The Importance Of Self Care When Recovering From Eating Disorders
For people who have suffered from eating disorders, self love and self compassion may feel foreign after months or years focusing on control, perfectionism, and order. Disordered eating makes it seemingly impossible to truly feel cared for. While each person’s recovery journey looks different, self care is an important tool that can help people be kinder to themselves along the way. Read on to learn more about self care and ways to practice it.
What is self care?
Though the term self care may conjure images of face masks, tea, and zen music, it doesn’t always equate to spa activities. It typically involves taking time to pay attention to yourself mindfully. It requires us to recognise when we have too much going on and seek ways to slow down and decompress. In other words, self care often necessitates knowing your personal limits and understanding how to react to them. It also means taking care of yourself in some of the most basic but important ways—from getting the amount of sleep you need to feel your best to eating enough food to feel nourished and energised. And for many people, self care means finding—and doing—the things you like to do that make you feel confident, fulfilled, and happy.
The importance of self care (and how to practice it)
Practicing self care will not only improve your quality of life, it can also help you be more productive and better able to handle physical and emotional stressors. Remember that the self-care practices that make someone else feel great may not do the same for you. Try different ways to mindfully take better care of yourself until you find what works for you. For instance, you can:
• Write down what you’re grateful for
• Make a craft
• Take a social media break for a day, week, or month
• Go for a walk outside
• Fix something in your house that’s broken
• Get a manicure or pedicure
• Read a good book
• Take a nap
• Say no to something if you’re feeling overwhelmed
• Jot down compliments people give you (that are not related to your appearance) and refer back to your list on a weekly basis
• Take a bath with essential oils
One of the biggest principles of self care (that’s often easy to forget): It’s not a one-time deal, especially if you’re recovering from one or more eating disorders. Though it may feel indulgent or over the top, it’s often beneficial to incorporate self care into your daily life so it eventually becomes a habit.