1. Willingness. This is the first step towards true recovery! Admitting that you need help is a part of your willingness to get better.
2. Accountability and structure. Get an accountability coach, partner or group and structure a healthy meal plan. Call each other every day to keep on track. Having somebody that you have to tell everything will help you be more honest with yourself. This is a major key to successful recovery.
3. Support. Isolating yourself is a very dangerous thing to do during recovery. Support groups will help you get the support you need without needing to feel ashamed- everybody there has been where you are. Get a core group of support together as well, and allow yourself to reach out and be vulnerable.
4. Feelings. Learn to separate your feelings from your eating disorder. Allow yourself to have your feelings- they won’t kill you. What can kill you is an eating disorder. Take time out when you are feeling down and don’t let it influence your eating disorder.
5. Therapy and treatment team. You may not be getting residential treatment anymore, but continued therapy is important. Make it a priority. If you aren’t dealing with new issues, it is more likely that you will relapse.
6. Emotional needs. Eating disorders are often a pseudo-fix for an emotional need. Looking inward to discover the root of your problem and finding out what you really need will help you separate your root needs (perhaps higher self esteem and self-acceptance) from your pseudo needs (you want to be skinnier).
7. Boundaries. Often times an eating disorder is a way for you to keep people at a distance. Learn to set limits in a positive way. There are classes available to teach you out to be assertive.
8. Spirituality. Search for a purpose; involve yourself in things to help you find peace, hope, and a connection. Too many times we all get distracted by the material things like work and the media. The things that really matter are love and life.
9. Service. Get involved in volunteer opportunities! Open yourself up and step outside your boundaries to help others with eating disorders.
10. Fun and creativity. Let yourself loose on the weekend and enjoy yourself! Never experiencing the world around us by brooding at home every day will only intensify an eating disorder. Do something you can let yourself shine, but don’t be a perfectionist. It’s okay if you don’t do it perfect every time.
Citation information: Daily-Murphy, Laurie (CEDS) “Recovery Tips After Residential Treatment” Eating Disorders Today Fall 2006: 6