to. If you’ve got a friend you can trust, that’s a good option. Other good options are support groups, both general and for caregivers. You may also want to consider finding a therapist you can talk to about what you’re going through.
Make an Appointment with Your Doctor
Something you don’t want to forget is that sometimes stress and emotional eating can occur because of undiagnosed health issues. Hormonal changes are just one example of something that can cause you to crave certain foods or to have no “off” button for your appetite. It never hurts to talk to your own doctor and determine if there’s something else happening that’s undermining your eating habits.
Dealing with your stress properly means also tackling any side effects of your stress, including stress eating and other issues. Facing these head on allows you to keep on being a caregiver.