LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF
Recovery from an eating disorder can often feel more like a marathon than a sprint.
It is very important for parents and carers that you look after yourself and avoid ‘burn out’.
Try not to lose contact with friends or activities that have been part of your life. Having regular time out is essential, even a ten minute break can refocus your mind and lower stress. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have a soak in the bath
- Read a book - a book can be the start of a new interest or adventure, try your local charity shop or library
- Watch a DVD
- Try Tai Chi - a gentle form of movement that can relax the mind, often with tea break and chat included!
- Do some relaxation exercises - breathing exercises can be a fast and effective stress buster wherever you are
- Meet a friend for coffee – try to develop a network of supportive friends or family to share the burden of support
- Play or listen to music
- Go for a walk
- Explore mindfulness and positive thinking - there are many books, CDs and courses available
- Join a support group
Access to a supportive self help group can provide an opportunity to meet others, where it is OK to share experiences, including difficulties and frustrations, but also to learn from each other how to overcome the obstacles in one’s path, and to focus on positive aspects of life. You can also celebrate progress towards recovery together. If you live in Essex, look out for our EAS-ED parent-led mutual support meetings on the 'Contact Us' page. Or if you have met other parents or carers through CAMHS / Adult Services, why not consider starting your own informal peer support group?
Some other websites that offer support to parents and carers in other parts of the UK:
- The Tonbridge and West Kent Eating Disorders Support Group For Carers - A Self Help Group run by and for Carers: www.eda-westkent.org.uk
- First Steps Derby - FSD exists to raise awareness and give support to anyone whose lives are affected by an eating difficulty or disorder: firststepsderbyshire.co.uk
- The London Carers’ Group - A Self Help Group run by and for Carers : eatingdisordersandcarers.co.uk/london-carers-group
Photo: Copyright Anna Ross 2014