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> Back to Healthy Eating Excerpts List

Healthy Eating Excerpt from Don't Weight

Lists for Life (2)

So, you are working on your "Lists for Life". You have taken a piece of paper and written the word "Decompression" at the top. Divide the paper into four sections. Write one of these time intervals in each of the four sections:

  1. Just a few minutes
  2. About 15 minutes
  3. About half an hour
  4. An hour or more

Now you have a framework and all you need to do is use it. As you go through your life, keep your mind open for things that you can do that would help you decompress. Be patient with yourself. Over time ideas will come to you. You will not think of ideas all at once. You especially will not think of them at the time that you need to decompress. So, as you live your daily life, when you think of something that would help you decompress and relax, write down your idea in the section of your paper that most represents how long it would take to do that activity. Here are some ideas for decompressing that my clients have shared with me:

(Just a few minutes)

  • Remove all the elastic from your body. In the summer, powder to cool-down. In the winter, lotion your skin to refresh. Then dress in cozy stay-at-home clothes.
  • Since dehydration makes people feel tired, get a drink of water or non-caffeine tea (iced or hot.)
  • Tell family or roommates that you need a few minutes ALONE, and mean what you say.
  • Pet your cat.
  • Pinch flowers in your garden.

Meet your needs with hobbies, friends, and enjoyable activities in your life.

(About 15 minutes)

  • Move through time and space, for your own pleasure, at your own pace. Take a gentle walk, in comfy shoes, just around your block or your yard. Breathe. Swing your arms. Feel the tension fall away like dust falls to the ground.
  • Read your favorite self-esteem boosting magazine like Radiance, BBW, or Mode.
  • Call a friend and talk about something that will help you feel better. You may want to vent about your day. You may not want to mention your day. Notice what would feel best to you.

You probably would not be able to think of all these things at the moment that you needed to decompress. However, you could look at a paper where all these ideas are already written down and CHOOSE which activity you will try today. You can make these same "Lists for Life" to use when you have "about a half hour" or "an hour or more" to spend on meeting your needs. Then you can look to these lists for ideas of alternate ways to meet your needs. You will find an activity that takes the amount of time you have available.

All you need to do is start to make your lists. Notice what you need: comfort, reward, distraction, or whatever. Keep your mind and heart open. When you discover what your needs are, make a list for each need. Put a word that represents your need at the top of each piece of paper where you will write your "Lists for Life". Notice how things affect you as you go through your days. Notice what meets your needs. As you find an activity that helps you calm down, decompress, feel comfort, vent anger, cheer up, (or whatever other needs you have), add that activity to your lists. You do not have to hold all these ideas in your head. You have them at your fingertips whenever you need them. When you use these lists you will meet your needs more effectively and you will feel more relaxed because you have so many constructive options from which to choose. Meet your needs through ACTIONS in your life, and you will meet your needs better than food ever could.

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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