6 WAYS TO IMPROVE LIFE AFTER BREAKING UP WITH YOUR EATING DISORDER
There is a common trend among eating disorder sufferers to give their disorder a nickname, to personify it. You see, often the relationship they have with their eating disorder is stronger than the other bonds in their life combined. So giving ‘it’ a name really rolls off the tongue.
But, like any kind of relationship break up, the hardest part is often finding value in yourself and your life as you move forward. Healing the physical symptoms of an eating disorder is only one step of recovery. Rebuilding the life you once had, finding that elusive place of yours in this world, and looking after yourself psychologically is the next.
These are some of the ways you can cherish your worth and dabble in the necessary practice of self-care:
1. Nurture yourself
The focus of treatment and recovery for eating disorders is generally food and weight. You need to heal the insides of your broken body with a nutritious intake for the health and improvements to show through on the outside. It’s very easy to get caught up in this mentality and neglect other kinds of self-nurturing. Warm showers, clean hair, even a face of make up can make you feel unstoppable. It’s the small acts that can make the largest difference to the attitudes you hold about yourself, inside and out.
2. Act youthful
Remember when you were a child and your favourite stuffed toy could soothe you in an instant? It’s the same for soothing yourself as an adult. Don’t be afraid to dig into your childhood archives and find those pursuits that once made you smile. Finger painting or a blanket that puts you into a calm space, are both tools you should have in your self-care toolkit.
3. Foster fresh ideas
People often report a loss of identity along with recovery. Who are you as a person once your eating disorder is removed from the equation? Use this as an opportunity to figure out how you tick without the mind consuming thoughts. Develop a new skill, take a class in ceramics, join a book club, or learn a language. Do something that occupies your mind and identity without the focus on learned eating disorder behaviour.
4. Be kind
To yourself and others. When you are kind to other people - this can be as simple as calling your grandmother to chat - their sense of gratitude can help make you feel warm and fuzzy in return. The positive mood you sense when you have done something nice for another person is commanding. Use these acts of kindness as a way to improve your self-image for the long term. You can’t always feel awful about yourself when you’re bringing sunshine into the lives of other people.
5. Rebuild relationships
The love hate relationship you have with your eating disorder sometimes has dire effects on the other relationships in your life. You may have pushed your family and friends away as you fell into the disorders grasp, or they may have taken a backseat during the worst times. Don’t dwell on what happened, instead focus on rebuilding these relationships. Chances are if you send your friends a text they’ll be excited to hear from you. With a little effort from both sides, these relationships can always be mended.
You’ve just been on an adventure that could fill the pages of three autobiographies. It’s important not to block out what has happened, instead use these memories to your advantage. Look back at your eating disorder and see how it all began. You may be able to trace behaviours and develop clear ideas of your patterns for relapse.
Reflection also shows how strong of a person you are for kicking your eating disorder to the curb. People often say that you learn something about yourself with every relationship break up, but with those of the eating disorder variety, you learn far more.
HAVE YOU GONE THROUGH A TOUGH BREAK-UP? HOW DID YOU SURIVIVE AND WHAT ACTS OF SELF-CARE WORKED FOR YOU?
Image Source via: We Heart It
WORDS BY: Dana Fullgrabe
Dana is an emerging writer and a trained journalist from Melbourne, with experience in social media, blogging and popular culture. When not writing, she enjoys browsing furniture stores, coming of age novels and pretending that Dawson’s Creek is the height of television perfection.