10 Eating Disorder Recovery Tips
What do you do when you are finished with your eating disorder treatment? How can you keep yourself from falling back into the old habits you learned to overcome at an eating disorder residential center? The following steps may be helpful in preventing relapse and in enabling you to adjust back into everyday life:
- Participate in social activities. Hang out with a friend instead of staying at home alone. Make an effort to talk and enjoy the company of others.
- Avoid unhealthy eating behaviors. When you have the urge to skip a meal, binge, or purge food you have just eaten, call up a friend, take a walk, or write in your journal. Take part in some activity that will distract you from practicing these unhealthy eating behaviors.
- Exercise moderately. For over-exercisers, exercise should be approached cautiously, but in most cases not avoided entirely. Consider trying out an easier exercise form, exercise for a shorter period of time, or skip a few days in between exercise routines. Physical activity can have very positive effects on the body and one’s emotional health if practiced in moderation.
- Be open and honest. Allow yourself to share your thoughts, concerns, and overall emotions with your loved ones. Avoid holding everything inside.
- Do something special for yourself. Buy yourself a new outfit, get a massage, go and watch a movie, treat yourself well and do something special every once in a while.
- Consider attending therapy. Having weekly or even monthly sessions with a therapist may be helpful when leaving eating disorder treatment at an eating disorder treatment center. These sessions allow you to open up and express your opinions and concerns with someone not directly involved in your life.
- Practice healthy eating. Cook healthy meals and avoid skipping meals or eating a large number of snacks throughout the day. You may also want to attempt a new challenge every once in a while, this could be achieved by doing something such as eating out with a friend.
- Spend time alone with your thoughts. This method is different for everyone. Some might enjoy painting, writing, taking a walk in the park, reading a book, or listening to music during this time.
- Make a schedule. For many people who have completed eating disorder treatment, mapping out what will take place and when eating will occur throughout the day is very helpful. This helps to prevent skipping meals and allows you to plan out a healthy meal ahead of time.
- Allow for mistakes. If you skip a meal one day or eat too much another, recognize that you have not ultimately failed; you have a chance to start over the next day. Mistakes are bound to be made and recovery from your eating disorder is possible.