It’s no secret that recovery can be difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to stay true to your recovery plan and the tactics you have learned, especially when life throws curveballs your way. Transitions, hardships, and unexpected challenges can test recovery in ways you never imagined. But with the right tools and strategies in place, you can maintain recovery during even the most difficult times.
Better Understand Your Triggers
One of the best things you can do to maintain recovery is to get to know your triggers. Triggers are personal and can be emotional, physical, or environmental. What sets off a negative reaction in you? What makes you want to revert to disordered eating or act out? Identifying your triggers can help you avoid them or at least be prepared for them when they happen.
Plan Ahead for Triggers
Understanding your triggers and what may set you off makes it easier to prepare for such events. For example, maybe not having enough food in the fridge is a trigger. If you are going to be moving, it might be expected that you may not have as many groceries at first. Making a plan to have groceries delivered or making a plan for your meals during the moving process can help.
If you plan on meeting new people who are not aware of your recovery situation, the topic of weight or eating may come up. If these topics are triggers, come up with responses you can give to end the conversation or divert the subject.
Self-care can be really important for managing stress. When you are feeling overwhelmed, taking some time for yourself can help. Maybe that means reading your favorite book for an hour, going for a walk in nature, or soaking in a hot bath. Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and at ease, try working it into your daily routine.
Having a good support system is key to maintaining recovery. When life gets tough, it’s nice to know that you have people who will stand by you and help you get through it. Surrounding yourself with supportive people can be a great way to maintain your recovery during difficult times.
Support can come from friends, family, or treatment professionals. Whoever you choose for support, turning to others instead of the eating disorder is likely to be more satisfying and helpful in the long run. Having others to help you cope with the transition can help support and hold you accountable. This can ultimately help prevent a relapse.
It’s important to recognize that slip-ups are a normal part of recovery. If you are going through a life transition right now and you are engaged in disordered eating behaviors, don’t be too hard on yourself. You can still get back on track. Following the tips above can help you get back to your recovery and can help prevent further relapses.