adayinaz

Strategies for coping with a bad day?

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Hey all!

First post here.  My husband and I have been doing our first round of the Whole30 together and are currently on day 27!  Woohoo!  Overall things have been going great and we're mostly feeling positive about the program.

Sometimes we have bad days though.

Today is one of those days for me.  Some work conflicts combined with worries about a family member have me feeling really "down" and awfully tense.  It's exactly the kind of situation where I would have turned to food to help me relax.  The odd thing is, after nearly 4 weeks on the program, I don't actually even have that urge to turn to food anymore.  (Yay for non scale victories!)  BUT... that does still leave me feeling tense, distracted, and irritable with some heavy deadlines hanging over my head and not enough time to take a step away and relax.

What are some coping strategies that have worked for those of you who, like me, have struggled with emotional eating?  I'm at the point where music that usually relaxes me is giving me a headache, I'm snapping at people who I love, and my productivity at work is grinding to a halt.  What should I try?

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Same issues adayinaz as far as my food being my stress/irritability relief.  Sometimes, I have to sit down and think about what would make me feel better. THe following are usually waht I might come up with:   Just go lay down for a couple of minutes in my room (I have blackout curtains) and breath, take a walk outside with sunshine and fresh air (and I mean a slow, calm walk not exercise.  If you have a dog, even better option.),  call someone I know will let me vent and then help me logically talk through what's bothering me, set aside an evening where it's just me and a season of Great British Bake Off (seriously any show that is stress free), go ahead and destroy something (write down what's got me angry/upset and then shred it, burn it, whatever).

I also found that the majority of the things I was stressed out became only harder because I didn't take a moment to break out of my tunnel vision of anxiety/irritation over it.

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Journaling about your feelings, or talking to someone about them. Exercise can be helpful. If you're angry and stressed, activity where you can throw things, hit things, or make lots of noise may help burn off a little anger. Just be sure you do these things in a safe setting. 

About not having time to step away and relax -- is that literally true? Because for most people it really isn't. You may not be able to take days off, but can you step outside for five minutes, or find a quiet corner to sit and just be still and quiet? Sometimes if you take a few minutes, your productivity when you come back makes up for the few minutes you stepped away. 

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Thanks you guys for those tips.  While helpful, they weren't really what I was looking for in terms of "in the moment" tips.  Exercising/watching TV/going for a walk isn't going to help me in that moment when I'm in the middle of my workday.  I guess I was expecting more along the lines of "have a cup of tea and think happy thoughts" though ideally with more substance.  I'm not a generally angry person, and within half an hour to an hour I knew I would feel better.  Just needed to get over that hump.

In terms of not being able to step outside - @ShannonM816 I hear what you're saying and typically I'd agree.  My job isn't subject to normal labor laws though.  I get paid by the minute - which means that every minute I step away is one less minute I get paid.  I have to be really careful about how many breaks I take or how long they are.

Anyone else have other "in the moment" coping ideas?

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I know you mentioned it to be tongue-in-cheek, but "have a cup of tea" is my main suggestion.  I like to have peppermint tea and I put my face in the steam coming off the tea while it steeps and smell it deeply with my eyes closed. I instantly feel tension release through that. 

 

As for getting away for a moment: I used to work in a more stressful job where I was constantly being bombarded with questions and requests, and sometimes to get a moment to myself I would go to the bathroom.  I would sit in the stall and take a few deep breaths. Count 4 seconds in, and 4 seconds out. Don't think about anything else but your breathing. Do this for 1-2 minutes and then go back to work feeling more zen. If you can sit at your desk (or whereever your workplace is) without being bothered, then you could do it there (just close your eyes so you aren't looking at your computer screen). 

 

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I think this is what I'll try next time.  1-2 minutes of deep breathing + some peppermint tea actually does sound really relaxing.

Honestly it turns out there was a hormonal component to that day too - which makes it a double win that I didn't go running for some chocolate!

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