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The Power of Self-Care in Eating Disorder Recovery

Self-care is an important part of Eating Disorder recovery that all individuals, no matter where they are on their journey, should be participating in. Self-care can help individuals cope with the stressors in their everyday lives and be an important part of maintaining their well-being while in ED recovery. There are many things individuals can do, both big and small, as part of their self-care routine to help them on their journey. Finding what works for you is a journey in and of itself. Here is a list of fourteen suggestions that may become a part of your own self-care journey.


Immerse yourself in positivity

Everyone has something that can bring them joy, whether it is cooking, painting, reading, or getting some physical activity in. Doing these activities can help you to focus on the things you love and bring aspects of happiness back into your life. Often you may forget about all of the things you once enjoyed and may find yourself thinking you are too busy to do them. It is important to make time for the things that bring you joy; you might even make a new hobby out of it!


Journaling can be an effective way for those in ED recovery to open up their mind and flush out the thoughts and feelings they are having on paper. This can be extremely beneficial for coping with the stress that comes with having an Eating Disorder and navigating your own personal recovery experiences.Having a way to reflect on your journey through words that you can continue to look back on can help to show how much you have been able to go through and to work towards a positive future.

Be Creative

Doing something creative can aid in expressing all the emotions you may be feeling. Whether it be writing, drawing, painting, or crafts such as beading and knitting, all of these activities can be beneficial to your wellbeing. Finding something creative that you enjoy doing can help to channel your creativity and boost positive emotions. On your ED journey you may find yourself experiencing so many different types of emotions which can be extremely difficult. Having this creative outlet can help you to get these negative emotions out and increase your positivity.

Join a Support Group

Support Groups may seem scary at first and are not for everyone, but they are a great thing to try out. Hearing from other people who are also on their ED recovery journey share stories and tips can be extremely beneficial and make you feel less alone in your journey. You will never know you don’t like something if you don’t try and although the first step may be daunting, you might find yourself wishing you had started sooner.

Have no-socials days

Social media can bring up a lot of triggers for those in ED recovery and take a negative toll on your mental health. Sometimes it is good to shut off all your social media apps, especially when you are feeling down and need some time to yourself. You may want to visit some friends or hang out with your family or spend some time alone doing a hobby! Social media isn’t everything and taking some time away can be beneficial.

Prioritize Yourself

Prioritizing yourself and your physical and mental health is necessary for your ED journey and happiness. Understanding what you need and want instead of focusing on what everyone around you expects from you will help to enhance your life and prioritize your ambitions. Discovering who you are is hard when you are worried about everyone else’s expectations. So, take the time to figure out your goals and work towards them. No one’s ED journey looks exactly the same and figuring out what you want to achieve is part of the journey.

Meditation, Yoga, and Mindfulness

Using yoga, meditation, or mindfulness strategies can all be beneficial to your journey. Yoga can help you become more in tune with your emotions and your body, which can be a great way to relax. Tina Clay from the National Eating Disorders Association goes into more depth about the importance of Yoga and provides some examples of yoga poses and practices. This article can be found here: Body scans or breathing, mindfulness, and grounding exercises can all be beneficial in learning how to stay present and managing stress.

Listen to Something

Sometimes that voice in your head can be very difficult to tune out or turn off. Listening to something, whether it be music, an audiobook, or a podcast, to name a few, can help to distract from all of the other things going on in your mind and can help in grounding yourself and your mind.

Nourish Your Body

Maintaining a balanced and nourishing diet and considering nutritional needs while being mindful of personal preferences and food choices is important to do when on your ED recovery journey. This can be extremely difficult for some people but is an important step in the process of recovery. Having a healthy relationship with food takes time and effort and everyone starts somewhere different.

Take Time to Relax

There are many different relaxation techniques that can be beneficial to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Taking warm baths, long showers, getting a massage, or practicing aromatherapy are just a few examples of things you can do to relax. Your bodies and mind hold a lot of stress and taking the time to wind down can relieve you of this pressure. You may find yourself wound up during your ED journey and taking the time to relax and clear your mind can help to keep you on track.


Volunteering can help to boost your happiness and create a greater sense of wellbeing. When you volunteer for a cause that you love and resonate with, the time you spend can help you integrate with the community and contribute to your sense of purpose and identity. Having the opportunity to help others can be a very rewarding and grounding experience and lead you to develop stronger interpersonal relationships. When you help others, you can inadvertently help yourself and benefit yourself on maintaining your recovery journey.

Spend Time in Nature

Going outside, whether it be for a walk around your neighbourhood, a hike in a conservation area, or laying on the beach can all help boost your mental wellbeing. Nature helps to foster a sense of tranquility and has been shown to have great benefits on both mental and physical health. Taking even thirty minutes a day to immerse yourself in nature can help to reduce your stress which can be very beneficial on your ED journey.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Having positive people in your life who will lift you up is an important aspect of self-care when on your ED recovery journey. You want to be around people who make you feel better about yourself and who can help get your mind away from negative thoughts. The people you surround yourself with should make you feel comfortable and loved and help you on your journey.

Set Boundaries

Much like the last self-care tip, you need to surround yourself with people who are going to respect the boundaries you set. Your mental and emotional wellbeing is more important than letting someone continue to make comments that make you uncomfortable. Everyone has different boundaries, and you should not be ashamed of needing to set them. Having realistic boundaries is an important part of your recovery and they are there to help you move forward on your journey.

ED recovery is not a straight road, and everyone’s journey looks different. It is important to find the things that make you happy and use these to help you along the way.


Witherspoon, E (n.d.) Everyone says I should journal, but what’s the point? Retrieved from

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