For more than 8 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder, the road to wellness can be long and complex. Even if you’ve received treatment for an eating disorder, it’s still possible to relapse into familiar and dangerous patterns.
While there will always be temptations along the way, you can maintain control by making smart decisions. Here are a few healthy lifestyle choices you can make to support eating disorder recovery.
Accept Yourself the Way You Are
Is stress one of the triggers for your eating disorder? With today’s constant media barrage, it’s easier than ever to get a distorted view of how things should be in an ideal world, and that can be stressful. There’s no such thing as a perfect person, so why put yourself through anxiety in search of an unattainable goal? Take a look at yourself and think about all of the great things about yourself that make you unique.
Find an Outlet
Emotional pain and stress are often at the core of eating disorders, and the way you react to them will go a long way towards a relapse into unhealthy habits. Instead of turning to food when you feel negative energy, try channeling it into a different outlet:
- Creative writing
- Drawing, painting or photography
- Listening to music or learning to play an instrument
- Joining a team in a recreational sports league
- Working out
- Doing some volunteer work
- Calling a friend
Make sure you treat this as part of a process, as you might not find the right outlet the first time. If one activity doesn’t take your mind away from your stress, don’t be afraid to try something else.
Develop a Healthier Relationship with Food
One of the things that make eating disorders difficult to overcome is that you need food to survive, so you can’t completely cut it out of your life. With that in mind, it’s important to develop a new relationship with food that focuses on the good things it does for you.
Start by giving your eating patterns structure, so you train your body to want food at the right time. When you do eat, focus on items that are both filling and rich in nutrients such as whole grains and nuts. You should also try to make changes gradually instead of shocking your system with a radical overhaul, as that can make it easier to sustain your efforts.
You Can Do It
When you have suffered from an eating disorder and have sought treatment, you have already taken significant steps towards recovery. It’s important to sustain your recovery by making healthy lifestyle choices.
At High Focus Centers, our holistic treatment programs help support clients who are in recovery from eating disorders by encouraging healthy routines to prevent relapse. If you are seeking a support program to improve your mental health, fill out a confidential contact form to learn how we can help.