I just took my daughter back to college after recovering at home from a tough bout of mono. She felt terrible for 2 weeks before the mono test was positive, then ended up with a bacterial infection on top of it. This was just before her spring break, so she had to cancel a trip to visit a friend...definitely not what she'd looked forward to.
Resting for 10 days on the sofa was just what the doctor ordered, along with lots of fluids and protein packed meals and snacks. I spent time sitting with her and watching movies---one of her favorite things to do. As she started feeling better, I tried to find something fun to help her cheer up. She had to take it slow with one little trip at a time, then come home and rest. I scheduled a facial one day and a massage on another day (we'll just call these medical expenses :) We hit Target for a half hour to find a top that looked like spring. On Saturday, she felt good enough to take a little trip to the make up counter at the mall. We used to do this when she was little. I would spend just enough to get the free gift, and she would get the pretty little bag with the make up samples I didn't want. The cosmetic salespeople always loved putting a little make up on her, too. This time, the mini-make over was all for her and she had lots of fun finding new colors for her eyes. Hmm...fun without food.
It struck me while driving today, that I may have done something right as a mom. I tried really hard to make sure my daughter didn't learn to use food to feel better (since I had a history of doing just that.) Sure, we made lots of cookies and enjoyed great food with all my kids. But, the goal was to keep the cookies as food and not as something to reach for to lift spirits: cookies are not band-aids. As I think about it, my daughter does know this.
Her band-aids are watching movies on TV, buying a new lip gloss, a book, a new piece of clothing... Yes, some come with a price tag (though we both try to keep the price down,) but the cost of a new shirt is far less than the long term effect of always eating large amounts of peanut M&M's to feel better, as I can testify from personal experience.
With this in mind, what are your band-aids? Do they make you feel better without long term consequences? If you are using food as a band-aid, it may be time to find a better one---with fewer side effects!
Fire Up! You Can Do This!!