Do you need some comfort?
As the weather gets cold and grey, our attraction for comfort foods can go off the chart. Stuck inside, fewer opportunities to connect with nature and its nourishing energy, and shorter daylight can all add up to lower moods, less motivation and even some sadness as we disconnect from the warmth and activity of summer and fall.
Cravings for comfort foods are high this season! We often choose sweets or salty, starchy foods and if we are not careful we can get locked into a habit where we sooth ourselves with our favourite comfort food without even noticing that we ate the whole thing. Eating comfort foods will shift our brain chemistry so we feel happy, connected and, well, like we are accomplishing something. The brain chemicals associated with happiness, connection and accomplishment are serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine, and they are what we want when we crave comfort foods.
The only problem is that our chosen food, whether it’s chocolate, cake or chips, can give us a short-term boost of happy brain chemicals, will eventually leave us feeling flat and needing another serving, even if we are not really hungry.
Most comfort foods are actual substitutes for a deeper need. And if we can be aware of what that need is, we can meet the need for happiness, connection or accomplishment in ways that meet the need that is hidden under the cravings. AND when we do eat our favourite holiday food, we can eat it with presence and enjoyment!
EFT/Tapping is my ‘go to’ to process those snacking urges and helps me feel a bit more like our Zen Santa up there. A few moments of tapping can calm me down and put me into a place where I can see what I am really craving. Maybe it’s some quiet time, a conversation with a friend or maybe I really am hungry and need to eat! When we can be present to the real need behind the urge, we can make choices that don’t set us up for a shame/blame cycle of self judgement.
I know we are all way too busy this season, but I’m hoping a little tapping can reduce your stress and add some nourishing self-care time to your holidays. What will really nourish you this season?
And here’s a little gift for you to help you relax and be more present to the sparkle of the season.
This is a short meditation exercise to help us build a place of resilience that we can connect to at any time. There is a pdf handout describing the process as well as a recording. Here are the links to the FREE Resources:
What Lights You Up? Meditation Recording
What Lights You Up? PDF