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Stress Eating During COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Sharmila Gajapathy on Sat, Aug 15, 2020  
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Intro:

Stress eating is a pattern of consuming excess food as a way of ventilating; people eat in order to help them deal with the stress they are undergoing. During COVID 19 pandemic, people are highly experiencing stress. To begin with, stress during a pandemic situation could be fear of death, unemployment, employed, but getting half of what they actually should be paid, fear of loosing their loved ones, not being able to accept the fact that we are in lockdown, fear of child's education, not being able to meet their kith and kin, so on and so forth. 
Stress:
Stress is a degree to which you feel burdened or the inability to cope up with the challenge faced. This could be as a result of pressures that can be Physical and Psychological. It could emerge from any life event or thought that makes you feel discouraged, annoyed, or anxious. Stress is a way which your body reacts to a challenging situation.
Overeating:
Overeating is intaking excess food than what your body actually needs for energy. This could lead to weight gaining and often obesity. If stress is not handled appropriately It may become as an eating disorder.
Why do people stress eat?
Stress eating is not just a mind-set. When stress is prolonged, in our fast-paced world, our body produces high levels of the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and fried food. These are the foods which gives us a rush of energy and pleasure. The more unrestrained stress we undergo in our life, the more likely we turn towards food for emotive release.
There is a gender difference in stress-coping behaviour. When a women is feeling stressed she is more likely to turn towards food and when a man is stressed he is more likely to turn towards alcohol or smoking.
How to deal with stress:
Physical Activity
Physical exercise can be used as a substitute to take up the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a quieter and more peaceful state.
Sleep good:
Find ways to maximize your relaxation before going to sleep. Make sure you do not think about things that causes stress. If you are a person who experience disturbed sleep, try avoiding coffee in the evenings which can help you sleep better. It is always good to avoid doing work that seems to be mentally demanding before you hit the bed. Try to take a hot shower before bed which will make you feel refreshed and relaxed after a tiring day. Avoid using mobile phones an hour before you sleep. Give some time for your brain to calm down.
Speak out:
Talking to a friend can make you feel much better when you are stressed. When we experience stress, we will not be able to view the situation clearly. While we speak out what we feel and think about a particular situation there are high chances for us to see a different perspective of the situation all together.
Me time:
It is very important to spend some valuable time for yourself. Life always has different challenges and surprises for us. Irrespective of all that,  try to have some ME TIME, to pamper yourself. Going for spa may not be possible during pandemic situation but having a hot oil head massage can uplift your mood. Always remember to Treat yourself good.
Stress acts to alter overall food intake in two different ways. One is under eating and the other is overeating. This again is influenced by stressor severity.

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