This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Many people think that someone with an eating disorder will be over or underweight. People might also think that certain weights are linked to certain eating disorders. Neither of these points are true. Anyone can experience eating disorders. This is regardless of age, gender, weight or background.
There is no single cause of eating disorders and they’re often caused by a combination of factors. These can present an individual with a range of different feelings which make it difficult to cope, however, it’s important to remember that support is available and recovery is possible.
Here are some tips on coping with eating disorders:
- Talk to your doctor – Talking about your eating problems can feel scary. But to access treatment, the first step is usually to talk to your GP or doctor. They should then be able to refer you to specialist services.
- Build a support network: Eating disorders can be isolating, but having a support network can help you feel less alone. Surround yourself with people who understand your struggles and can offer encouragement and support.
- Practice self-care: Eating disorders can often take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being, so it’s important to take care of yourself. This may include getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, and engaging in activities you enjoy.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Eating disorders often involve negative self-talk and distorted beliefs about food, weight, and body image. Practice challenging these thoughts and replacing them with more positive and realistic ones.
- Identify triggers: Identifying your triggers that lead to unhealthy behaviours. This may help you to develop coping strategies to help manage these triggers.
- Stay focused on long-term goals: Recovery from an eating disorder is a journey, and it’s important to stay focused on long-term goals rather than short-term fixes. Celebrate small successes along the way and recognise that setbacks are a normal part of the process.
Remember that recovery from an eating disorder is possible with the right treatment and support.