Prioritizing Self-Care in Eating Disorder Recovery

Yes, it’s true – you do matter, and how you care for yourself is foundational to your eating disorder recovery. Self-care is more than a fad word or a luxury activity that you participate in every now and then; self-care is a necessity to thriving in life and keeping your eating disorder recovery a priority.

How you care for yourself matters. It may be easier to justify investing time and effort into other people and relationships that you care about: but what are you doing to nurture the relationship you have with yourself? Are you caring for your mind, body, and heart appropriately? Is there any aspect of your life that is neglected and needs extra attention?

This Valentine’s Day, take the time to reflect on your own self-care and how loving yourself is perhaps the most important step you can take to grow as a person and progress in your eating disorder recovery journey. Remember… you cannot pour from an empty glass; in the same way, you cannot give to others if you are not loving yourself first.

Practical Ways to Love Yourself

Self-care can be practiced in simple ways, each and every day, as a reminder that you are absolutely deserving of love, care, and attention. Ask yourself; what are the things that bring you joy and fill up your cup? Check out these practical suggestions below for ways that you can begin integrating self-care on a daily basis:

  • Schedule intentional “down-time” each day. If you’re juggling a busy schedule, you’re likely jumping from one activity to the next. Overfilling your calendar and not taking some intentional time to rest can lead to a burnout and depletion. Make sure you’re giving yourself some time to unwind each day by planning it in your schedule, whether in the morning before you jump into a busy routine or at the end of your day. Use this time for journaling, meditating, listening to your favorite music, or reading a good book.
  • Do a Digital Detox. Staying submersed in social media can be emotionally draining. Practice self-care by protecting your mental health and unplug from screens and social media on a regular basis. Whether for an hour a day or a day per week, allow yourself the space to disconnect to make room for other life-giving activities.
  • Engage in activities or hobbies that you enjoy. There are so many things we cram into our schedules because we “have to”, like work or school, but what about activities that are fun to participate in? Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to dance, cook, or take up art or photography. Learning a new hobby can give you something to look forward to while allowing you to spend your time in ways that are productive and life giving to you.
  • Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. In our digital culture, we spend less time in relationships that matter most. Who are the people in your life that make you feel good about yourself and support your recovery? Make the time to nurture these relationships and surround yourself with others who are positive and uplifting.

Whatever you decide to do, recognize that you are worthy of love, kindness, and acceptance wherever you might be in your recovery journey. Practicing self-care is a way to show yourself love each day – because you deserve nothing less!

What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?