Having been in the field of mental health and social work for many years, one thing I have noticed is how quickly eating habits go out the window when there is stress. These are people trained in how to deal with people, what healthy coping skills are and how to keep themselves from burning out. Yet, in the midst of this, they often throw out their eating habits as one of the first things they do.
Now, I am not saying that they all start eating junk food. Some will start eating all the junk, whether it be greasy food, sweets, chocolate each one had a different thing. Others will just not eat because they do not have the time (in their mind). Or they will get so focused on a task and forget about eating because time gets away from them.
I know that I try hard to mitigate my own leaning towards the sweets by having my healthy and balanced meal with me and eating it before I become starving. I know that once I hit a certain point, I start making poor decisions regarding what I am eating and I set myself up to fail in doing other things.
I am not saying everyone needs to go on a diet. I am saying that we need to be aware of what happens to our eating habits and find a way to mitigate them. For those that get so busy that eating slips your mind, maybe setting a timer or alarm on your calender will help you (ie schedule lunch as an appointment on your computer or phone calendar). For those that lean towards eating all the things that are not going to give you nutrition, try and plan ahead to have some nutritious food nearby to eat first so that maybe you won’t eat as much of the other stuff.
In DBT, one of the skills to reduce the vulnerability to emotion mind is called PLEASE and that first E is for balanced Eating. The next few weeks of self-care sundays are going to make our way through all the letters. We covered the S for Sleep last week Self Care Sunday: Sleep What are you going to do this week to have balanced Eating?