Food is Connection, and Connection is What We Need Right Now

March 30, 2020
women in striped shirt eating pasta in apartment


There is a lot going on in our world right now, as a University community we too miss our students, miss our routines and miss a sense of safety.  In times of uncertainty people choose different ways to cope.  When we are being asked to physically distance ourselves from our support system or our typical coping ways, that can add an extra layer of hard times.  Let me remind you that just because we have to distant ourselves physically, does not mean we should stop connecting in safe ways, via digital or calling someone on the phone.  Now is the time to stay connected in whatever ways feel best.  A quick text, checking on people you know have a hard time staying home and doing introvert things, just a “hey, how’s it going.”  

                     -Now is the time to stay connected in whatever ways feel best.  

There are great resources out there about how to cope in difficult times, I want to discuss one coping mechanism, food.  Food is also being talked a lot about right now in the media, due to hoarding practices and people’s fear of there not being “enough.”  This is a true reaction to fear and scarcity.  People also feel this drive to overbuy or eat differently when they restrict their food intake on purpose (ie. dieting).  You might be noticing similar behaviors around food because there is a lot of unknown right now.  


Now, I won’t tell you not to buy that extra box of mac and cheese when you see there are only 3 boxes left, or not to want to sit at home and eat simple comfort foods for all your meals. Food is emotional, and that is normal and awesome.   I ask you to consider looking inward and give yourself a huge hug, and your family members too.  Of course, food buying or eating differently is the reaction, be gentle with yourself and know that this is not the time to beat yourself up about your eating.  Honestly, there is not ever a time for that, but especially now, when stress and anxiety is high, and the unknown is real.

                    -Family meals at home or digital coffee dates with friends and loved ones  

Instead, look for satisfaction in meals, look for opportunities to eat with others, whether that be family meals at home or digital coffee & muffin dates with friends and loved ones.  Food is also connection and remembering that can be a way we can find a little joy in each equally really hard day. 


Campus Health is continuing to offer services for students (please call first) to stay connected while physically distancing. We also offer telehealth services for medical services, nutrition and mental health counseling.  It’s looking different in our world right now and the only way to get through hard times is as a community. We continue to engage, reach out and support our students the best way we know how.  We also work very hard to allow students to feel what they need to feel, compassion and grace in times of high stress are important for self-care.  It is possible to be really upset at this situation and find helpful ways to make the best of each day,no need to justify, the two feels can co-exist.  


Be Well Wildcats, 

Ashley Munro, RD, CDE

Nutrition Counselor at Campus Health


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