EATING DISORDER RECOVERY | A GUIDE TO BUILDING A HEALTHY ROUTINE
Out with the Old, In With the New
When struggling with an eating disorder, it’s often easy to fall into an unhealthy routine of behavior, and it’s incredibly difficult to step away from those routines.
However, instead of focusing on the negative, and exerting energy on the things you need to stop doing, a helpful way to break your unhealthy routine is to replace it with a new routine of positive habits each day.
It doesn’t have to be big!
You can start small; doing one small thing every day that makes you feel good is just the beginning of working towards leading a happier, healthier life.
Here are some ideas:
Write an entry in a journal every day!
Short-term, this helps you to feel more in control–writing down your emotions and what you are thinking can organize the thoughts in your head and keep track of things going wrong, or right, in your life.
Long-term, it can help you to track your progress! Journaling can make you feel that you are more in control, as you can watch your progress over weeks and months and see how you are doing, and also understand the things that are working for you regarding eating disorder habits and possible triggers.
Meditating is a known way to reduce stress and help you to relax. It can give you time to take a step back from stressful situations and thoughts and focus on the present, which could benefit your routine each morning to start your day on a good note.
There are many types of meditation, but they all have roots in a few core things.
- heightened level of focus
- calm breathing
- physical comfort and relaxation
- an open mind
You can practice these anywhere, at any time of day when you need it, by focusing on breathing exercises, taking a moment to feel more aware of your body and how you feel, or reciting a relaxing mantra in your head to give you a sense of peace.
With this heightened sense of self-awareness and relaxation it is easier to focus on how your body is feeling and what you need to be doing for it as far as eating and self-care.
Nowadays, walking is rarely a relaxing activity; we are always walking to somewhere, from somewhere, and it tends to be a physical activity that focuses on the destination. As with eating disorders, it is easy to obsessively focus on an end result, a destination. However, taking a walk without a place to be, that focuses on the journey and your surroundings, can be incredibly centering.
Even a five minute walk each day, during a lunch break or in the evening after dinner, can help to unwind and detach from technology, work, and stress, and focus on your surroundings and how your body feels.
It’s also a way to fit in a little bit of exercise to get your muscles moving when sometimes we might spend all week at a desk or tensed up from stress. Taking a relaxing walk can loosen up your body and make you feel not only mentally more relaxed, but also physically more refreshed.
It’s sometimes hard when you’re stressed out to want to pick up a book and go to the effort of reading, however books can be an incredibly helpful tool in unplugging from your phone and escaping from the stress of your life for a moment.
Reading doesn’t have to feel like a chore!
Setting aside a little bit of time to read each day, whether it’s a magazine, a newspaper, a novel, a short story, is an incredibly good habit to pick up. Not only does reading allow you to absorb new information, it gives you an opportunity to relax and focus on words on a page instead of getting wrapped up in media from your phone or worrying about something in your own life.
Falling in love with reading can give you a renewed vigor for learning, and getting into the habit of learning something new every day through words can be incredibly helpful in altering your daily routine for the better.
It’s no secret that lack of sleep negatively affects stress levels and makes it harder for you to create a positive daily routine.
Making a routine out of your sleep habits can be an effective way to focus your energy on planning out a habit that will positively affect each day. Setting a definite time to go to sleep and wake up each night and morning makes it easier for you to wake up and operate throughout the day with enough sleep, and leaves you feeling prepared, rested, and organized.
A healthy sleep routine could also be the first step in making a routine out of meals. Waking up in the morning and making yourself breakfast means starting your day off refreshed and rested, and gives your body a healthy and nutritious foundation for the day.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder routine that seems impossible to break from, and are interested in talking to someone about ways to alter your day to day life for the better, Weight Matters is here for you.
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