As we head into the holidays with altered plans because of COVID and most likely a few relatives and friends you feel very isolated from because of their political beliefs, I’m offering a tool to help you feel deeply connected to the people you will be with, in person or virtually.
Loneliness is one of the four main emotional eating triggers that makes us go Chuck It, F@#$ It with our eating. Loneliness isn’t about how many people are around you or in your life. It’s whether or not your social needs are being met.
If you’ve found yourself eating more with COVID, loneliness is probably one root cause.
Most of us have a social need to be seen, heard and understood. The word emotional intimacy captures this essence. It’s deeper than surface connection. And if it’s real or perceived that this intimacy can’t be had, we self-isolate, triggering the stress-eating cycle. This self-isolation causes much of our loneliness.
In our recent Insatiable Membership Community Mastermind around being intentional about creating nourishing holidays, what came up was a lot of people feeling very different or needing to hold healthy boundaries from their biological families.
Some felt they needed to Chuck it, F@#$ it in terms of engagement and just go through the motions (which then food becomes the only fun). One member had the great idea to learn more about the grandparents she was curious about because they had died before she was born so she received nourishment from the day.
This led me to suggest Story Corps and interviewing one or a few of your family members to learn parts of their story to cultivate emotional intimacy and connect with the humanity in each of us.
My Mom and I did this as part of a grad school assignment years ago and it was amazing to learn interesting details about her and connect on such an intimate level. I loved it. She loved it. And it’s still one of our best memories.
The challenge with transforming the loneliness-overeating cycle is we often don’t know what our social needs are – especially around the parts of ourselves we hide. This experience will give you a taste of how satisfying it is to connect intimately and when you do this, food becomes not as much of an issue or one at all as you replace self-isolation with belonging.
Also, here in the US, we are very divided, often within our own families. And these sharpening divisions have been created and fed by unprecedented and targeted disinformation campaigns boosted by foreign governments as a form of information warfare and used for political gain within the U.S. by the Trump-Republican party.
For us to start to heal, we will need to build a bridge to those we have relationships with. Story Corps can be a start as can advice here and here on how to talk to friends and family members who have been targeted by misinformation.
Experiment with the Story Corps questions and watch your food choices shift.
P.S. Here are client examples of transforming their loneliness to stop the stress-eating cycle instead of Chuck It, F@#$ It eating.