After reading lots of other blogs this morning, a common theme kept cropping up about looking after ourselves.
I haven’t been looking after myself at all well recently, particularly in the area of food. ( I’ve been pretty depressed and anxious so my motivation is low). So I’m writing this to help me get motivated and to FOCUS (I’m so distractible it’s untrue!).
1. Cooking- arghhhh!
One of the things that I always let go of first, when I’m struggling with my mood, is cooking. My disorganized brain can’t seem to cope with planning meals, getting all the needed groceries, dealing with “best before” dates, preparing food and trying to get everything to cook so that it’s all ready at the same time! It always feels like so much effort and time-consuming. I just can’t find the motivation when I’m depressed.
Other obstacles that crop up are anxiety/panic in the supermarket itself, planning meals for myself and my super-fussy boyfriend (who hates vegetables/potatoes/cheese & lots of other staples), my sugar-addiction ( trying not to buy chocolate/biscuits/cakes etc is extremely challenging), and the fact that I HATE touching raw meat/preparing it. I’d prefer to just buy pre-cooked meat all the time or go veggie. My partner is a real meat-eater though!
Actually, writing all these obstacles down has helped me to see that I really am up against some quite tough odds when it comes to shopping/cooking! No wonder I don’t want to deal with it when I’m depressed! Might start thinking about shopping online and having the food delivered.
2. Planning as a Defence Against Emotional Eating
I have a really strongly-ingrained emotional eating habit, developed over the repeated depressive episodes I’ve experienced, which I really feel I want to tackle now. The weight I have gained is now impacting my health and I want to change. I’m ready.
This morning I woke up and the first thing on my mind was to plan what I was going to eat this week. I know what’s good for my body, I know how to eat healthily, it’s just getting into the healthy habit again and staying motivated and focused! I even enjoy eating healthy food when I bother with it!
I was pretty pleased with myself for coming up with the plan and the shopping list. I feel like just making the plan has given me more control over what I will be eating. I like seeing it there. Most of the time I usually have no plan, wait until I’m really hungry and feel the strong need to eat straight away. So I eat junk because it’s quick and handy.
I’ve also been inspired by some of you, obviously healthy-eating, bloggers.
I need to remember I am worth spending the extra time on the plan meals and I deserve to nourish my body. Just because my partner doesn’t like something doesn’t mean I can’t eat it! I am worth it
Exercise I’m not too bad with as I walk my dog everyday: 30-60 minutes per day. It keeps me energised, I enjoy the fresh air and nature, and I often get blog post ideas too!
I need to increase my core strength though as I have a very weak lower back. My back is also pretty stiff when curved in towards me, but flexible the other way. I’m a bit out of balance. So I’m thinking I need to get back into yoga again.
Yoga is another thing I really enjoy once I find the motivation to do it- it’s that initial burst of effort I need to get started that eludes me! (Think I’ll try the Bach Flower Remedy Hornbeam for this. It helps when you become tired at the thought of doing something, but once you’re started you’re OK).
4. Doing Things We Love
Again this is where I struggle with finding that initial burst of energy for the first spurt of effort needed, as well as the initial motivation. So when I get depressed I just drop these activities fairly quickly:
Playing piano, singing, drawing, browsing through my many over-sized books for art inspiration, meditating, listening to my extensive music collection!
Maybe if I plan small chunks of time on each one, that will seem more manageable and less like a gargantuan task!
Yoga: Not Just An Exercise by Psychology Today
Emotional Eating and Weight Loss by WebMD
Emotional Eating: When Diets Don’t Work by Health Habits
CBT For Depression by BPD Recovery– This is actually about Activity Scheduling whilst Depressed.