Saturday, May 30, 2020

How to self-soothe without food

Thank you to everyone who voted towards my book cover dilemma!  I am leaning towards having the covers match, as many of you have said this is important.  Plus, the look is cleaner.  I really appreciate that you took the time to vote :)

One of my lovely readers emailed me with her own dilemma.  She has been emotional and eating at those feelings during this hard time, which I find totally understandable.  I was asked to share my best tips to soothe ourselves without food, and I can definitely let you know what has worked for me.  I am also a person who finds it easy to eat to feel better, but I know it's not going to do me any favours in the long run.

1. Draw a line in the sand over past eating and don't keep going back to it and how you shouldn't have done it.  You can't change the past so this is just crazy-making.  Forget it and move on.

2.  Relax your mind.  Often when I feel like eating when I'm not even hungry, it's to slow my mind down.  Now that I know this, I can just stop and breathe a bit, stop what I'm doing and take the dogs for a run around the paddock (or a walk around the block with an audio book on in my old city life).  Lying on the ground doing stretches feels amazing too.  If you are at work you could do some standing stretches where you have your hands tall over your head and stretch from side to side.  Go into the bathroom if you feel self-conscious.

3.  Choose a small size and indulge in it.  My go-to for feeding my feelings used to be sugar and carbs.  Popcorn, sweets, chocolate.  During lockdown and I let myself have a bit of this, but quickly remembered why I don't buy it any more.  However, I do love a good-quality milk chocolate (Whittakers 33% from New Zealand is my absolute favourite, Nigella Lawson's too), so I buy myself a small bar when I do the grocery shopping - just the one - and relish it on the way home.  It's wonderful and I have no eater's remorse afterwards.

4.  Have a hot drink.  I read somewhere ages ago that a hot drink gives us the same sense of soothing wellbeing as eating something.  So when I feel like eating something between meals (when my previous meal was definitely healthy and substantial), I make a green tea or a Twinings black tea with trim milk or a peppermint tea and sip it.  By the time I've finished, I have forgotten about a snack and I feel calmed.

5.  Turn a wretched day into a spa day.  Cosset yourself with gentle self-care and declare your day over.  Even if it's only the afternoon.  Take anything absolutely non-essential off your list and take your time doing the necessary things.  Enjoy your dinner, sip a bedtime herbal tea, read your book and turn in early.  Perhaps rest is what you are really after when you turn to food.

What do you do when you feel like eating everything in sight to calm yourself down?  What's worked well in the past?  Please share.

And thank you to my lovely reader for your great question!

xx Fiona


  1. Thank you for these soul soothing suggestions. I am one who's often assailed by "what can I eat?", even though my stomach is comfortable and happy. Lockdown has been a succession of successful days followed by days of popcorn by the handful. I have to say, I am totally freaked out by your new book. I have ALWAYS wanted to write and DO write in journals and notebooks almost daily. When I saw your author book, I literally stayed away from your blog for days and missed the chance to vote on the cover. I think you made the best choice. I tell myself I will download it soon and (hopefully) take baby steps towards the big dream. Having no topic and being afraid of what my friends will say is a huge mind game. And even though I know it's a mind game, I still sit in inertia and let it rule me. I tell myself quarantine is not the time to start. Except that I have a ridiculous amount of time to start. Thanks for all that you offer us, Fiona. You're a breath of fresh air. xo karen

  2. Hi Fiona
    I loved your ‘Chic Author’ particularly the part where you said you used your phone to record; I jumped at the chance to try this out. I tried the first chapter of my MEMOIR of HOPE &RESILIENCE and used my natural dramatic flare, and it sounded good!!! Thank you dear girl, you are so adorable as well!! I am finished a novel now, doing careful editing & I have a Fiona & a Daphne in my book...coincidence! Anyway, re the audio, I have to figure how to keep the chapters organized & together. Maybe you say that in your book-still have more to read. Of course, I loved your 30 Days Chic & was delighted to see that Lithuania translated that book-my ethnicity although I am in Canada. Anyway, it’s late, have to run, but really think you have a lot to offer us women. Thank you dear Fiona! xx Sylvia Valevicius


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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