Just two days ago the world observed Mental Health Awareness. 10th October every year is marked an important day in the diary of those who provide efforts to support mental health and all the related issues. For those of you living in the UK, you can learn more about the duties of the professionals involved in the guide titled “The Law and Practice of Mental Health in the UK”. It is difficult, however, to ignore the subject of mental health no matter which group or social class you belong to. From the tech industry professionals to British Royalty, mental health issues have had an effect on individuals.
Although the food topic is not usually associated with mental health, but rather a physical one, eating alone has been said to have a negative effect on our mental health. While nearly 8 million people live alone in the UK, for most of those eating alone on a regular basis is the norm. However, it is not the only scenario. With many spending a long period of time away on business, eating alone is the only option. Some businessmen and businesswomen have said to be spending as much as 10 years in careers that involve extensive travel. While this has an impact as well, there is a solution we cannot ignore. Acknowledging the damage of eating alone and benefits of eating in a company is the first step on a way to a better mental health and probably healthier eating habits. If you struggle to understand this, there is a very good and popular book written on this subject – Never Eat Alone.
While mental health is a lot more complicated and some cases cannot be improved by simply sharing a meal with someone, it is one of the simple ways to start protecting your sanity and those around you. The rise of the social dining experience and platforms like AirCook for You and Homecooked (US) provide an excellent way to share meals while travelling as well as experience culture of the place you are visiting. While food travel/social dining is a hot trend to some extent, for a lot of us it is something we need to be doing on a regular basis in order to stay connected with the outside world.
Not only eating but cooking and surrounding yourself with good food has proven to have major mental health benefits. One of the British Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh shared how baking helped her recover from depression. She has released a book titled Eat Up! where she describes the positive effects of improving her relationship with food and baking in particular. We are, after all, social creatures, so why not join a table somewhere instead of sitting down to eat alone again?