From an early age we have learned to deal with sad, negative emotions incorrectly, and we end up storing this energy inside. An example of this would be a child coming home from school feeling sad about an argument with a friend and they’re given a biscuit by their mother ‘to feel better.’ In that moment, they’ve been given a message that feelings can be fixed with food. The feelings are now buried under the biscuit and the distraction. In times of crisis, we turn to our old and learned ideas to deal with them. 
Burying feelings with food

Eating is a Coping Mechanism 

Many of us have been stuck in our homes for the best part of two weeks now. We’re all grieving the loss of our normal lives, our safety, our health, and our families. So guess what? Many of us are turning to our old and learned ideas with how to deal with our feelings! 
Numbing yourself during lockdown
Have you been hiding or burying your feelings under food or alcohol? Other common short-term energy relievers are exercise, fantasy (films, books), isolation, online shopping, throwing yourself into work, cleaning, gaming… While these actions aren’t harmful in themselves, they can become harmful if you ‘keep busy’ with them for the long term, as they’re distracting you from dealing with how you’re really feeling. 

What to Do Instead 

We’re all human, so we deal with discomfort any way we know how. We’re not telling you to feel bad about your behaviour – it’s important right now that we be patient and compassionate with ourselves. But it is helpful to become aware of what you are doing. Write down or share with us any behaviours that you’ve been using to ‘keep busy’. Now that you’ve recognised them, you may catch yourself next time (“hmm…am I really hungry for chocolate or am I actually just bored or feeling bad about something?”). You may still reach for the chocolate, but maybe you’ll think about telling someone you trust how you’re really feeling instead. The goal, of course, is to feel better – and chances are a chat with a friend will be more comforting than that chocolate. 

Have you seen our Top 5 tips for living through lockdown? 

Living Through Lockdown
Get your free copy of our Living Through Lockdown eBook to have all of our tips in a handy, downloadable guide! 
Take a look at our 5-point Plan for how to cope, improve your relationships and start feeling better today: 
Looking to expand your in-depth knowledge? 
Would you like to speak to someone or are considering a Grief Recovery programme? Click here to find an online Specialist who can help you right away
Living Through Lockdown eBook
Eating Too Much During Lockdown
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