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May 8, 2023

9 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Eating Disorder Recovery

Self-care can sometimes function as self-preservation; in your recovery, practicing self-care is a necessity and a healthy way to find peace and joy. In fact, regular self-care is critical to sustaining recovery from an eating disorder.

Incorporating consistent self-care into your life is clinically proven to help decrease the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional health issues. A self-care routine can help you efficiently cope with the stressors and triggers of day-to-day life, such as overwhelm and fatigue surrounding work, school, or social obligations.  Before you choose some self-care activities, pause to check in with your inner self and consider what could benefit you most at the moment. Do you need time alone or the social support of friends? Do you need to get outside for a change of scenery, or would it feel better to bundle up with a blanket indoors? You will know what best serves your current needs.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Practice mindful meditation to develop greater awareness of your mind and body, recognizing patterns of thoughts and emotions that may trigger eating disorder behaviors.
  2. Curl up with a good book or journal while wearing fuzzy socks. This simple activity could help you unwind, focus on something positive, and connect with yourself.
  3. Take a few grounding breaths to center yourself and release tension in the body. Deep breathing exercises promote emotional regulation, an important skill for eating disorder recovery.
  4. Call or FaceTime a good friend or support person who uplifts you. Social connection is an important part of recovery, as it helps to combat the isolation that often accompanies eating disorders.
  5. Try a new hobby to focus your mind and nurture self-confidence. Hobbies offer an engaging way to pass time, as well as an opportunity to gain a sense of worth and validation outside of your eating disorder.
  6. Use an acupressure ring to promote body awareness and relieve stress and tension. Rolling one of these metal rings up and down your finger can awaken your senses and help you tune into your body.
  7. Take a leisurely walk to connect with the natural world and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Immersing yourself in nature can ease the feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression common in recovery.
  8. Listen to upbeat music or a funny podcast to boost your mood and lift your spirits. Moments of joy can help you navigate the challenges of eating disorder recovery with greater ease and resilience.
  9. Practice yoga to find a sense of calm. By incorporating gentle movement, breathwork, and mindfulness practices, yoga can help you connect with your body, quiet your mind, and experience peace.

There are endless possibilities to choose from when you need to reconnect with how you feel and build self-compassion. Experiment with different types of self-care and take note of which ones feel the most helpful and sustainable. Building a self-care toolkit can be highly beneficial during stressful times when your recovery feels threatened. Having an awareness of your tried-and-true self-care solutions can make handling triggers much more manageable. 

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. Give yourself permission to choose an alternative plan if it makes you feel comfortable. Preserving your well-being is most important. We are all unique; the crucial part of our self-care practices is that we make them relevant and valuable to our health and well-being.

Self-care can feel like an impossible ask when you’re actively struggling with an eating disorder. Veritas Collaborative is here to get you on the path to recovery. Reach out to us at 1-855-875-5812 or fill out our online form.