Extra Support During a Trying Time
This week, we’d like to put our discussion of twelve-step principles on hold for a minute. As you may know, in addition to substance use disorders, Ocean Recovery has also treated co-occurring eating disorders since 2002. And the holidays can be a tremendously difficult time for people struggling with disordered eating. Compounding the problem exponentially are the stay-at-home orders in place for all of Southern California. This includes Ocean’s home in Newport Beach. With all of this extra stress on a population we care very deeply about, we would like to offer our support as well as some strategies for navigating what is sure to be a trying time.
Stay the Course
Whatever you’ve been doing that has gotten you this far in your recovery journey, keep doing it! The external structure of a daily routine is so important in helping to relieve that internal chaos that those of us who are overcoming eating disorders feel. Committing to a daily routine can lead to a huge decrease in external stress, and that’s something we can all use right now.
Like substance use disorders, eating disorders are diseases that thrive in isolation. And for those people who are used to going home for the holidays but are now abiding by stay-at-home orders, the next few weeks are going to be absolutely brutal. If you’re staying at home this season, be sure to make an extra effort to reach out to family and friends via FaceTime, Skype, group texts, etc. And if you know people who are struggling with eating disorders, take the time to check in with them, too.
Have a Plan
If you are planning on going home for the holidays or attending a gathering, be sure to go in with a plan. That means taking steps ahead of time. For example, eating your regular three meals before going to a party will help eliminate the urge to binge. You also might want to have some sort of escape plan in advance in case things get to be too overwhelming. Something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood is a great way to clear your head and let things cool down.
Maintain Your Boundaries
One of the most difficult things about the holidays for those in eating disorder recovery is dealing with well-meaning but somewhat clueless relatives. Comments like, “You look so skinny…why don’t you have a second helping?” don’t do us any favors. Have some responses at the ready and be polite but firm with them. Something along the lines of, “Thanks for your concern, but I won’t get into a debate about my weight. Please leave it up to me to decide how many helpings I eat,” will get your point across.
Real Courage Means Asking for Help
If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder and the holidays and stay-at-home orders are proving to be too potent a combination, consider giving Ocean Recovery a call today. We offer a holistic, evidence-based approach to eating disorder treatment. This includes individual and group sessions, cognitive and dialectic behavioral therapies, nutritional therapy, yoga, and more. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is ready to answer.