Happy August! The last year and a half has been very difficult for a large number of people. During times of chaos around us it can be very beneficial to look inward. And to provide yourself with grace and compassion. So you may be asking how to do that when most of us are busy and overscheduled. The answer? Self-care for eating disorders.
Jean Shinoda Bolen said it best. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life”. So consider the following as your guide for how to incorporate self-care for eating disorders into your daily routine.
What is Self-Care for Eating Disorders?
Any activity or action that helps restore and recharge you to be your best self is a form of self-care. Self-care for eating disorders is very individualized. For that reason, there is no “perfect” way to incorporate it. One thing we feel is important to acknowledge is that self-care for eating disorders is not always an activity or action. In fact, it can be giving yourself time to not do anything at all. Or giving yourself a day that you let unfold however it unfolds without plans in place.
Examples of Self-Care for Eating Disorders:
Since self-care is so individualized, it may be a trial and error type situation when you decide to add it into your routine. A good place to start when trying to incorporate self-care into your routine is to ask yourself, “What do I need today to help rejuvenate me or fill my cup?”
In order to help you along that journey we have taken some suggestions from those around us to give you some places to start.
Here is a list we have created:
- Sunday “spa” day – I wash my hair and take a shower followed by doing a facial routine. Then I usually relax in my PJs the rest of the day on the couch and read a book or hang out with my fiancé
- Gratitude Journaling
- Epsom Salt Bath
- Going on Walks or Exercising
- Meditation (calm, headspace, Insight timer apps)
- Listening to audio books and/or podcasts
- Walking Outdoors/Enjoying Outdoors
- Facetiming friends or family
- Playing with dog/cat (or any pet)
- Reading a book
- Using essential oils (diffusing)
- Taking 5 deep breaths with hands on your belly when first waking up to set the tone for the day
- Setting phone boundaries
- Setting aside a few minutes in the morning to drink a warm beverage before starting the day
- Baking and eating something
Self-Care for the Mind and Body
You may feel stressed about how to fit self-care into your routine. If so, try to focus on what you may already be doing that is self-care. Things such as brushing our teeth, getting out of bed, feeding our bodies, etc. Although they seem like your ordinary behaviors, they can in fact be self-care and should be regarded as such.
Often times self-care is sold to us in the form of our outer appearance – things such as manicures, skin care, massages, etc. While all of these are indeed forms of self-care and likely make us feel good, we must remember to vary our self-care. We have a whole other self inside that gets ignored when we solely focus on our outer shells for self-care.
Taking care of both our bodies and minds is important. Some people look at their therapy appointments or sessions with their dietitian as a form of self-care because usually these sessions help individuals process and work through difficulties they may be experiencing – a way to help heal their mind and body.
Lauren is an eating disorder dietitian at Courage to Nourish. She specializes in working with clients in recovery from anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Lauren uses the principles of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size in her work. She is currently holding virtual sessions with clients. To set up a discovery call with Lauren or another Courage to Nourish dietitian, complete our contact form. View Lauren's full bio here.