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Wellness

Tips For Managing An Eating Disorder During A Pandemic

Quarantine is a perfect storm for eating disorders. Between the social isolation, empty shelves at the grocery store, and confinement, it isn’t an easy time for anyone with an eating disorder right now, and nothing you learn in recovery can help you in a global pandemic. However, there are a few ways to ease some of that stress.

Maintain a support system

Whoever it may be, talking to someone extremely important as eating disorders thrive on isolation. Set up Zoom or phone calls with your therapist and nutritionist or vent to family and friends. On top of that, NEDA is offering a COVID-19 resource guide, including a video series, virtual support groups, live meal support, and a helpline, to name a few. There are also plenty of recovery apps to consider.

Journal

If you’re like me, journaling can seem a little strange at first, but writing down what you’re feeling can really help to articulate your emotions and make it easier to explain them to others. If anything, it’s another way to get a weight off of your chest.

    Limit Social Media Usage

    Social media has always been anxiety-inducing, and has only gotten more so during the pandemic. If coronavirus-related news is spiking your stress levels- reduce your access to it. If people you follow are spewing B.S. about “quarantine weight,” may I kindly suggest you MUTE THEM!! You have the power to control your feed, so make it one that empowers and uplifts you, not worsens your mental health.

    Keep a Regular Sleep and Work Schedule

    Ok, ok- it’s something no college kid wants to hear, but sleep is critical to our health. Make sure to get your eight hours- you’ll feel so much better physically and mentally afterwards. Moreover, setting a schedule can help you to distract yourself and maintain a sense of normalcy in times that are the exact opposite of normal. That being said, you don’t need to be fully dressed and ready to go by 6 AM and a chill day (i.e.: Netflix and pajamas) when needed is perfectly okay.

    Connect With Your Friends

    This comes back to the fact that eating disorders are fostered in lonely environments. Making plans with friends can help avoid this. Here are a few of my favorite activities:

    Netflix Party: this comes in handy when you want to do something with friends that live far away. Use it to host long-distance movie screenings or TV show binge-sessions! Metastream is another great streaming add-on that you can use with platforms like Hulu.

    Have an outdoor movie night: Hang a bedsheet up in your backyard, bring a projector, and you have your very own movie theater. Remember to social distance and wear masks!

    Plan outdoor activities; whether it be a hike, walk in the park, or bike ride, if you wear your mask and maintain distance, you can still safely see your friends.

    Video chat: FaceTime, Google Duo, Zoom- all are great ways to talk to and see your friends’ faces. Plus, you can plan activities to do while video chatting, like game nights or cooking competitions.

    Overall, be compassionate, patient, and understanding with yourself. It’s already hard enough to have an eating disorder, and you have one during a global pandemic. It’s normal to feel what you’re feeling, and so many others feel the same way. You are, no cap, doing the absolute best you can, and I’m proud of you. You’re not alone.

    Hi! I'm an editorial intern at Her Campus and Senior Editor at HC Pace! I can recite Gilmore Girls lines from memory and you can find me wherever books, dogs, or concerts are.
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