By Roseville Lifestyle Consultant, Hayden

During this unprecedented time, are you finding yourself making extra trips to the pantry? Trust us when we tell you that you are not alone! Often, during high-stress situations, we search for foods that remind us of a time when our minds were more at ease. Unfortunately, these foods typically contain higher amounts of sugar, fat and sodium, and are not helping us reach our goals. Learn to identify and manage your stress to avoid mindless eating!

To better manage stress eating, take a look at our 5 tips for overall stress management:

1. Know your stressors: being able to identify your stressors takes you one step closer to overcoming them! Paying attention to circumstances that lead us into stress eating can help us better prepare for similar instances in the future. We are then able to know what will trigger us before we experience the negative effects on our health.

2. Get Up & Move: before turning to food, try getting in some activity! Exercise is a great form of stress relief. It allows us to step away from the current situation, clear our minds for a bit, and come back with a fresh perspective. For some activity from the comfort of your home, we have the Get Up & Move Challenge on our website! Each month, we feature a calendar of exercises that can be performed at home. We also have video tutorials to show you exactly how to perform the movements!

3. Ask for help: there’s no shame in asking for a hand if you’re feeling overwhelmed! Reach out to a trusted friend or family member and talk about how you’re feeling or even talk about a happy memory together. Sometimes just hearing the voice of a loved one is enough to brighten our moods.

4. Practice mindfulness: Yoga and meditation are great exercises to help us calm our minds. When our minds are calm, we are able to make smarter and healthier decisions. Slowing down when we eat and being more present when we are eating is another way to practice mindfulness that directly relates to food.

5. Eat intuitively: we also like to refer to this as being aware of our eating cues. Intuitive eating means listening to your body versus being impacted by outside stimuli to determine if we should eat. Practicing intuitive eating means that we are getting more in touch with when our bodies are satisfied and when we are actually hungry instead of seeking comfort. For more on intuitive eating and eating cues, check out our blog post titled: “Am I Hungry, or Am I Feeling?”

Just remember, during this trying time, it is okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed. That is a normal response to what is going on in our world. Stress, however, does not have to mean loss of progress! Take some time to  practice these tips, and you will be much more equipped to manage your stress before it impedes your progress toward your goals.