Has self-isolation and working from home changed your food habits? Do you also feel disorganized or moody in general?
You’ll be interested to know that these two issues may be linked to each other.
Being in your best state of mind is essential to manage staying indoors for long periods of time. And having optimal food routines as well as eating the right food has a direct impact on our mood.
This means that having an optimal state of mind requires the best fuel we can provide for our mind and body. We can feel happier and more productive by being mindful about what we eat and how we eat.
Let’s look at ways that leveraging food boosts our mental health during these challenging times.
Processed foods are often stripped of fiber, which is why you don’t feel as full when you eat a generous helping. You usually need to go back for more to feel satisfied. You may end up eating more than you need which results in feeling sluggish since your body is working hard to digest your food.
What happens is that it gets harder to concentrate and get work done.
Instead, eat filling meals consisting of whole, healthy foods and drink plenty of water. You’ll feel truly satisfied and your food will digest easily, making for a brain that’s free to concentrate on work.
Higher Energy Levels
Food with high levels of sugar and flour can give you an immediate energy lift that lasts for a very short time. They also cause large and sudden spikes in your blood glucose levels.
Because of this, you’re left feeling irritable, uncomfortable, and with lowered energy all day. And that leads to mood swings that affect your ability to focus or feel good.
Instead, have foods that increase your energy. Superfoods like green tea, berries, and more, provide better nutrition and also elevate your energy and mood.
Reduced Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is where there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize their damaging effects with antioxidants. Oxidative stress contributes to aging, chronic health conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases.
It’s caused by several factors including pollutants in the environment, unhealthy foods, and psychological stress.
The way to beat oxidative stress is by using the power of antioxidants. Bitter chocolate, green tea, and a variety of fruits and vegetables go a long way toward producing antioxidants. As your body neutralizes excessive free radicals, you’ll feel better and also have a healthier life in the long run.
It’s not just the food you eat that matters, it’s also the way you eat it. One of the changes that working from home brings is a disruption to normal food habits.
Maintaining a routine has a tremendous impact on your mental wellbeing. Having a specific time to eat helps you organize your time and tasks, which affects the rest of your day. Try to create a routine where you have a specific time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, plan your snacks at appropriate times if necessary.
It’s helpful to create a food plan and a food journal to organize what you’re eating and when. This makes meal prepping easier and removes the need to make decisions every day.
Having to make decisions drains you of your willpower and will lead to bad food choices. You’ll find it easier to just order unhealthy food online rather than to think of something to make at the end of the day.
But being organized and planning your food and keeping an eating schedule will free your mental energy and reduce stress.
Connecting With Others
Sitting down and eating with others is an activity that goes back to the beginning of human history. Another powerful way your food habits can boost mental health is by helping you connect with others.
Try cooking meals with your family, friends, or roommates. You can share the experience of creating a beloved family recipe or feel excitement over making something new.
Also, sit down together without the distractions of the mobile phone, social media, or television. Have conversations instead and learn more about each other. When you make a meaningful ritual out of eating together, you’ll have something to look forward to daily that also deepens important relationships. This leads to better socialization that improves your mood significantly.
Boost Your Mood with Food
Food plays a powerful role in boosting and maintaining your mental wellbeing. You can enhance your life and develop peace of mind during self-quarantine by keeping your food routine in check.
The key lies in eating healthy food and in having a fixed routine. Also, use meal times as a way to connect with others. In these ways, food can act as a linchpin for your day to make your entire time at home a more pleasant and enjoyable experience.