Self-help is an important part of managing any health condition. Guided self-help (self-help guided by your GP or another professional) is also a treatment of choice for certain eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder.
As we approach Christmas 2020, it’s important to acknowledge that this can be a difficult time for people with eating disorders in any year, not to mention during a pandemic. The change in routine and expectations can raise a range of challenges for everyone involved. So, it can be helpful at this stage to begin to consider and plan for some of these challenges and to open the conversation at home regarding situations that might be difficult in the run up to Christmas.
If you are worried about an eating disorder, these self help tips can help you get started, while you make decisions about what other support you may need.
Having an eating disorder can isolate you, especially as people do a lot of their socialising around meals and food-related events - a time when you are often feeling most vulnerable and stressed.
Whether you are waiting for an assessment, in treatment, recovering, or dealing with a relapse, one of the most important truths about managing eating difficulties or an eating disorder is that ‘food is medicine’.
Getting through mealtimes and eating with others can be distressing for you if you are concerned about your eating habits or have an eating disorder. These suggestions may help you to manage them a bit more easily.
The eating disorder would still like to be the most important thing in my life. The eating disorder presents me with personalised goals, measurable progress and a sense of identity. The eating disorder encourages me to cultivate such high levels of paralysing self-hatred that I will be unable to function or find peace among any people, anywhere in the world. The eating disorder offers a constant internal stream of negative scrutiny guaranteeing isolation and painful feelings of social incompetence.
A person with strong resilience has the coping skills to recover and bounce back more quickly from a difficult or negative experience. The good news is that these coping skills can be developed.
Getting an adequate nights sleep is essential to mental and physical wellness, and this is even more important if you have an eating disorder. Lack of sleep can make you feel tired, emotional and irritable. It can affect your memory and decision making. This, in turn, can affect your ability to challenge the eating disorder and stay positive.
In the early stages of dealing with an eating disorder, it may be best to switch off from the internet in order to avoid content that may trigger your eating disorder thoughts and feelings.
Research shows us that people who are more informed about their health condition find it easier to manage treatment and often have improved outcomes. There are many self-help, informative and therapeutic books available to help you and your family through this difficult time if you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder.