Struggling with an eating disorder is not an easy road to walk and when you start on the path to freedom, it’s important to have motivation when recovering from an eating disorder. I know what it is like to walk the somewhat trying road that is recovery and really benefited from pulling on these motivational strategies to help me get to the exciting future that was ahead of me! If you are personally or know someone that is recovering from an eating disorder, these motivational strategies just might come in handy on that brave walk toward freedom and a life full of open doors!
1. Call on Your Support Network
My family and close friends were a crucial part of the recovery process. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people who have stood beside me during my illness and couldn’t have felt more blessed when those same people eagerly wanted to support me during my recovery. Surrounding yourself with a solid support network allows you to have many caring people to turn to when times get difficult. It's absolutely essential when you're recovering from an eating disorder. Anytime you are struggling or have a success to share, call on your family or close friends for comfort and support!
2. Pull out Your Toolbox
A virtual toolbox can be a saving grace during recovery! Whether it’s yoga, meditation, art therapy or some other tool that you discover, having some simple things up your sleeve when times get tough is a great tip to keep you motivated! Make a list of all the healthy things that you can turn to when you reach those difficult moments – the more tools you have, the better!
3. Be Kind to Yourself
To bravely walk down the path of recovery is an accomplishment in itself and everyday that you put one foot in front of the other is yet another achievement! Self-love is so important during this time… I can’t stress that enough! A good vision that I always kept in mind was – if I wouldn’t treat my best friend like that, then I shouldn’t treat myself like that! After all, you are with YOU more than any other individual on this earth and being your own best friend and always being kind to that little girl inside of you is so important!
4. Make a Vision Board
I still have a vision board hanging on the wall in my kitchen that I go to whenever I have a tough moment or want to review all of the things that I have accomplished. This was such a fun activity for me and was also incredibly healing. Get out your craft supplies and go through photos, magazines and books of quotes help you to visualize all of the exciting things you have to look forward to! As you walk through your recovery, put up little visual markers of what you have achieved and keep giving yourself pats on the back for being so brave and strong!
5. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Making a list of all the goals, dreams and visions that you have for your life is another great tool to turn to in challenging times. I cannot count the number of times that I walked over to my vision board and looked at that list to remind myself of ALL the reasons that I was facing my fears! Seeing all of my dreams in a tangible list brought me such comfort because I knew that in the end, it would all be worth it! Try to see how long you can make your own list. I bet the goals and dreams you have for your future are endless!
Meditation was a saving grace for me… sometimes I went to those exercises two or three times a day to bring myself that level of calm I so desperately needed to find. Change is not always a comfortable process and having meditation as a tool in your virtual toolbox can help to bring your anxiety level down when you are feeling a sense of panic! Try to incorporate meditation at least five days a week while you are recovering, and I promise that you will see a substantial reduction in your anxiety and stress levels.
7. Celebrate Your Achievements
Every little step you take will help you reach your goals and dreams, and should be celebrated! Try writing your achievements down and keep a tangible ongoing list in a place that you can go back to on a regular basis. Accomplishments will be different for almost everyone who is in recovery, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s standards – you will know better than anyone else when it’s time to bring out your party hat!
No matter what stage you are at in the recovery process, it can be very helpful to have a few motivational tips to assist you on your way to the freedom and health that you deserve! For me, relying on family, friends and the other individuals on my team really encouraged me in the toughest of times. If you have recovered, or are recovering from an eating disorder, what motivational strategies helped you on your journey?