Our society is built around mantras that emphasize quantity over quality. These societal messages are shown to us every waking hour and propel our minds into craving "connection" through food. Either through the commercials in between our favorite shows, the magazine ads between the juicy article, or on billboards on our way back from work. In fact, we have romanticized food to such a degree that we have become disconnected from the purpose of feeding ourselves and instead have looked to the extremes of eating. These extremes are filled with emotions related to guilt that foster an unconscious tendency to engage in guilt-based behaviors, such as food binges.

On the other hand, the desire to “control” these societal image-based impulses to indulge can also manifest in an obsession with weight and dieting, which can lead to disordered eating habits and even bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.

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COVID-19 has taken countless lives all over the world and remaining conscious of the impact our daily choices have on the spread of COVID-19 and people's lives means we continue to follow the social distancing and face mask wearing guidelines.

These COVID-19 related restrictions can impact our mental health. Four everyday things you can do to stay calm and avoid COVI-19 restriction burnout.

  1. Create a morning routine where you allow yourself to reflect on what you can personally feel grateful for.

  2. Remain flexible when something in the day doesn't go to plan. Remaining flexible means you reframe any automatic fatalistic thinking patterns that propels you into a negative mind frame and colors your day.

  3. When you find your anxiety level increases, find the time to slow down for 10-15 min, by engaging in something that forces you to slow down.

  4. End your day by noting in a journal what you noticed about your mood throughout the day, paying attention to the thinking patterns and emotions that caused anxiety, anger or a sour mood. Finally, take time to write goals you have in mind for the next day that you know will help you stay focused on applying what you learned from the day prior.

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1. Reconnect with nature by taking a hike or walk in a park if you live in the city. Studies have shown that a 20-30 minute walk in nature has a positive effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing.;

2. Slow down your mind by taking 15 min to make your favorite cup of tea. The act of preparing the tea and drinking tea can provide mental benefits, like eliciting a sense of calm.

3. Listen to your favorite music and notice how quickly your mood shifts.

4. Journal every day at the same time to create a ritual of reflective time. Journaling has been shown to help with anxiety, depression and stress management.

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