All posts by gypsy04

About gypsy04

Islander first. American second. Certified Life Coach. Author, and aspiring Philanthropist. Afflicted with a serious case of wanderlust. Laughter is my medicine. Trailblazer. Prefers quiet times. Favorite quote: "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything, without losing your temper or self-confidence" Robert Frost

Finish What You Start


 

Do you often struggle to complete  projects/goals you if though you have every intention of finishing them? All my life I have struggled with the shiny object syndrome. At times, it got so bad, I resorted to scheduling my entire day, hour by hour , if I wanted to get anything done! Believe it or not, this is a common problem. After taking stock of myself, and trying different approaches, I discovered that luckily, you can I can follow a few steps to ensure, that we can become the type of person who finishes a project once we start it.  Let us get you set up for success!

  1. Make A Plan

The first step to finishing a task is making sure you have a plan at the beginning. It needs to be a plan which you write down. A mental note isn’t worth the piece of paper it is written on. You may want to jump in and start something in your excitement, but you might not realize all the work and challenges you will face. When you take the time to make a plan, this will better prepare you for the task at hand, and you’ll be able to spot problems much more easily.

  1. Take A Break

If you find yourself getting overly frustrated or beginning to loathe the project because you’ve been working on it for so long, it’s okay to take a short break. This break will help reset your mind and focus. You might even be able to solve some of the problems you are facing while you take this little breather. Just make sure that when you set an endpoint to your break, this way you can hold yourself to it and not just abandon the project.

  1. Make Small Goals and Rewards For Yourself

As you plan how you will conquer your task or project, break your goal into smaller mini-goals. Then, cross them off and reward yourself as you complete them. It will help keep you on task, and you’ll be able to feel as if you are making progress, even if it’s small.  This progress will do wonders to keep your spirits high while working on the project. The little rewards you are giving yourself will probably help too.

So next time you get excited about a new project or goal in your life, slow down a bit and make a plan, complete with smaller goals and rewards for yourself. Then, as you pursue the project, don’t be afraid to take small breaks if you need to recuperate. Chances are, thanks to these three steps, you will be much more likely to finish your new goal than leave it abandoned. 

To Your Success,

Juan

To Give You An Idea or Nine


Drinking is a socially accepted coping mechanism. It’s an acceptable way to deal with a breakup, stress at work, or social anxiety. But maybe you’re starting to find that drinking alcohol is affecting your family or work relationships. Or maybe you’ve reached a point where you realize you don’t actually enjoy drinking.

As National Recovery Month draws to an end, here are some ways (9), in which you can Are you can kick the habit

  1. Identify your goal. Are you striving for complete sobriety or moderation management? Why do you want to stop drinking? Identify your goal and write it down.
  1. Review your drinking habits. Take a few minutes to think about why you drink in the first place and how often you do it. When you are more aware of when you feel compelled to drink, you can make a plan to prevent yourself from drinking when the triggers come up.
  • Why do you drink? What triggers the drinking habit? Maybe you find yourself drinking when out at dinner with friends or as a coping mechanism when you feel stressed.
  • How often do you drink? How much do you drink when you do?
  1. Create a plan. Once you’re aware of your drinking habits, you can start creating a plan to stop drinking – especially during the moments you find yourself drinking the most.
  • What will you do instead of drinking when you start craving alcohol? Maybe instead of drinking to relieve stress after work, you can exercise for 30 minutes.
  • Who will you call if you need in-person support? Let that person know what your plan is and what kind of support you might need.
  • Are there any activities you can do instead of drinking on the weekend? Maybe you can replace Friday nights at the bar with Friday nights playing board games. 
  1. Practice how you will respond when offered a drink. Now that you know what situations in which you are likely to drink, practice how you will respond to others in social drinking situations.
  • Find a new drink to enjoy.
  • Decide how you will answer when someone asks you why you don’t drink.
  • Practice your firm yet polite “no, thank you” if someone suggests you drink just one.
  1. Find support. Talk to family and friends about your intentions, as well as what you want to accomplish. Find a community (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) that can support and relate to you while you change your drinking habits.
  2. Reward yourself. Studies show that rewards help train your brain. How can you reward yourself when you choose not to drink? Maybe you can buy yourself chocolate with the money saved from not buying alcohol.
  3. What’s in it for you? Write it down. Research also shows that when you keep reminding yourself of the benefits that you’ll receive from achieving your goals, the actions you regularly take to achieve them lead to permanent change. Remind yourself about the benefits and enjoy them as you experience them.
  • Some benefits include reducing your risk of alcohol-related illness, saving money, more energy in your everyday life, and closer relationships.
  1. Develop a self-care routine. Get to the point where you’re too busy being productive and healthy that you believe a drink of alcohol would ruin it for you. Start exercising more, reading, and eating healthy! Learn or revisit a hobby. Start finding fun ways to take care of yourself.
  1. Don’t give up. You’re bound to have periods where avoiding alcohol is harder than usual or you fall back on your old habits. When this happens, look back at the benefits you’ve written down and reach out to a trusted friend for support. Take a deep breath, remember you are human, and try again.

Remember that big change takes time.  Whether you want to quit drinking completely or reduce your drinking, you’re making a big change in your life! The steps you take can dramatically impact your health, relationships, and quality of life for the better. 

You’ve got this!

To Your Success,
Juan

Trouble Staying Sober? Try These Tips


Many people are able to drink without serious consequences, but there is a significant part of the population that struggles with sobriety. Many people rely on alcohol as a coping strategy. Others develop an actual physical addiction to alcohol. Common signs of alcoholism include:

  • An inability to drink in moderation
  • Overspending on alcohol
  • Craving alcohol
  • Neglecting personal and work responsibilities due to alcohol consumption

Work, personal relationships, physical health and psychological health can all be negatively affected by drinking alcohol in excess. Increase the odds of staying sober with these useful tips:

  1. Remove all alcohol from your home. Anyone that’s ever been on a diet knows that any food in the house that tastes good will eventually be eaten. The same goes for alcohol. If you enjoy drinking, you’ll eventually break down and drink it if it’s in the house.
  2. Avoid situations that make it easy to drink. Opportunity can equal disaster. Be careful about meeting coworkers at a bar after work. Parties can be another danger zone. Consider taking a date to a location that doesn’t serve alcohol. Be wary of where you spend your time if you want to stay sober.
  3. Re-evaluate your social circle. Spending time with your long-time drinking buddies can be a huge mistake. Do you have friends that always drink on the weekends? Does someone in your family drink frequently?
    • While many people will be supportive of your decision not to drink, there may be some that won’t. You might have to shuffle the people in your life if staying sober is a priority.
  4. Find a group of people that share your challenge. There are many groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, that provide support to those who have chosen to stay sober. These groups can be a great place to build friendships with those going through the same struggle.
  5. Exercise. A good workout can clear your head, burn off stress, and reset your brain and your perspective. Exercise benefits you in many ways.
  6. Get help with any mental health issues. Mental health issues can make sobriety much more challenging. Get the help you need to deal with any mental health issues you might be facing.
  7. Find a hobby that you love and do it! Spend time on an enjoyable activity as often as possible. A positive mood makes it easier to avoid drinking. What do you like to do? What would you like to try?
  8. Deal with urges effectively. It’s important to have a plan when the urge to drink arises. There’s no way to avoid the urge to drink completely. What are you going to do when it happens?
    • Call a friend?
    • Call a sponsor?
    • Go for a run?
  9. Reduce the stress in your life. Stress is uncomfortable. When we’re uncomfortable, we tend to do whatever needs to be done to make ourselves comfortable again. Stress can’t be avoided completely but reducing the amount of stress you experience can help reduce the urge to drink.
  10. Address any physical pain. Pain, like stress, is another form of discomfort. And let’s face it, alcohol is pretty effective at reducing pain. See your doctor and deal with any injuries or long-term pain your body might be suffering.

These tips can help with maintaining sobriety, but the initial steps of becoming sober might require the assistance of health professionals. If alcohol is a serious issue for you, it is likely to be an ongoing struggle for the rest of your life. It’s a battle best fought one day at a time. Alcoholism is a serious disease that requires immediate attention. Get the necessary help you require. You’ll be glad you did.

To Your Success,

Juan

14 Ways to Relax Without Alcohol and Food


Happy hours can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work. You bond with your coworkers, talk about your day, and listen to some upbeat music. On the other hand, if you make such activities a regular routine, you could be taking in more alcohol and empty calories than you want.

Plus, you may be training yourself to think that consumption is the only way to relax. You can’t remove all the stress from daily life, but you can learn to deal with it without creating more troubles. Start with these ideas for relaxing without alcohol or food.

Calorie-Free Ways to Relax on Your Own:
  1. Breathe deeply. Pause and take a few calming breaths. Inhale from down in your diaphragm instead of up in your chest. Lengthen your exhalations to match your inhalations. Focus on the air as it moves in and out of your nostrils.
  2. Meditate and pray. Sit down for a few moments and connect with yourself and the divine. Observe your thoughts without judging them. Give thanks for your blessings.
  3. Engage in visualization. Close your eyes and imagine something that makes you feel happy and inspired. Picture yourself surrounded by family and friends or excelling at a task that you find fulfilling.
  4. Draw a bath. Fill your tub with warm water and enjoy a luxurious soak. Buy fragrant bath salts or make your own. Set out fluffy towels, candles, and other accessories of your choice.
  5. Stretch your body. Make it a habit to stand up about every half hour when you’re working at your desk. Place your hands on your lower spine for support, and do a slight backbend. Rise up tall, and reach your hands down to the floor, bending your knees if necessary.
  6. Take a walk. Stroll around the block or hike the trails at your local park. Pick a quiet time of day and explore new routes.
  7. Appreciate nature. Scientific studies prove that nature has the power to soothe us. Head outdoors or watch videos about sandy beaches and ancient forests.
  8. Learn progressive relaxation. Experiment with progressive muscle relaxation. Start with your hands, squeezing each muscle group as you breathe in, and releasing as you breathe out. Continue across the rest of your body. 
Calorie-Free Ways to Relax with Others:
  1. Practice yoga. Yoga cultivates community as well as stress relief and physical fitness. Bring a friend with you to your next class. Invite others to join you for breakfast afterwards.
  2. Play sports. As long as you avoid extreme competition, sports can be relaxing. Schedule a game of tennis or darts.
  3. Go dancing. Take listening to music a step further by getting out on the dance floor. Sign up for rumba lessons or spend your next date night at a club with a live band.
  4. Pet your dog. Remember your animal companions too. Studies show that talking to them actually tends to be less stressful than interacting with humans because we don’t worry about being judged.
  5. Talk it over. On the other hand, your fellow humans are probably going to have more insights into how to deal with your love life or conflicts at work. Call a friend when you need to vent or discover a different perspective on whatever is on your mind.
  6. Laugh it up. Humor makes our struggles easier to bear. Spend time with others who encourage you to see the funny aspects of parenthood or practicing law.

Whether you’re on your own or surrounded by friends, you can banish stress safely and effectively. Learning to relax without alcohol or food will help you to stay slim and peaceful. 

Did you find these suggestions helpful? If you would like to add to the conversation or have a suggestion, please comment below.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Enjoy The Party. Without The Cocktails.


If you feel self-conscious about not drinking alcohol at personal and professional gatherings, it’s time to relax. There are many reasons why adults choose to forego the alcohol, including health issues, religious beliefs, and various individual preferences.

In fact, about one-third of adult Americans don’t drink any alcohol, and another third consume less than one alcoholic beverage per week, according to government figures. See how easy it is to have plenty of fun and friends without drinking.

What to Do About Drinking
If you’re struggling with alcohol dependence, seeking support will help you deal with serious issues that may come up during your recovery. Otherwise, a few practical strategies may be all you need to enjoy a party without cocktails.

  1. Fill your glass. Avoid awkward questions by keeping a drink in your hand or by your plate. Others will assume that you’ve been served.
  2. Bring your own. Most hosts are likely to offer nondrinkers more options than plain old tap water. Still, you can guarantee that your favorites will be on hand by presenting them with a bottle of limeade or a six-pack of non-alcoholic beer.
  3. Offer to drive. Save lives by volunteering to be the designated driver for the evening. Many bars will thank you by letting you drink for free.
  4. Eat something. Cocktails are easier to resist on a full stomach. Have a hearty meal or snack before you go out. Check out the buffet table or snack plates if you get hungry again.
  5. Look ahead. Boost your motivation by anticipating how fresh and alert you’ll feel in the morning. You may also have more money in your pocket when you give up drinking alcohol.

What to Do About Socializing
Maybe you drink because you feel it’s expected or because it’s  easier for you to mingle. Below are some alternative ways to connect with family, friends, and business contacts.

  1. Talk it over. If your decision to quit drinking will be a major change, let your loved ones know how you feel. Discuss your hopes and concerns. Explain what kind of support you need.
  2. Rehearse your response. It’s up to you how much you want to tell strangers and acquaintances about your decision not to drink. If so, simple versions usually work best. Tell them you feel better without alcohol or you have to be up early in the morning.
  3. Prepare for small talk. Practice networking and hanging out without alcohol. Put together a few topics for conversation. Plus, if you show others that you’re interested in them, they’ll probably like anything you have to say.
  4. Arrive late. Time your arrival for when the party is reaching full swing. It will make it easier to feel festive and blend in.
  5. Help out. Looking for ways to assist others will take your focus off yourself. Ask your host if you can collect coats or peel lemons. Talk to a guest who’s asking for referrals for a local babysitter or car mechanic.
  6. Suggest other activities. Lots of places serve up entertainment without any alcohol. Go see a play or visit a science museum. Take a walk through a public garden or go hiking at your nearest mountain range.
  7. Make new friends. People who care about you will be happy to make any adjustments they can to support your decision. On the other hand, you might benefit from widening your circle to include more nondrinkers who want to go out for coffee or ice cream.

Advance planning and clear communications make it simple to socialize without alcohol. You can enjoy interesting conversations and entertaining activities just as much whether you fill your glass with champagne or cranberry juice.  As a reminder, September is National Recovery Month,  you will find helpful resources and links on SAMHSA. 

To Your Success,
Juan

Alcohol and Stress


A few days ago, I provided helpful tips which should help if you are struggling with anxiety and Alcoholism. Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand, so let’s examine how the role stress plays in this addiction.

Alcohol and stress have a complicated relationship. An occasional drink can help you to feel happier and more relaxed. On the other hand, heavy and prolonged consumption increases your risk for anxiety, depression, and other undesirable consequences.

Much of this is due to how alcohol affects your brain. When you’re healthy, your body deals with stress by increasing hormones like cortisol that prepare you for action, and then quickly restoring the usual levels once the challenge has passed.

Relying on alcohol disrupts this balance. Your stress responses become less efficient, and you may build up tolerance, so you have to drink more to achieve the same effects. Meanwhile, your drinking may create additional sources of tension. You may develop mental and physical health issues, and your drinking may interfere with your relationships and career.

You can break the cycle if stress is making you drink more, and your drinking is causing more stress. Try these tips and reach out to your doctor and your loved ones if you need more support.

Tips for Dealing with Stress:

  1. Think positive. Pay attention to the wonderful things that happen each day. Remember that hardships are temporary. Try to find the humor in difficult situations.
  2. Plan ahead. Identify potential obstacles before they occur. It’s easier to stay calm when you recognize your options and have a plan of action to pursue.
  3. Focus on solutions. Devote your energy to overcoming a challenge rather than complaining about it. Concentrate on the things you can change. Find ways to turn setbacks into opportunities for learning and growth.
  4. Eat healthy. Self-care makes you more resilient. Nourish your body and mind with a balanced diet rich in whole foods and fiber. Limit your intake of sugar, salt, and empty calories.
  5. Sleep well. High quality sleep promotes healing. Go to bed at the same time each night so you’ll wake up feeling alert and refreshed.
  6. Exercise regularly. Physical activity reduces stress hormones and lifts your spirits. Enjoy a variety of workouts so you’ll stay motivated while you build up your strength and condition your heart.
  7. Live mindfully. Meditation and deep breathing can help you calm uncomfortable emotions and racing thoughts. Practice on your own or browse for instructional videos and apps online.

Tips for Drinking in Moderation:

  1. Set limits. Decide how many drinks you’ll have before you get started. That way you’re less likely to overindulge. You may also want to schedule alcohol-free days or weeks.
  2. Slow down. Pace yourself by sipping your wine. Stay hydrated with a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.
  3. Eat a snack. Alcohol enters your bloodstream more gradually when you have food in your stomach. You still need to drink responsibly, but a snack gives you some extra protection.
  4. Resist peer pressure. Do you find yourself drinking more when you’re around some of your friends or coworkers? Create strategies for dealing with such triggers, like suggesting activities that don’t involve alcohol.
  5. Avoid binge drinking. There’s a big difference between having one drink a day for a week and having 7 drinks in one evening. Stick to the conventional guidelines for no more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.
  6. Ask for help. Moderate drinking is safe for most adults, but you may need to give up alcohol if you have certain medical conditions. Talk with your doctor about the appropriate decision for you.

Positive thinking, relaxation practices, and self-care are more effective than alcohol when it comes to handling stress. If you think your drinking may be affecting your health and wellbeing, call a community hotline or ask your doctor about resources that can help you get back on track. 

September is National Recovery Month. SAMSHA is a US government website with a huge list of helpful resources. Get started today. Help is available 24/7 by calling or texting the Crisis Hotline : 988

You your success, 

Juan

 

What You Need To Know About Alcohol and Anxiety.


Let’s face it, if giving up the bottle was as easy as outlined in my last post, my job here would be done,  we could focus on other important things,  maintain sobriety, and live productive, fulfilled lives. Over the next several weeks, the goal is to offer strategies to help us thrive and survive the world of Alcoholism. Do you drink because you are anxious and stressed? Some of my clients often say “I  drink to relax, it calms my anxiety, relieves stress, and helps me sleep” On the other side of the coin, have you noticed you tend to me more aggravated after drinking? 

TV commercials encourage you to have a drink to relax. Superbowl is one such occasion, we are inundated with beer commercials. However, the relationship between alcohol and anxiety can be more complicated. Many adults can safely drink in moderation. For others, alcohol may cause anxiety or aggravate pre-existing conditions.

There are several reasons why alcohol tends to disturb your peace of mind. Embarrassing yourself at an office party may be an obvious danger, but there’s also a molecular explanation. Alcohol causes changes in your brain chemicals, including gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) that’s involved in regulating anxiety.

Your brain adjusts to the sedating effects of alcohol but may have trouble balancing itself again when your blood alcohol content starts to fall. That could leave you feeling more anxious than when you started, and that uneasiness may last for a day or more. Lifestyle changes and professional help can make a big difference if alcohol and anxiety are disrupting your life. Learn what you can do to turn things around.

Tips for Drinking in Moderation

Prolonged heavy drinking often contributes to anxiety. The CDC recommends limiting yourself to one drink a day for women and two for men on the days you do drink.

  1. Plan ahead. Decide what you’re going to drink before you get started. Maybe you’ll skip wine with dinner, so you can have a glass of port afterwards.
  2. Slow down. Sip your Margherita. Order a glass of water in between if you consume more than one alcoholic beverage.
  3. Eat food. Filling up on food allows your body to absorb alcohol more gradually. Fats and proteins are especially useful for slowing the process down. On the other hand, skip the salty snacks that will make you thirstier and more dehydrated.
  4. Enjoy other activities. If you’re used to bar hopping on date nights, go for a hike or visit a science museum instead. Spend your leisure time working on hobbies rather than drinking beer while watching TV.
  5. Resist social pressure. Rehearse what to say if someone asks why you’re turning down a drink. Let your family and friends know you’re trying to cut back, if that is comfortable for you.
  6. Take time off. Celebrate Dry January or the abstinence days of your choice. Taking a break from alcohol gives your body and mind time to recover.

Other Tips for Coping with Anxiety

Using alcohol to manage anxiety is likely to backfire. Replace cocktails with the following strategies, that are safer and much more effective.

  1. Take sensible risks. Avoiding things that scare you may be adding to your anxiety. Facing your fears teaches you that you’re strong enough to handle life’s challenges. Start with small projects and work your way up.
  2. Get enough sleep. You’re more resilient when you’re well rested. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of high-quality sleep each night.
  3. Eat healthy. Your diet can help you to relax. Use foods rich in fiber to stabilize your blood sugar. Experiment with foods high in certain minerals, like leafy greens for magnesium and egg yolks for zinc.
  4. Exercise regularly. Working out is a great way to use up nervous energy and benefit your mood.
  5. Seek help. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues, affecting almost 20% of the adult population. Search for therapists who have experience treating anxiety and substance abuse issues. You may need to target both areas in order to avoid relapses.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, a glass of wine may relax you in the short term, but it’s still important to deal with underlying issues. Adopt healthy habits for managing stress and talk with a professional if you need more help.

You Your Success,

Juan

Battling The Bottle.


Did you know September is National Recovery Month?In honor of this, I’d like to use it as a platform to bring more awareness to the continue struggle with Alcoholism that so many of my clients face.

Are you, or someone you love struggling to quit drinking? Does quitting seemed like a monumental endeavor that you will never accomplish? What if you took it day by day, and celebrate the small victories? This month, I hope to share strategies and tips with my fellow readers. I work with clients who struggle with this and many other addictions. I have witnessed first hand, the devastating effects this addiction has on family, friends and loved ones.  So let’s dive in.

An estimated 6.5 million adults took part in Dry January in 2021. If you’ve missed out on making it one of your new year’s resolutions, you can still celebrate a similar occasion any time of year. While some adults need to avoid alcohol completely, others may prefer a more gradual approach. For them, a British charity group helped start a movement in 2014 to quit drinking for a month after the winter holidays. Many participants say that it has helped them to transform their relationship with alcohol.

Look at what a month without margaritas, or your drink of choice can do for you.

Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol for a Month

Clinical research on Dry January is very limited, but the initial results are promising. Even short-term abstinence can have positive effects on your overall health and wellbeing.

  1. Sleep well. You’ll probably wake up feeling more refreshed. Alcohol interferes with the quality of your sleep, so this is one of the most common and quickest results.
  2. Feel healthier. There can be significant health benefits. One study found that a month off alcohol decreased blood pressure by 5% and lowered diabetes risk by 30%. There were also large decreases in blood growth factors linked to certain cancers.
  3. Lose weight. It’s easy to lose track of how many calories you drink. You may wind up slimmer without even trying to eat less.
  4. Drink more responsibly. The big question is whether a month without alcohol will lead to lasting changes. According to one survey, Dry January participants drank less frequently and drank less per day for months afterwards.

Tips for Quitting or Cutting Back on Drinking

As you might expect, Dry January fans use many of the same methods that can help anyone to curb their alcohol consumption. Listed below are a few examples of proven strategies.

  1. Pick a date. Having specific goals and a timeline will help you to feel more committed and accountable. Maybe you’ll want to join the crowd in January, or maybe another month is more feasible for you.
  2. Cope with triggers. Be prepared for situations that tend to make you want to drink. Suggest going to a movie instead of visiting a bar on date nights. Relax after work with a walk in the park rather than sitting down with a glass of wine.
  3. Seek support. Ask others for the help you need. Let your family and friends know what you’re doing and what they can do to make it easier.
  4. Manage peer pressure. Rehearse how you’ll respond in situations where others may encourage you to drink. If someone refuses to respect your choices, you may want to limit your interactions with them at least temporarily.
  5. Prepare for relapses. What if you give in to temptation at a wedding or a barbecue? Learn from the experience and give yourself credit for getting back on track the next day.
  6. Stay busy. You’re less likely to miss alcohol if you keep your mind and body occupied with other activities. Spend more time at the gym or working on hobbies. Take a course at your local community college or volunteer at a food bank.
  7. Practice self-care. Maybe you’ll feel inspired to try other healthy lifestyle changes. Eat more vegetables and start a daily self-care practice.
  8. See your doctor. Quitting alcohol for a month is safe for most adults. However, if you’re dependent on alcohol, you’ll need medical care to help. Your doctor can help you understand your options and provide you with resources.

Giving up drinking for a month could be the start of a healthier relationship with alcohol. Let it encourage you to drink in moderation or seek professional help if alcohol is disrupting your relationships and the quality of your life. For more information on recovery, please visit this US Government Website

To Your Success,

Juan

Preventing A Relapse


We made it to the last few days of July! Did a particular topic resonate with you? Do you know someone who could benefit from the advice shared one the past several weeks? All the hard work can go to naught, if we don’t know how to prevent a relapse. 

Relapse is a term usually referring to alcohol and drugs. However, it can be applied to any habit. Maybe you stuck to your diet for weeks, and then overindulged at an office birthday party. Maybe you went 10 years without a cigarette, and then bought a pack when you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Remember that your ultimate success in developing healthy habits is more important than any backsliding. Think of relapses as part of a process, rather than unpredictable events. If you pay attention to what you’re feeling and thinking, you may be able to avoid a setback.

Try these techniques:
  1. Deal with emotions. Your feelings may be the first sign that you’re headed for a fall. Accepting your anger and sadness will help you find new and more constructive ways of managing them.
  2. Build support. Surround yourself with family and friends who will encourage you and give you useful feedback. Let them know how they can help you. You might want to search for support groups in your community or participate in forums online.
  3. Know your triggers. You sometimes need to limit contact with old friends who engage in the habit you’re trying to break. Certain places or situations could also make you vulnerable to relapsing.
  4. Wait it out. What if you have an urge to go on a shopping spree or bite your nails? Try waiting 5 or 10 minutes to see if it passes. It’s a quick solution that often works.
  5. Seek moderation. Being too strict with yourself can backfire. A restrictive diet makes junk food look more tempting. Allowing yourself a low-calorie dessert like fruit could help you avoid binging on donuts and cheesecake.
  6. Focus on consequences. Before you take a step backwards, think through what will happen. Is wasting time on social media causing you trouble at work?
  7. Practice self-care. Protecting your physical and mental wellbeing is essential for reaching your goals. Eat sensible amounts of whole foods, exercise regularly, and make sleep a top priority.
Recovering From a Relapse

If it’s too late to prevent a relapse, you can still turn things around. Put your mistakes behind you and keep building on the progress you’ve already made. Some or all of these strategies will help you get back on track.

  1. Face the truth. It can be difficult to admit that you’ve relapsed. Be honest with yourself and take accountability for your decisions.
  2. Remember your purpose. It may help to think about your original reasons for making changes in your life. They may be so compelling that you’ll be ready to try again, or you may need to find another source of motivation.
  3. Forgive yourself. Be kind and compassionate toward yourself, especially while you’re struggling. Use your self-talk to boost your confidence. Let go of the past and concentrate on what you can do today.
  4. Break it down. Trying to make lifelong commitments may seem overwhelming. Pick a time frame that’s realistic for you. You might aim to sustain your new habits for a single day or even an hour at a time.
  5. Take action. Regain momentum by taking a positive step forward immediately. If you’re trying to stop overspending, leave your credit cards at home unless you’re planning to make a specific purchase. If you want to cut down on complaining, start a gratitude journal.

Think of relapses as a learning opportunity that helps you to find out more about yourself. Each time you temporarily lose a little ground, you gain more insight into what you need to do to make positive changes in your life.

Use these free worksheets to help you sty focused.

To Your Success,
Juan

Emotional Eaters, Stop Here


Do you feel like you have a never-ending battle with the scale? Are you tired of gaining weight that stays with you forever? The cause of your weight gain might be emotional overeating. A complex topic, with essential, easy to recognize elements.

Emotional overeating is defined as disordered eating that is characterized by the compulsion to eat even if you’re full. It tends to be a response to negative emotions or thoughts. It’s also seen as a coping strategy for those who are under stress or who have suffered abuse. Food often provides comfort for emotional eaters. But the comfort is only temporary! Emotional overeating can sabotage your diet and weight-loss goals. It can also negatively affect your health. Luckily, there are easy steps you can take today to stop emotional overeating!

Try these strategies:

  1. Figure out your triggers. In many cases, emotional overeating is triggered by an event, thought, or feeling. If you can figure out your triggers, then it will be easier to take control, and stop them from encouraging you to overeat.
    • The most common triggers are stress and negative emotions. Other triggers can be difficult days at work, fights with your family or spouse, and issues with friends or coworkers. Therapy may also help you deal with triggers.
  2. Try to eat only when you’re hungry. Teach your body to accept food only when you’re really hungry instead of viewing it as a constant source of comfort.
    • This step will take time because changing your eating habits is challenging. However, you can take small steps to make dietary modifications. Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to real hunger pangs.
  3. Create alternative plans. For example, if you know that you overeat after a difficult meeting at work each week, then plan ahead and try to prevent it. Try substituting a more positive action that also brings you comfort or reduces your stress.
    • By creating alternative plans that don’t involve eating, you will be setting yourself up for diet success. For example, you can plan a long walk or gym workout after work to get rid of stress. Instead of turning to your fridge and ice cream after an argument, you can binge watch your favorite TV shows or get on the phone with a friend.
    • The key is to find other ways to deal with stress and negative emotions.
  4. Surround yourself with people who care. One of the main reasons many people turn to emotional overeating is because they feel like they don’t have a support network. Do you feel alone and isolated? Reach out to family, friends, coworkers, and others for help. Build a strong support network around you that can help you deal with negativity and stress. Find those whom you can call or visit without worrying that you’re intruding or upsetting them. In turn, be open to offering them support, too.
    • Explain to friends or loved ones about emotional overeating so they can understand why you overeat. Discuss effective techniques that can motivate you to stick to a diet or exercise plan. They can remind you of these techniques when you need help, without being authoritarian or critical, to help you get back on track. 

Emotional overeating doesn’t have to control your life. You can fight it and overcome it with these easy strategies. With any luck, this post serves as a catalyst to reach out and seek help

To Your Success, 
Juan