What's in Your Cookie Jar?
When you're in need of comfort, a reward, or a distraction, do you reach for food? That's what many of us feel as though we're programmed to do. But there are plenty of healthy ways to give yourself a lift or distract yourself that don't involve food. This week we're going to give your old cookie jar a makeover.
Perhaps you used to reach for cookies to perk yourself up when you were feeling down, or to indulge yourself when you did something well. But now you're changing that old pattern. So why not use your cookie jar to store some new ideas for healthy treats?
The trouble is, when you are feeling bored or stuck in a rut, or just feeling as if you need a lift, it can be hard to come up with ideas. So, in the spirit of the DCN program, we ask you to plan ahead — to come up with ideas now that you can use later, when you really need them.
First, take some small slips of paper and write down ideas for things you'd like to do if you had some spare time on your hands. You might want to fill two jars: one for activities that take just a few minutes, and another for activities that may take an hour or two. However you choose to organize your ideas, the point is to come up with fun or relaxing activities that you enjoy.
Here are some examples:
• Taking a long bath
• Hitting some golf balls
• Enjoying a cup of herbal tea
• Listening to relaxing music
• Reading a book
• Taking a walk
• Doing a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
• Giving yourself a manicure or pedicure
• Calling a friend (write the friend's phone number on the slip of paper)
• Writing a letter or e-mail to a friend or loved one
• Drawing or painting a picture
• Creating a photo album or scrapbook
• Spending time on a hobby, such as knitting or woodworking
As you can see, you can fill the jar with all kinds of new and exciting ways to comfort, uplift, and even inspire yourself. Then, when you find yourself bored or in need of a pick-me-up, just reach into the "fun jar," grab a slip of paper, and do what it says!