Many can say that a their emotions: stress, anxiety, depression- are to blame when it comes to less-than-ideal eating habits. Emotional eating is real, and also normal. Food is comforting, entertaining, and provides an easily accessible distraction from the issues we're dealing with. However, if your emotional eating is getting in the way of your physical health/mental health, or both, there are ways you can satisfy your same needs with activities other than eating! Identify your triggers, and next time the urge to eat is driven by emotion, try your best to try out one or more of these activities for fifteen minutes at least:

1. Coloring Books like this one

2. Workout

3. Download a new podcast to listen to next time you are stuck in traffic

4. Start Binge Watching a new Netflix show

5. Read a book

6. Work on a Pinterest board

7. Online fantasy shop

8. Start your own blog

9. Get paid to take surveys through apps like Swagbucks

10. Zillow different houses to see what real estate is going for in your neighborhood (and how much your friends spent!)

11. Journal

12. Take selfies


14. Make $$ Selling your old clothes/bags/jewelry on sites like PoshMark (People make A LOT off this site!)

15. Paint your nails

16. Take a bubble bath

17. Try knitting/crocheting

18. Brew some tea

19. Watch makeup tutorials

20. Crossword puzzles / activity books

21. Organize your closet

22. Look through old pictures/home videos

23. Research your next trip/vacation

24. Plan your healthy meals for the week ahead

25. Meditate

26. Find new hairstyles to try

27. Stalk people on Instagram/Facebook

28. Plan a self care day

29. Plan your next day-cation

30. Play with snapchat filters

31. Cuddle with your pet

32. Look up pictures of cute animals

33. Catch up on your favorite blogs/ YouTube subscriptions

34. Dance

35. Clean your house

36. De-clutter your laptop/computer files

37. De-clutter your home

38. Make out with a significant (or insignificant) other

39. Make a new Pinterest board for a house project

40. Learn a new skill on a site like Udemy

41. Find pictures of outfits you like to copy/try out

42. Make a gift wishlist for next holiday/bday

43. Download some new apps

44. Add to your Alexa/Google Home Skills

45. Challenge a friend to a game of Words with Friends or Candy Crush

46. Find Some new healthy recipes you have been dying to try

47. Start that project you have been putting of

48. Learn to play piano

49. Sing

50. Go for a drive

51. Facetime a Friend

52. Put together a kick ass play list for next time you are stuck in traffic

53. Watch a TED talk about an interesting topic (maybe even one on stress eating?)

54. Call a friend

55. Yoga

56. Get certified in something you have always been interested in

57. Write a letter / e-mail to an old friend

58. Play a game

59.  Hunt for coupons

60. Read a magazine on your phone

61. Get into a sports team

62.Use calculators like those on nerdwallet to see when you will be debt free or when to retire

63. Get into the stock market

64. Volunteer

65. Play with an animal (preferably your pet)

66. Follow a Live Twitter feed while watching your favorite show! It is like watching with friends you never knew you had!

67.Start an Etsy Store

68. Learn to edit photos

69. Meal prep

70. Make a to do list for the week to help you feel more in control

71. Look at daily deal sites like Rue la la, Touch of Modern and Hautelook who change their content

72. Join a book club

73. Learn photography

74. Scroll through Facebook

75. Post all in the Nutrish Mish VIP Facebook page

76. Watch videos on Youtube

77. Just relax, when is the last time you did that?

78. Cup of coffee

79. Go to your local Starbucks/coffee house and drink tea/coffee in peace

80. People Watch and make up backstories

81. Play a card game

82. Try a new face mask or new skin care product

83. Learn how to make things from lanyard

84. Research different fancy wines/IPAs for when you are out with friends

85. Research cool new restaurants to try

86. Plan a party

87. Clean out your inbox or phone messages to free up some space

88. Keep yourself motivated by seeing how much you lost

89. Donate old clothes to a good cause

90. Look into getting involved in a charity or non for profit

91. Make a list of tasks you are currently doing that you can delegate

92. Find matches for all of the socks

93. Write down 3 goals to accomplish in the next 3 months and how you are going to do it

94. Play with your kids/niece/nephew/dog/cat/hamster

95. Stretch

96. Create a workout routine for yourself

97. Make a board of pictures of people and things that inspire you

98. Wrap presents

99. Decorate the house for the upcoming season

100. Remind yourself when the next social event is that you will be able to use food for entertainment appropriately

Specific emotions that can cause us to stress eat and what you can do instead:
1. Anxiety/worry: You are anxious about something upcoming. Journal about it, call a friend and talk about it, go for a walk, brew some tea, meditate for 5 minutes, practice deep breathing, something that will focus and center your mind.

2. Sadness: Food is very comforting in times of loneliness and sadness. What are other ways you find comfort? Call your family/friends, cuddle with your dog, watch your favorite movie.

3. Boredom: You're bored..and food is definitely fun. Think of what else you like to do for entertainment. Watch tv, get crafty, make a pinterest board, play a game.

4. Needing a reward: You made it all the way to the end of today! That's worth celebrating, but it doesn't need to be with food. What other ways can you reward yourself. Take a bath, allow yourself some down time to do your favorite activities.


And remember, if you do end up giving in to the urge to emotionally eat, it is OKAY. Do not beat yourself up. Your failures are opportunities to learn and practice replacing your habits. Know your triggers, and aim to replace your knee-jerk reaction of eating with a new habit. It is a process, be patient with yourself!