But are you really bored?
It’s a crazy time for a lot of us right now. So many are working from home. So many are home schooling their kids. So many changes are taking place. It’s a new normal. It’s not what we are used to.
Many of us are having a hard time not eating all the things. It’s hard right now. We are in this process of wanting to change our bodies or have been changing for a while, but now everything is different.
It’s super easy to go about your day and all of a sudden find yourself in the kitchen with no recollection why you even walked in there. And then you’re in the fridge, or the pantry or the cupboards. Are you hungry? Most of the time, no. Are you bored? Yes, you think to yourself.
But are you really?
Are you really bored or are you trying to fill the feelings space to avoid feeling them. Trying to numb those feelings. Trying to distract those feelings. Filling the feelings space with food. Filling the feelings space with your phone. Filling the feelings space with alcohol or cigs.
We all have done it and many of us continue to do it. Instead of just hanging out with our feelings, we numb, we distract, we defer, so we don’t have to deal with whatever is there gnawing at us.. The reality of ourselves. The reality of figuring shit out. Why is it so hard for so many to do? Why is it so hard to stop numbing?
The eating. The stress. The boredom. The fear. The anxiety. The eating (yes again). The baking. What are we looking for? We are looking for comfort. We think the food is going to comfort us.
We need to eat. No question about that. Food is everywhere. Food is comfort. We have been conditioned since childhood.
When you were little what was used for comfort?
When you were being naughty what was used to make you behave?
When your parents just wanted you to play away from them, what was used to make you go away?
When you felt sad, what was used to comfort you?
When you felt happy, what was used to comfort you?
Because of the unknown that is prevalent in our society right now, many of us are turning to food. We are looking for that comfort or that numbing. We are chasing the -make me feel better- feeling. We want it and we are doing anything to get it. The problem is, it is fleeting and then we feel like crap. We got that dopamine hit to our brains that made us feel good for a few minutes and then we come back down to the reality. The reality of knowing that wasn’t the answer. The reality of being pissed at ourselves because we ate all the things and now we feel like crap. The reality of not knowing how to feel better. The reality of not being able to just sit there in our feelings. It’s a harsh reality.
This is where the work on ourselves can get really hard. It can be ugly and dirty and disgusting. It is hard to change and it’s hard to face that reality.
Well okay, so how does a person feel their feelings? When you find yourself feeling like you are going to overeat or you find yourself trying to find something to “comfort” you or give you the “make me feel better” hit or doing something else to numb the feelings hole, think of the Meatloaf song, Paradise By the Dashboard Light – this line: Stop Right There!! Stop and think about what you are doing. Why do you want to numb? Acknowledge those feelings – be it anxiety, or anger or boredom or whatever. Take a few breaths and then ask yourself if that is really how you want to treat yourself. Then do what you feel is the best thing for you at that time, in that moment, in that feelings space and do it. And then tell yourself thank you for showing up for yourself. (This is similar to a technique I learned through Kelly Coffey’s Pleasure Principles course.)
It takes time. It takes work. It takes grace and gratitude and it takes showing up for yourself.