Nat's What I Reckon on food, music and mental health – SBS

“Mental health struggles are such an everywhere and all-the-time part of the world we live in,” Nat from Nat’s What I Reckon, a content creator, musician and isolation cooking champion, tells SBS. “So the idea of not talking about our mental health with each other seems like such a heartbreaking shame.”
That’s why the YouTube sensation wants people to eat good food with trusted folk and talk about their mental health: the good, the average and the awful.
To prove he’s serious about motivating people to open up, Nat settles in around the SBS Food table for an honest conversation of his own. 
 
You’re a mental health ambassador who advocates messages of hope for people struggling with mental health issues. What have your experiences of anxiety and depression meant for you now?
Nat: Anxiety, for me, is at times a seemingly never-ending constant war in my head. Depression is its sh*thead mate that keeps turning up to the party uninvited but for some reason, I keep letting them in. It’s hard to stay on top of all the things that trigger it but I try to set boundaries around those things as best I can.
I have struggled with these issues for as long as I can remember. Some [days] are better and some days are worse.
“A lot of the time I can come across like I am doing great or okay. But the truth is that every day – this morning, yesterday and the days before that – I woke up with my mental health staring me down.”
I have always been someone who tries to make people laugh. A lot of the time I can come across like I am doing great or okay. But the truth is that every day – this morning, yesterday and the days before that – I woke up with my mental health staring me down.
I have been diagnosed with a lot of things over the years. The most constant ones are Generalised Anxiety Disorder and episodes of severe depression. They are going to be a challenge for a while yet but you better believe that I am not giving up. I want to encourage people to do the same and hang in there.
 
If mental wellbeing was a person, how would you describe your relationship with it today?
Nat: Mental wellness would be someone I admire but don’t know that well. They keep going on holidays and are pretty hard to catch up with. But I know they will rock up one day to hang out.
We just need to get to know each other better so we can pencil in some more solid hang time.
 
How can gathering with others over food benefit our mental health? 
Nat: It’s the simplest of things that sometimes make the world seem a little less tough. Food is something that doesn’t ask much of you. Mostly, it’s just there to help you out and even maybe give you a reason to feel okay for a minute. 
The feeling of not being alone is such a huge comfort when otherwise poor mental health makes you feel so profoundly lonely, without a friend by your side. Getting together with people you care about for a feed has a cracker of a track record for being a ripper idea in any kind of weather.
Whether it’s cooking a feed or just sitting down to be with people who care about you, it’s always a good idea. I reckon it’s an activity that should be on high rotation in the self-care repertoire.
“Whether it’s cooking a feed or just sitting down to be with people who care about you, it’s always a good idea. I reckon it’s an activity that should be on high rotation in the self-care repertoire.” 
Can you share a first-hand experience of a time when eating a meal stimulated conversation and improved your own feelings of mental wellness?
Nat: Food and cooking give me something simple that I care about. I can also share it with people I care about without having to say anything. That is pretty special stuff.
One most recent story I have is about when I got a call from a person I am a bit of a big fan of – another YouTube creator actually. They knew of my mental health struggles and shared a bit about what they go through with me.
The [personal] things they shared resonated with me in a profound way. I think I even cried on the phone a bit. They then invited me to meet up in person and go for a bush walk with them. They packed me a sandwich they’d made.
We stopped by the water and sat on a rock. We ate sandwiches and shot the shit. It was so lovely, so simple and so helpful even though I had just met them.
This may not be the most high-octane thriller of a story but, at that point, I was having a really shit time and that [experience] was exactly what I needed. They, nor the walk or the sandwich asked anything of me except being a part of a moment: the time I spent with a turkey sandwich and the conversation that came along with it are not things that I’ll soon forget.
 
What is your main message for people reading this article, who are struggling with mental health issues of their own?
Nat: Hang in there, do what you can today to try to look after yourself. Tell a mate or someone you love how you’re going and if you’re up for it, check in with them too. Be kind to that beautiful, complex heart of yours and most of all remember – you’re a bloody champion!
 
If you or anyone you know needs support, please contact Beyond Blue on 1300 225 636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800. 
Love the story? Follow the author here: Instagram @yasmin_noone. 

This free online course teaches you how to eat to manage depression and prevent dementia
If you love reading about what to eat to improve your mental health, balance your gut microbiome or prevent cognitive decline, then this new online course featuring the latest facts on food and mood may be for you.

If you're a young adult battling depression symptoms, this may be the diet for you
An Australian-led study has shown that young adults with elevated symptoms of depression can improve their mental health by adopting a healthy diet with a Mediterranean twist.

How top chefs take care of their mental health
The word “relaxed” doesn’t immediately spring to mind when discussing the hospitality industry, but as these top chefs prove, taking care of your mental health is all part of the job.

How baking can improve your mental health
Calming, rewarding, and providing focus, baking can be a great way to help lift your mood.

Is there a link between a meat-free diet and mental health?
“If you’re going to be a vegetarian, you have to be more thoughtful about what you eat.”

Eat well: How your meal affects your mood
When it comes to mental health, the old saying "you are what you eat" rings true. Foods high in tryptophan boost the serotonin in our brains, leading to improved happiness levels, appetite, sleep, memory and sexual desire.

What are the 7 best nutrients for mental health
While sugary, fatty and processed foods are linked to depression, ingredients rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omegas have the opposite effect. Here are the best foods to boost your brain health.

SBS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia.

source

About Merisa

Check Also

10 Best Recipes With Beef Broth – Insanely Good – Insanely Good Recipes

More results… More results… If you’re looking for mouthwatering ways to use up that leftover …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *