What does “look after yourself” mean?

We have all been brought up with free and easy access to foods that make us “feel better”, like chocolate, crisps, cake, biscuits, bread and butter.  We tend to reach for these foods automatically when feeling a bit tired, stressed, down, angry or frustrated.

Everywhere you turn nowadays you hear the phrases “look after yourself”, “put yourself first”, “if you don’t look after you, how can you look after anyone else?”.    Sadly, because we have learnt that sugary foods are comfort foods, a lot of people think that when they need to “care” for themselves, this means it’s ok to go and have a coffee and cake with a friend, go out for a meal with a delicious pudding and wine or simply curl up with a good movie and a slab of chocolate all to yourself.

I know it sounds like common sense when you see it written down that turning to sugary foods is not that great when we need self care, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a natural thing to do.

Self care means eating healthily.   It means giving your body what it needs rather than what you “fancy”.   Instead of turning to unhelpful foods, you could try some new treats like a candle and bubble bath with music and a good book, a walk in the countryside or on the beach, taking time out to sit in the sunshine with a magazine, re-introducing a hobby you haven’t done for years like knitting or perhaps doing a jigsaw puzzle.    Try anything that shifts your brain from busy left brain to creative right brain and the emotional craving for the sweet stuff will disappear.

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