Feeling anxious and depressed during these times is not uncommon, and many of us have those same feelings. However, when you are in recovery from an eating disorder, now, more than ever, fostering a love for yourself is important. Self-care is a vital part of sustaining recovery and can help you to efficiently cope with these emotions.
How can I practice self-care?
Self-care does not have to be extravagant. It is simple, thoughtful things that you do to tend to your physical, emotional, mental, and psychological needs. Even during this time of social distancing and isolation, there are plenty of ways to practice self-care.
- Talk positively to yourself. You may find talking positively to yourself to be a challenge, as we are often our own worst critic. Stop and think about how you would speak to someone you love during a stressful situation or when they are feeling anxious. Now, direct that same response toward yourself. Transform negative talk into positive, loving words.
- Listen to your emotions. Your emotions provide important information about what we need both physically and mentally. This is important because when you are disconnected from your emotions, you are more likely to make decisions based on outside demands instead of what you truly need and care for. Slowing down and listening can help you honor your body’s physical and emotional needs and connect to your true self.
- Know and honor your limits. Sometimes practicing self-care means a change of plans, even more so now during social isolation. While routines are important, give yourself permission to choose an alternate plan if it makes you feel good. Your well-being is what is important.
- Take a screen break. We are spending more time right now in front of our screens, but too much time can be dangerous to your mental health. Honoring the need to give yourself time away from the screen without feeling guilty will help to clear your mind and stay centered.
- Comfort your body. Practice intuitive eating and listen to your body’s natural cues to guide your food choices. Getting adequate rest, taking short breaks, and spending time outside can also be a comfort to your body. Making yourself feel good is practicing self-care.
- Clear your mind. Take time each day to clear your mind by practicing mindfulness. As you feel anxious or overwhelmed, pausing to rejuvenate your mind and body by breathing and relaxing can create positive signals to calm the brain. Focusing on yourself is one of the kindest things you can do.
- Write it down. Journaling is beneficial to your mental health and gives you the opportunity to find your voice and share your inner thoughts without fear or judgment. Invest time into writing a positive message to yourself, the time and energy you spend in writing personally meaningful words can reduce stress and make thriving easier.
- Remind yourself of what your body can do. Even during uncertain times, remember how important your body is and how much it can do. Practice gratitude by appreciating how your body helps you to walk, laugh, love, smile, hug, and so much more. Appreciate it for these wonderful things instead of dwelling on negatives.
Cultivating self-love is needed to nurture your mind, body, and spirit, and can help to alleviate negative feelings. It is vital to recognize your importance of devoting the time to care for yourself and expanding your feelings of what really matters.
Practicing self-care in times of chaos can be difficult and cause you to struggle more, but you are not alone. At Toledo Center for Eating Disorders, we offer compassionate care without judgment for those who are struggling with an eating disorder. Our evidence-based treatment focuses on helping clients identify and understand the underlying issues that contribute to eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Using a customized treatment plan that incorporates individual and group therapies, we address the medical, nutritional, psychological, emotional, and behavioral needs of each client as they recover. For more information on our program and levels of care, call us or complete our contact form.