Weight Loss Support - Ways to comfort/relax other than food

10-22-2012, 06:48 PM
What do you guys do to help soothe yourself during a stressful time instead of using food?

I have an exam coming up that I REALLY need to study for, and I'm planning on spending a few hours at school a couple days each studying. But I am so NOT a studier usually, and it's really making me anxious. This is something I would normally use binge eating to get me through easily-- eat myself into a stupor until I'm happy and can't really move and don't mind studying for a while, then repeat and repeat-- but I really don't want to do that this time!

So, I'd love to hear any ideas for something I can do while I'm studying, or between study sessions, to make myself happy and relaxed a bit.

Arctic Mama
10-22-2012, 06:51 PM
I knit and play piano when I need a break, or read a book that I enjoy.

10-22-2012, 06:54 PM
My 2 mood boosters that get me happy and relaxed are tea and exercise (not together, obviously...too difficult). I can polish off a pot of tea like nobody's business and I use Splenda to sweeten it if I need it sweetened. It's warm and soothing and makes me relaxed. The very ritual of making tea (for me) elevates it past a simple cup and more of an event. I love it! Green and Black tea have the most caffeine so if that's an issue for you, try herbal, rooibos, oolong, or white. Oolong is FABULOUS for digestion and though I'm not a fan of the taste, makes me feel physically very "zen".

Exercise is big too. Get that heart pumping and your lungs working, even if only for 15 minutes between subjects. It'll boost your mood AND your metabolism! :)

Good for you for looking for alternatives to snacking during revision! I have the same problem.

10-22-2012, 07:41 PM
Chew gum instead of snacking while studying.

10-22-2012, 08:18 PM
I take a nightly bath and read. If it's during the day I usually will drink some diet soda -- I enjoy it and while it may not be a healthy ideal, it's better than binging. I used to smoke and that's what I'd do instead of eat, but obviously that's a terrible thing to do. So I figure diet soda is the lesser of the evils.

10-22-2012, 08:20 PM
I workout really really hard to a point I am about to pass out.
shower, watch your favorite program and fall a sleep, take a nap.
when you wake up, you are not hungry.

10-22-2012, 08:21 PM
I love to read! I make huge cups of hot tea o sip while I am reading.

10-22-2012, 08:49 PM
When I first started out, I made a "deal" with myself that every time I felt stressed out, I would walk around the block. I had such a struggle at first even walking that far...OMG...it was AWFUL back then to try and get moving. Eventually I got better at walking and have found that (usually!) the regular walking has become super helpful/important to my mental health. I do my walking outside as much as possible, unless it is super cold and super windy. I also do the WATP video I bought a couple of years ago because it's really handy if I just want to do some quick exercise and can't go out for a walk. I have PTSD and need all the help I can get for the way I handle stressful situations.

Sometimes I just need to escape, too, and then I will usually read a book. There are so many different kinds of stories to read that I can easily get lost for a few hours and then come back to the stressful situation with a fresh perspective.

LOL! Instead of comfort food, I now have comfort walks ;-)


10-22-2012, 09:38 PM
I have started taking baths in the evening (Tends to be when I'll comfort eat etc) and also I've been reading books lately. I'm not a fan of kindles so I allow myself a new book every so often, I'm currently learning about Richard the Third :D I'm quite interested in history and since they may have found his grave site I wanted to know more about him.

Anyway as I said I'm a evening comfort eater and both these things distract me, make me feel happy and also make me sleep better so it's working pretty well.

It's slightly off topic but my downfall is sugar, my sweet tooth is out of control and I do often wonder if I'm actually insulin resistant or something... But for now at least every time I'm realllly craving sweets I will let myself eat some kind of tasty savory item. Could be anything from a favorite cheese to a little piece of pie-I'm just trying to ween myself off sugar as it doesn't even make me feel good to have it!

10-22-2012, 10:59 PM
My all time favorite thing to do for me that I find incredibly relaxing is to take a sauna... I also really like a steam shower too...

When I was cramming for exams in college I would break things up by just going for a walk around campus to clear my head and get some fresh air and when I was somewhere that no one could see me (because I thougt I looked foolish) I would do jumping jacks to get the blood flowing after sitting for so long... Also if it worked for my schedule I would hit the pool on campus and swim some laps and than the whirlpool which was awesome...

Good luck...

10-22-2012, 11:01 PM
Knit. Bubble bath. Not at the same time.


10-22-2012, 11:09 PM
I'm another tea-drinker. I use stevia to sweeten my tea, and my favorites are chai teas (Celestial Seasonings Indian Spice Chai and Sweet Coconut Thai are two really tasty ones). There's something so calming about having a warm mug in your hand and slowly sipping a cup of tea.

Good luck on your upcoming exam!

Mer du Japon
10-22-2012, 11:22 PM
Shopping, hot bath, working out, watching a movie, cleaning, reading a magazine, surfing the net, reading are my ways of relaxing

Arctic Mama
10-22-2012, 11:36 PM
Knit. Bubble bath. Not at the same time.


Haha! It's a surefire way to felt whatever you're working with, though ;)

10-22-2012, 11:37 PM
Diet hot chocolate, read, bath. And you can do them all at once! :D

10-23-2012, 01:04 AM
Thankssss very much to everyone so far!
I love a lot of these, but the one problem is that I'm going to be on campus all day, so I can't exactly take a bath, lol. There's not even a really comfortable place to sit...that's a big issue for me!

Moving Forward
10-23-2012, 01:13 AM
I remember those days in college. I hated studying too. What worked for me was a planned schedule with several built in breaks. If I was studying at home, I would clean during my breaks (which I also hate to do). Somehow, though, the cleaning was a welcome break from studying and became an attractive option. The best part was that I would have a clean place when it was all said and done. On campus, you might want to consider walking or jogging to use break time well. For staying on task, I would reward myself with a hot bath or shower at the end of the day.

10-23-2012, 02:05 AM
I usually chew gum for comfort/stress

10-23-2012, 03:43 AM
It has been a few years since college for me; but, on my campus there were lots of places to study other than the library. Maybe start there, but when you need a break; walk someplace else and get a change of atmosphere, location, perspective. My campus had cafes, a student center, common areas in dorms, classrooms not in use, break rooms, libraries and don't forget the gyms, the tracks, stadiums and other outdoor areas, weather permitting. There was always a quiet spot or a corner in every building. We had comfy cushioned window seats, egg chairs and couches for whenever you got tired of sitting at a desk or table on a hard chair. I'd just pick up and move to another building when I started to get tired, bored, restless. Maybe some sort of caffeine added to the fresh air and exercise in between locations.

We didn't have smart phones in my college days; but, I think one of the timed games--I personally like Scramble or Bejeweled Blitz--but any app might work get your mind off the books for a few minutes until your brain is ready to focus on studying again. Good luck.:)

10-23-2012, 06:44 AM
Sadly, I still comfort eat, I just try to make healthier choices. If I'm at home and I've had a stressful day I'll unwind watching tv with a 100 calorie bag of FF popcorn, or a cup of low sugar cocoa. If I'm out and about, I grab a Starbucks Caramel Light Frappuccino (a grande is 140 calories). As long as these things aren't eating up my calories for the day, I'm fine with it. :)