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.
1. Talk about it
Eating disorders can be very isolating, especially as society does much of its social talk at mealtimes, the most anxious time if you have an eating disorder.
2. Nourish your mind and body
Did you know?
- The brain uses about 25% of your energy intake - not eating enough can lead to mood swings, irritability and difficulty making decisions.
- That the gut and brain are closely interconnected. A varied gut bacteria (from varied diet) can improve stress and mood.
- Starvation or chaotic eating interferes with gut action leading to gas and bloating, as do some foods (e.g. excessive fibre, too much fruit and vegetables, too much fluid with meals, fizzy or caffeinated drinks, artificial sweeteners). With regular eating of a variety of foods, the gut will return to normal.
3. Get enough sleep
- Avoid or limit caffeine
- Don’t go to bed too hungry or full
- Avoid screens, which stimulate parts of the brain that keep you awake
- Keep a regular bedtime
- Develop a relaxing nighttime routine
- Practice sleep hygiene
4. Stay safe on social media and internet
- Type in the exact web address you are looking for- there is a lot of misinformation and triggering content for eating disorders on the net.
- Limit use of social media/ imaging sites if causing you to feel worse or compare your size/ shape to others.
- Remember, much of the body imagery on the net is photoshopped and not realistic.
- Follow recommended recovery blogs and websites to connect and learn from people who can help/ inspire you.
- Don’t check at night after going to bed.
- Avoid discussing weight/ shape or images that others will comment on - don’t set yourself up!
5. Decisions to consider or discuss with your GP
- Am I well enough to manage regular work/ school right now- are changes needed?
- Am I safe/ unsafe to participate in sports/ PT/ dance/ gym right now?
- Do I need professional help or more support?
- Do I need a multivitamin?
6. Become an expert in your health through bibliotherapy