5 ways to reduce anxiety around food | Claudia Criswell

5 ways to reduce anxiety around food | Claudia Criswell

1. Plan your meals 

Planning your meals a week in advance can help relieve uncertainty and shopping trip anxiety. Pre-planning balanced meals can also help instil a sense of routine.

Social distancing in supermarkets can make the experience of buying food incredibly stressful. Allowing others to do the shopping for you or ordering food boxes may help.

2. Separate eating from work/study

Try and organise a space for eating and cooking which is separate from the areas where you work, study and relax. Eating, cooking and working all in the same space can make you feel overwhelmed. Moving to a different room or space after meals can also help you focus your attention elsewhere. 

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3. Turn off social media

With more time to scroll, the temptation to compare yourself to others is huge. This can bring up feelings of guilt, shame and can trigger disordered eating thoughts. If you can, turn off your social media or limit yourself to a 10-minute scroll per day. Unfollowing accounts you find triggering can also help to minimise anxiety.

 4. Get some fresh air

If you notice you’re getting particularly anxious at certain times of the day, plan to go for a gentle walk outside or move your body. Fresh air can bring both physical and mental health benefits as it releases happy hormones.

5. Enjoy something that isn’t about food

Make sure you enjoy something every day that isn’t food related. This could be a hot bath with your favourite bath oil, a phone call with a loved one, a gentle stroll, watching an episode of your favourite show or reading a book. This has a positive effect on our mindset and our overall health too. Time to yourself will also increase your self-awareness and help you recognise situations that trigger stress and anxiety so that you can address them calmly.

Claudia Criswell is a Registered Nutritional Therapist (mBANT, rCNHC) based between London and Edinburgh, with a particular interest in nutrition for mental health and disordered eating. Claudia works at her nutrition clinics full time with a desire to educate people on the importance of nutrition. She helps her clients achieve a healthy and happy relationship with food. 

By Liv Evans