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  • Carla Evans

Boredom eating?

Happy New Year!

Here we are in 2021 after a strange and blurry 2020. I hope you've had some down time with friends and family or if you had to work then you have a break planned soon.

Maybe the changes of 2020 have allowed you to reassess and choose a different focus for your life? Maybe you loved spending more time at home and less time running around? Maybe you found yourself very bored when your social life was stifled?

Boredom is a common issue linked with overeating. Sometimes we don't eat because we're hungry we eat because we can't think of anything better to do and well, let's face it, we have access to an overabundance of food so it doesn't matter if we eat our weeks ration of chocolate tonight - we can go and buy more tomorrow!

If boredom eating happens on a very rare occasion it's probably not an issue. However, if it happens regularly it may start to contribute to weight gain and potentially other issues like high cholesterol, insulin resistance or high blood pressure.

So how to tackle boredom eating?

First check that's it is actually boredom eating. If you dig a little deeper it may be due to procrastinating over study, household chores or work. It may be due to a stressful incident that you haven't yet processed like an argument, a car accident, financial stress or relationship issues. Therefore you need to deal with the underlying issue. It is also quite commonly due to fatigue. You're too tired to do the vacuuming but can just muster the energy to get the packet of chips from the pantry and collapse back on the couch. In this case you need to address the cause of the fatigue - or get more sleep if it's obvious. Work with a healthcare practitioner if you're unsure.

If you've checked for any underlying issues and it's really just boredom, then you need to find yourself a project! Something ongoing, something fun that you can do a little bit of here and there when you have some time. Something that sparks joy in you, that you actually look forward to doing (hint - don't ask your partner for ideas, they'll suggest things they enjoy. This needs to be your thing!).

Something I started doing over the break was organising drawers using Marie Kondo's method. I'd had several people mention it to me so decided it was time to have a look and I found it really helpful. I can now see all my clothes in my drawers so I know exactly what I have! Next onto the linen cupboard! Now to some of you that will seem like the most boring thing in the world and that's ok, I know I'm a bit weird - and hubby will confirm that!

Other ideas are:

  • anything in the garden

  • bonsai

  • knitting/crocheting/sewing

  • drawing/painting/art of any type

  • learning something online e.g. a new language

  • jigsaw puzzles

  • reading

  • writing a book or poetry

  • creating games for the kids

  • baking

  • learn an instrument

  • photography

  • training a puppy

the list is endless...

Funnily enough it's great to have something like this on the go as a stress management tool too. Something you can really get in the zone with helps to take us out of our heads and those unhelpful thought loops.

I can hear many of you saying, I don't have time to get bored let alone do any fun projects. That's absolutely fine, you're probably not boredom eating! And in terms of a fun project, if you really want one, you'll find the time for it - it may only be 30mins once a week. Or you may be able to tease a bit more fun into what you are already doing - making up songs with the kids as you're bathing them, taking your camera when you go walking, writing poems on the train into work, listening to language audiobooks while driving.

I know eating can be very pleasurable to do when we're bored but there are plenty of other fun things to do that will probably give you a lot more satisfaction.

Happy fun projecting!

Carla :)



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