Yes – we are all going through the motions of COVID-19 right night and with that many are also suffering from anxiety and stress which is contributing to a growing number of people around the world suffering from unearthed eating disorders.
Anxiety and Stress are associated with Eating Disorders. People cope with these emotional issues and trauma by eating more or eating less.
Deborah Glasofer, PhD, an associate professor of clinical medical psychology in psychiatry at the Columbia Center for Eating Disorders says “Being isolated with limited resources messes with the when, how, and what you eat.”
Everyone is anxious and so we need to be mindful that Eating Disorders could be something new to you and your world whether you are eating more or you are eating less it is important to address this problem during the pandemic with our Top 5 tips.
1. You Need A Support System.
While the world feels like it has been put on pause, there are still support services and treatment programs which are offered via telephone-therapy (tele-health). Some of these sessions will be free and depending on where you are in the world you may qualify for discounted sessions or “bulk-billed” sessions as a result of COVID-19.
We think you should also contact your close friends and family for support and to help you keep on track with your eating habits so you do not make yourself sick during the lock-down and isolation process as it can be challenging on your own.
2. You Need An Eating Routine.
If you establish a new eating plan with set meals and snack times you will be sure to minimise the risk of disorganised eating habits.
Once you have decided on the best times to eat, think about the best place to do this because it will help you enforce your “new normal” at least during the isolation then you will be able to crawl out of the COVID-19 hole.
If you take these steps it will help you prevent some of the anxiety and control issues from building up inside which can trigger your emotional discomfort throughout.
3. Self Care.
Stress and anxiety can trigger eating disorders and exercise pattern changes, but you can work towards breaking the cycle by writing down the things that trigger you and coming up with a plan to minimise how often they occur and how you react.
We recommend these Self-Care Tips:
- Mindfulness exercises, like a simple breathing practice or a body scan meditation can help you focus on the present.
- Avoid the news for a day or two (including social media!)
- Spend some time social distancing outdoors on a hike, walk through the park, or just lying in the grass and watching the clouds.
- Come up with a positive mantra to repeat to yourself when you’re stressed.
- Write down three things you did really well that day.
- Express your emotions by making something, such as an art project like a vision board, a collage, baking something, TikTok dancing, gardening, or writing.
- Vent to a friend you trust.
4. Be Mindful Of Social Media Impact.
Whether you think it will impact you or not, be mindful that Social Media can and may trigger your anxiety and stress from the news that is shared during this difficult time as well as the types of people that are connecting with you.
If Instagram is something you find soothing, then maybe it is worth creating an Instagram that is focused on people and topics that are unrelated to food, exercise and appearance; or consider curating your current account by UN-following hashtags and people that make you feel uncomfortable.
It is however recommended you cut down the time you spend on social media and focus on more productive things that make a positive impact on your well-being and peace of mind.
5. Finally, Show Some Self-Love.
Self-Love is important.
If you find yourself slipping back into old habits do not beat yourself up, simply recognise that you are facing a challenge and that it is okay to make mistakes along the way – because you are not the only one making mistakes.
Then, do one kind thing for yourself that will make you smile; whether that is taking a hot shower, going for a walk or any of the activities mentioned above so far that will help you turn that frown upside down.