Eating disorders are personal. More than anything, individuals challenged with eating disorders need the love and support of those closest to them – family members, friends and helping healthcare professionals.
Anyone who has faced an eating disorder understands that it’s far more than the constant challenge to indulge in unhealthy eating practices. Rather, eating disorders are a complicated manifestation of powerful thoughts and emotions, especially self-destructive, overly critical thoughts. Negative perceptions about one’s height, weight, features and body image are some of the causes that fuel eating disorders, but other mental health issues such as trauma, anxiety or depression may also play a factor. Individuals challenged with eating disorders use food as an outlet to deal with these emotions.
Though engaging in disordered eating behaviors can help an individual temporarily feel relief from the emotions they’re facing, it’s far from a permanent fix and it’s far from the right way to address a disorder. That’s why it’s so important that anyone faced with an eating disorder takes the time to appropriately address the situation, before allowing disordered eating habits to compromise the way you see yourself and others.
Let’s get to it: here are 4 proven tips to help you manage an eating disorder on a daily basis:
1. Don’t assume you can manage your eating disorder on your own.
It bears repeating: don’t assume you can effectively manage your eating disorder on your own. Instead, take the time to engage treatment modalities from licensed counselors who can teach daily disorder management skills through engaging therapy techniques that help restore self-confidence and productivity. If you’re ready to take the first step toward managing your eating disorder, we’re ready to help.
2. Stay positive.
It sounds simple, and it is: stay positive. Some days, you’ll find that it’s not all that difficult to manage your eating disorder. Other days, eating disorders can present a much bigger challenge. Battles against eating disorders aren’t won or lost in a day. No matter how you respond to these ongoing challenges on a daily basis, it’s important that anyone struggling with an eating disorder stays positive.
More than a boost for your morale, staying positive keeps self-criticism from further compromising your sense of self-confidence. In fact, criticism won’t do anything for your confidence or self-respect at any point. Instead, criticizing yourself at any point during a struggle against an eating disorder will only make a difficult situation worse. Stay positive, and don’t be afraid to take time and affirm your own decisions.
3. Get outside and get involved.
So often, eating disorders prevent individuals from enjoying life’s activities. Whether it’s a family reunion or a night out with friends, it’s so important that individuals struggling with eating disorders maintain social activities. Stay out of your own head, and surround yourself with friends and family members, in safe social environments, who will help build you up and support you in your struggles.
This also means that you might end up in situations you’ve successfully avoided. Social environments might require you to face certain triggers or encounter specific foods that are typically a part of your indulgence or avoidance. Before you open yourself to these possibilities, it’s a great idea to gauge your tolerance for trigger foods or situations, and to find an individual in attendance who understands your struggles.
4. Set a vision, and stick to it.
No matter where you find yourself in your fight against an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to set goals and stick to them. Maybe your goal is a week, or a month, without indulging in disordered eating behaviors. Maybe your goal is to reintroduce yourself socially, after taking time to deal with personal conflicts. Maybe your goal is to manage your eating disorder to the point that you can reintroduce old activities back into your daily routine.
No matter your vision for the future, set it and stick to it. And make sure to celebrate the little victories along the way! So often, individuals who struggle with eating disorders are quick to criticize struggles, but much more reluctant to celebrate successes. Take the time to credit yourself with a job well done when it’s deserved. Progress often begins with an optimistic outlook.
Managing an eating disorder starts with day one
When it comes to managing an eating disorder, the most difficult step is the first one. Acknowledging that you need help dealing with an eating disorder is the first step toward returning to the happy, healthy life you want.
Unfortunately, so many individuals never reach out to obtain the help they need. Pyramid Online Counseling makes it easy to get help for your eating disorder, with online counselors standing by to provide the therapy you need. Browse counselor profiles, choose the therapist that’s best for you and schedule your appointment today!