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Published May 13, 2012, 11:30 PM

Favorite things: Holt's favorite non-food stress-elievers

In last week’s “InDepth” series story on helping children become normalized eaters, I wrote, “Don’t use food to reward, soothe or show love, or at least do so infrequently.”

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

In last week’s “InDepth” series story on helping children become normalized eaters, I wrote, “Don’t use food to reward, soothe or show love, or at least do so infrequently.”

Well, for years, I used food for everything. Eating was my coping mechanism for any unpleasant emotion – stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, you name it.

Now I’m trying to find relaxation and stress-relief (when I can!) in non-food-related activities to break that reliance on food for comfort.

Here are some of my favorite ways to relax without eating:

Go for a walk. I don’t have a dog of my own (yet!), but I like to take my best friend’s dog for walks. When I’m working my way around my usual route with Brick, some of my stress usually fades into the air.

Drive with music on. Whether it’s to run an errand, go to an interview or drive to the gym, listening to some good tunes in my car relaxes me, especially if it’s nice out.

Enjoy a cup of coffee. I almost always have some form of java nearby, but once in a while I like to really enjoy a cup. Just sit and sip.

Get a pedicure. This is only a once-a-month or so treat, but I love being forced to sit still for 45 minutes while I get my toes prettied up.

Watch reality TV. I no longer have satellite TV … not even basic cable. The best I get with my converter box is a channel that plays pre-arrest Nick Nolte movies. But once in a while, I indulge in a little reality TV at the gym or a friend’s place.

(For some inexplicable reason, I’m absolutely fascinated by TLC’s “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.”)

Read on the couch (preferably with a cat at my feet). I’ve always loved reading, but reading for fun fell by the wayside once I started college. I picked it up again four years ago when I helped start a small book club.

Now the problem is finishing the books. I keep a stack of five “currently reading” titles on my nightstand.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590

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