Nourish your soul: learn to eat, sleep and work better

by Robert Dennis - Guest Blogger
12 April 2018

We are creatures of habit. Almost everything we do in our daily lives is the result of habits that we have acquired, usually unconsciously. Sometimes, these habits are good, such as deleting finished tasks from your to-do list or kicking off your shoes and listening to relaxing music when you get home. But all too often we pick up bad habits which can have a deeply negative impact on our ability to operate effectively during the day or to be able to switch off in the evening. These bad habits can include eating the wrong types of food and at the wrong time of the day, which can affect our sleep patterns and energy levels during our waking hours. We also tend to use food to deal with stress and other negative emotions, a phenomenon known as “emotional eating”.

Two recent research studies carried out by Michigan State University and the University of Illinois found that stress experienced during the day at work contributed to unhealthy eating patterns in the evening. The researchers also stated that having a good night’s sleep “can serve as a protecting factor” against this bad habit.

According to Chu-Hsiang Chang, study co-author and MSU associate professor of psychology, “when workers slept better the night before, they tended to eat better when they experienced stress the next day.” The professor also said that “a good night’s sleep can make workers replenished and feel vigorous again, which may make them better able to deal with stress at work the next day and less vulnerable to unhealthy eating.”

Yihao Liu of the University of Illinois said that “first, eating is sometimes used as an activity to relieve and regulate one’s negative mood, because individuals instinctually avoid adverse feelings and [embrace positive ones]. Second, unhealthy eating can also be a consequence of diminished self-control. When feeling stressed out by work, individuals usually experience inadequacy in exerting effective control over their cognitions and behaviors to be aligned with personal goals and social norms.”

Is there a way out of this vicious cycle?

Just as bad habits are learnt, so they have to be unlearnt and replaced with more positive ones, but it’s not that easy to simply acquire better eating and sleeping habits and be able to relax. To address these issues, as part of our holistic approach to work and life, H2N has developed a unique programme called “Food for the Soul”. In addition to learning about healthy types of food and how to prepare them, the programme also includes sessions on mindful eating with food coach Shoruq Burjaq. Participants will understand why they are “eating their feelings” and learn how to eat and live in a healthier way. The programme also includes hands-on cooking instruction and the chance to learn more about the Mediterranean diet. It’s the perfect antidote to the junk lifestyle that is all too common among executives trying to cope with the stressful pace of the modern corporate environment. The programme also offers yoga, EFT therapy sessions and a range of health-promoting activities tailored to individual requirements. It all takes place in the stunning surroundings of Western Sicily, bringing participants close to nature.

According to Maria Isolina Catanese, H2N founder and director of the “Food for the Soul” programme, the activities will allow you to “focus on all aspects of your self-awareness, what you eat, how you eat, how you feed your mind and how you feel in your body. You will eat well and nourish your body with organic food”. The programme will also help to “clear emotions that are an important part of your overall wellness and that will leave you emotionally balanced and energised. You will leave us with a new perspective and sense of balance with your mind, body and spirit, gaining self-knowledge and understanding of a healthy lifestyle”. 

The FOOD FOR THE SOUL programme takes place in Menfi from 27 April to 1 May. For more details, write to us at:


Dove Siamo - Where we Are

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Menfi (AG) - Sicily, Italia

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