I’m not 100% sure about you, but for many people, staying inside has meant an amplification of food and body image issues.

Cooking more, spending more time alone, & having unfettered access to the kitchen are all variables with very real implications for mental health.

When these issues start to arise, it might help to reframe your thoughts on food, health or wellness. If you’re struggling with negative thoughts about your diet or body image, here are three ideas to try that can help:

1. Ditch the black and white thinking.
Categorizing foods as either “good” or “bad” is a recipe for restriction, guilt or shame. Unfortunately, these thoughts tend to be ingrained, meaning it will take a conscious effort to stop labeling food as right or wrong and start seeing it for what it is: nourishment, comfort and pleasure.

Give yourself permission to enjoy what you love, and practice moderation to keep it all in balance.

2. Be realistic and forgiving when it comes to food.
Despite what your Instagram feed might lead you to believe, nobody eats totally healthy all of the time — nor do they have to. When you stop trying to aim for “perfection” with your eating, you start to find a whole lot more room for appreciating what’s in front of you.

3. Practice intuitive eating habits.
Intuitive eating means honoring your hunger, eating when you need nourishment, and avoiding setting rules about what’s okay and what’s not. The more attention you pay to your body’s own hunger and fullness cues, the easier it becomes to eat without judgment.

It’s not easy to reframe your thoughts about food and your body. Have compassion for yourself, and give it time.

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