Food – we all need it, we have different ideas around the good and the bad and many of us have had a tumultuous relationship with food and eating at times.
Food and eating can be meaningful in different ways for different people. The link between good nutrition and mental health has often focussed on nutritional requirements for the body. But what about how food feeds the soul and contributes to our wellbeing in ways other than nutritional needs?
When I have a client come to me for counselling around food the first point of call is often for me to identify what food really means to them. What is their history when it comes to food? I will ask questions about how they feel about their diet. What is important to them when it comes to food? I might even ask them to talk about certain times in their life and how food played a part in that time. Why is this so important?
In this space I am looking to gain insight into the persons relationship with food. For some, food is simply nourishment to allow their body to thrive, for others food is comfort, or a social outlet. They might relate food to certain activities or events, attach specific meals to specific times, dates or places. In the same way that a toxic relationship with a person can have a massive impact wellbeing, their relationship with food can have the same type of impact.
The first step to recognising what food is to you and how it plays a part in your own wellbeing is asking yourself a few simple questions and taking some time to reflect on the answers. Notice the foods that you turn to when you are feeling down as opposed to when you feel in control of things. Do you eat more or less when you are with people in a social setting? Do you eat differently when you are receiving a free meal as opposed to when you pay for the meal yourself? If you generally eat a well balanced and healthy diet but experience a few days where your diet is less than ideal how does that make you feel about yourself?
If you would like to discuss more about this topic you can reach out to make a time for FREE counselling via the Partners In Wellbeing Program. Free counselling, staff training on various wellbeing topics and consultancy on creating mentally healthy workplaces is only an email or phone call away. Contact Kathleen at [email protected] or on 0456 380 307