From Our Chefs

Emotional Wellbeing

Here at College Chefs we understand that there’s more to a person than what they eat, where they work or any random decision they make. We value the overall wellbeing of the individual. We hire amazing chefs, but even more importantly, we hire amazing people with amazing passions, families and hobbies. The core of what we do (provide high quality, great tasting food) stems from this value of overall wellness.

While food and diet have a physical effect on the body, they also have a major physiological impact on the wellbeing of your mood and mind. During this time of global crisis, health is at the forefront of many of our minds. But, the effects of social distancing and quarantine go beyond protecting our physical bodies. Feelings of unease, confusion and isolation are very common. Dr. Guy Winch, is known for his emphasis on practicing emotional first aid.

A very relevant sign and message.
Photographer: Nick Fewings | Source: Unsplash

Health and Wellness go Beyond the Physical

“We all know how to maintain our physical health and how to practice dental hygiene, right? We've known it since we were five years old. But what do we know about maintaining our psychological health? Well, nothing. What do we teach our children about emotional hygiene? Nothing. How is it that we spend more time taking care of our teeth than we do our minds? Why is it that our physical health is so much more important to us than our psychological health?” -Dr. Guy Winch

Rather than suppressing, ignoring or running away from our negative thoughts and feelings, Dr. Winch recommends addressing them and changing our learned reactions.

“When you're in emotional pain, treat yourself with the same compassion you would expect from a truly good friend.”

Stress is a natural part of everyone’s lives, a factor especially inflamed by a state of global crisis and uncertainty. Focusing on this stress can put you at ‘significant risk for developing clinical depression, alcoholism, eating disorders, and even cardiovascular disease’ ...and the list of scientifically proven negative effects (beyond the melancholy you’re feeling) goes on and on. However, by shifting your perspective and practicing emotional hygiene, as Dr. Winch calls it, you can avoid these effects and open yourself up to feelings of peace and joy. Small changes in thought patterns can greatly improve your emotional wellbeing.

This ‘emotional hygiene’ looks different for everyone. Maybe it looks like FaceTiming a loved one, writing in a journal, dancing around your living room or cooking a kick-ass meal in the kitchen.

Photographer: Max Delsid | Source: Unsplash

5 Tips to Practice Emotional Wellbeing

  1. Pay Attention to Emotional Pain. Just as ignoring a physical injury won’t make it go away, ignoring emotional pain won’t make it go away either.
  2. Be Gentle With Yourself. We’re our own worst critics. Understanding that emotions are natural and allowing yourself to feel them will ease tension.
  3. Protect Your Self Esteem. Some psychologists call self esteem the emotional immune system. Avoid negative self-talk and practice habits that boost you up when you’re feeling down.
  4. Don’t Ruminate. By focusing on the negative, we reinforce negative thought. Direct your attention elsewhere by letting go of those thoughts or doing something physically active.
  5. Learn What Works For You. Experiment and observe what treatments work for you to treat an emotional wound.

How are you doing? If you’re looking for food inspiration, a sense of community or just cool content, check out our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’re updating our pages with crazy amazing meals our chefs are creating at home with their loved ones. Tag us in your quarantine kitchen experiments!

Want to learn more about emotional first aid? Check out guy’s inspiring TED talk below.

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