coping with your eating disorder during lockdown number three
So… It has been ten months since we first went in to lockdown in the Uk. We are now in lockdown three. Having to go into isolation is difficult for anyone but for people dealing with metal health issues it can feel extremely overwhelming. The anxiety that comes from worrying about testing positive and the loneliness that can come from isolation can make peoples mental health issues symptoms/side affects worsen and can make it a lot easier to be triggered.
I have a history of eating disorders, depression and anxiety and during the first lockdown I was struggling quite badly with my depression and anxiety which can play a big part of relapsing into my eating disorder so it was really important for me to have strategies in place to ensure that I didn’t relapse and thankfully I didn’t. In this post I will be writing some tips (that I used in the other lockdowns) for coping with your eating disorder during lockdown number 3.
As an introvert I find it quite easy to push people away, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed. During lockdown it could be easy to avoid socialising as we are not allowed to meet up with others but it is so important to stay connected to the people you love. Make time for a phone call or facetime with your family. Have a zoom quiz with your friends. In the first lockdown me and my friends would have a zoom quiz every week and I really enjoyed it and it gave me something to look forward to at the end of the week.
Use this time to do something you have always wanted to do but haven’t had the time for it. Start learning a new language, read, write, buy a lego set, anything to keep your mind occupied and distracted when you’re feeling down. I started to make jewellery out of clay, did a lot of baking and worked on this website and I found it really useful as it took my mind off worrying about everything.
Switch the news off
It is obviously very important to keep up to date with all the new rule changes but the news can be a very miserable place at the moment and can make peoples anxiety worse. If you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed when you are watching the news and it is putting your mind in a bad place, TURN IT OFF. Somebody close to you can keep you up to date with the important things that you need to know.
Go for your outdoor exercise
Do try to get outside (where you’re allowed to) and go for a walk. Get some fresh air and clear your head. Getting outdoors is great for stress and in turn should help with your mental health.
Write a routine for your days
During lockdown one when I was struggling with my depression I found it very easy to go to bed late and wake up late and it meant that I was very unproductive and it just made my moods worse. I ended up creating myself a routine for everyday (something I like to do because it helps my anxiety) it meant that I got up at the same time, made sure I was eating all my meals, I dedicated time to getting all of my tasks done and it helped to put my mind at ease.
Write a shopping list before you go to the shops
The shops can also be overwhelming at the moment due to people in there not taking the rules seriously and also certain foods not being available due to people panic buying. Your eating disorder will probably use this to its advantage, it will try to get you out of the shop without buying food and try to tell you that the foods not there for a reason. Its lying to you. You need the food. You need to eat. Write a shopping list before you go to the shop so that when you are there you know what you are looking for and it should mean that you are not in the shop for as long.
Use self care
Self care is important anyway but even more so in a pandemic. It allows you time out to focus on yourself. Self care looks different for everyone. If you find journaling helpful use it as a way to get your feelings all out onto paper. If you like to make yourself feel nice with a face mask and a bath bomb go ahead. If you like to sit and watch your favourite Netflix series do that. Take some time for yourself.
Socialise at meal times
When I was in recovery for my eating disorder this is something I found really helpful as it would distract the thoughts going on in my head because I had to concentrate on conversations. When you are having your meals facetime your friend, get your sister or another family member to sit with you while you eat. There are also videos on Tiktok that some creators have made for you to be able to sit and watch as you eat if you prefer not to eat around people you know. The videos are called lets eat together and involve the creator eating and asking you questions as if you were in a real conversation or they encourage you as you eat. I have seen a few Tiktokers do this, one being Sara Sadok and another being Eden Harvz.
ASK FOR HELP
There is no shame in asking for help. If you are struggling and you need help, contact your Gp, crisis team or call a help line (I have a list of some helplines on my website which you can access my scrolling up and clicking on the helplines page). It is really important to talk about what you are going through and to get the help that you need. So if you are struggling please get in touch with a medical professional.
I know that things are difficult now so if any of you need somebody to talk to my messages on instagram are always open for you to talk to me. (@MYBITEBACK)