What The Food?
During this strange time of social distancing, many of us are doing what we can in order to follow quarantine orders from our state government and do our best as humans to help one another stay safe and healthy! For some, that can be a scary thing to think about. There may be a lot of anxiety or fear surrounding our current mindset, especially for those that may have recently been laid off, and are now facing instability. It is normal and okay to be feeling fear, panic, or high anxiety at this moment.
Let’s be transparent here, the unknown is very unsettling to deal with. At the moment, there are such varying experiences around people’s financial or living situations. Some people have been forced to live week to week, while others may have purchased enough food to last through this quarantine. Wherever you are is okay. Now is not a time to compare ourselves to others but to help one another out!
Whether you happen to be among those with an abundance of food in the house, or not, disordered eating doesn’t take a break from our brains during a pandemic.
I want to go over some coping strategies to deal with navigating your current situation around food if you are dealing with disordered eating. Most importantly, if you don’t take anything else away from reading this, you need to know that you ARE allowed to feel whatever emotions may be running through your heart at this moment. Allowing yourself to process what you are feeling is crucial to navigating through this time.
Side note: It’s okay to be struggling internally and also allow yourself to enjoy sitting with a plate of delicious mac and cheese. The two emotions of enjoyment and struggle CAN coexist!
Here are some tips and tricks that may help you ease anxiety during this time when everything else seems very abnormal.
Find activities that help you adjust to this “new norm” we are currently sitting in.
Find a routine within your grasp, oftentimes (pandemic or not) we set expectations for ourselves that we have the best intentions of reaching but we forget that taking baby steps is also okay
Allow yourself the space to express emotions through a creative outlet, with the amount of time we have right now, there are endless possibilities
Know that you are not alone, there is support a click away on the internet
Now is a great time to reflect inward. What has gotten you to this point in your journey with food? Was it the words of someone else? The realization that you wanted to create a change? Take a moment to journal your thoughts and reflect on where you are. HINT: there is no right or wrong answer!
So why is this time especially difficult for me? What if I always have access to this much food?
The difference between access and abundance may be the tipping point for some. In this time of social distancing and self-quarantining, we may not even need to change out of pajamas to reach all the food in the pantry. If this is where you are now, it's okay. If you feel you are NOT okay, try talking to someone you trust or a professional that can help you.
Some will find that the steps it takes alone to get to the grocery store may be enough to deter them at that moment from making the decision to allow disordered eating to take over, or to choose a different way of thinking. Whatever your coping strategy, now is not the time for self-judgment, but for self-love and self-acceptance.
In general, the human race is dealing with a lot of scary changes and it’s okay to be afraid of what’s next, but knowing there IS a next chapter is what keeps us going!
Don’t forget, wherever you are in your relationship with food today, you are strong, you are worthy and you CAN handle this hurdle!