This post is a companion article for chapter 8 of my book Mind and Body Wellness: Transformative tools to manage stress, create space for health, and live with purpose. The chapter is about our relationship with food and managing cravings. However, cravings come in many forms. The desire to numb out after a stressful day can lead not only to mindlessly snacking, but also scrolling through social media, playing video games, binge watching a new tv series, and so on. All of these are attempts to fill the part of us that needs nurturing. I’m not saying that any of those activities are inherently wrong, but I would like to encourage us to dig a little deeper and ask, “What am I truly craving?” Is it food? Sleep? Companionship? Creativity?
A good way to brainstorm ideas is to create a mind map of self-care ideas. Self-care is a popular word in our culture right now. When I think of self-care, I don’t mean some highly indulgent behavior. I’m looking at our innate needs and desires that may be getting overlooked because of work, stress, and other commitments. In my self-care map, I have included these categories: rest, social, spiritual, nature, movement, and art (create). Over time I have realized that I also should add education or personal growth as its own category. Within each category, I list ways to fulfill that particular need. Personal growth might include listening to a podcast, going to a seminar, reading a book, taking an online class, etc. How you fill out your mind map is highly personal. I encourage you to take the time to journal out these ideas, and revert back to your mind map when the temptation to fall back into old patterns surfaces. Notice I said when, not if. Old patterns will resurface so let’s be equipped with tools to choose well.
I create health with each choice I make.