Return to the Dining Table

If you have been eating yourself in front of the TV in the past year, or have been scrolling endlessly through your phone at breakfast, you are definitely not alone.

“Quarantine permissiveness” is what Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and a best-selling author who focuses on mind eating, calls herself the almost universal phenomenon of allowing bad habits during an epidemic.

But it may be time to consider a return to the table.

This is not meant to be fancy or elaborate, but setting a good table may encourage you to eat solos with your family, roommates, or a good book.

“Eating out should be an experience and something that you like,” Dr. Albers said. “You don’t have to take a lot of time to eat, but when you do it, give it your full attention.” This means keeping your phone away and sitting at the table.

“Your phone should not be your food companion,” Dr. Said Albers, who calls that familiar habit of eating with one hand and scrolls with “zombie eating” with the other. But she acknowledges that instead of sitting at the table in front of the TV, or eating without scrolling on your phone, it can feel like daunting chores, because “it’s hard to unlink those two behaviors when you see them day in and day out.” are doing.” This can be especially difficult if you are working from home during an epidemic, or if you feel like dining on a sofa while binge watching the show is the reward for making it through another difficult day.

The good news is that eating food while sitting at the table is not a household chore. When you remember meal times as special parts of the day, time to connect with loved ones or to relax alone, they become something to look forward to.

Fallon Carter, an New York City-based event planner, recently purchased a new dining table. She has found that having a proper diet during an epidemic is a great way to connect with oneself. “When you set the space and set the zone,” she said, “you can transform any space into something special,” she said.

There is nothing fussy about the food on a table, but a little effort can go a long way towards making the experience enjoyable. Ms. Carter added a flower arrangement to her dining table, in which she purchased Trader Joes’ flowers. “It wasn’t a big lift,” he said, laughing, but it made the space feel more inviting. She suggests using cloth napkins and appropriate glassware and getting a set of dishes that you really like.

Many have leaned into cooking during the epidemic, and setting the table is a great way to honor the work that goes into preparing food. Even if you prefer takeout or microwave dinner, the advantages of setting the table still apply. No matter how you get your food, you can always transfer it to the appropriate dishes.

There are a lot of good reasons to sit at the table for a meal, but don’t let yourself get stress-free. Food is to be enjoyed. If you wish, Ms. Falone also suggests being a little fancy with your table.

“Don’t save the good stuff!” You are entitled to the good stuff. We have been in an epidemic! “

Set with cloth napkins, flatware, glassware and dishes you love.

Add candles, flowers or something decorative

Keep the TV and your phone and laptop in another room.

Sit with your feet on the floor and your back against the chair (as you would in a restaurant).

Relax and enjoy your meal!

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