If the COVID-19 pandemic has been causing some undue stress, that can be forgiven.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in Newfoundland and Labrador is enough to cause even more isolation-related stress.
A byproduct of that has been the penchant to stress eat and an endless journey to the snack cupboard and back.
Experts will call that stress eating. You and your friends might call it eating your feelings.
Either way, dieticians such as Victoria Power say it is perfectly OK.
“Sometimes emotional eating can be a good thing,” she said recently. “As long as we’re healthy, we’re OK.”
Power recently hosted a webinar in which she looked at the effects stress can have on a person’s digestion.
For the Central Newfoundland-based Registered Dietician, the work she did to prepare for the seminar has been a chance to step back into her old world.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the provincial lockdown went into effect, Power moved to support other essential departments like pharmacies.
For her, the webinar felt like seeing clients again and a return to the norm.
When people have been inside for the last 2 1/2 months, often the last thing they have the energy for is to be responsible for cooking supper again.
Since the pandemic started, drive-thrus at fast-food restaurants around the province have seen an increase in usage.
Power offered some tips to beat the supper-cooking blues. At the top of the list is to take advantage of when you have the energy to cook to make large batches of food.
You can use them for later meals throughout the week. Power calls them planned-overs instead of leftovers.
Keeping a list of the family's favourite meals and getting everyone involved in the making of the list is another tip.
“Remind yourself that you’re human,” Power said of stress eating. “Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break.”
The province is preparing to move into a lighter alert mode as the pandemic loosens its grip.
As such, people’s eating habits might start to return to normal. With that in mind, it might be a good idea to develop healthier habits that can help your wallet and the environment.
“Preparing a meal plan prior to grocery shopping can help reduce food waste,” said Corner Brook-based Registered Dietician Sherry Buckingham. “Plant a vegetable garden in your backyard, on your patio or in a community garden.
“This is a perfect time of the year to get the seeds and plants in the ground. Other ways include trying alternatives to meat consumption and making fewer trips to the grocery store.”
Nicholas Mercer is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Central Newfoundland for Saltwire Network.