Even if you don’t watch the news, we all know someone who is in some way affected by the plethora of problems plaguing the people of this planet. Sorry, not sorry about the alliteration (micro moment of joy is what that is). Between the wildfires, hurricanes, political unrest, violence against black and brown bodies, access to clean water and of course the pandemic…it can be tricky to get ourselves into a good headspace, much less stay there.
Hopelessness is already a familiar feeling for families when a loved one has an eating disorder. Given the; lack of research on this deadly psychiatric illness, high mortality rates, low recovery rates, lack of insurance coverage, Mr Toad’s Wild Ride illness trajectory and lack of information and support that family caregivers typically receive it is easy to become hopeless.
So now you’re probably thinking, “Thanks BECKY for bringing me down.”
The reality is, I’m trying to meet you where you likely may already be at. If you’re not, then you already have a FAB resilience plan. YAY! Go play some more and quit reading now. 😉
Even with a 2 hour kayak paddle with a neighbor on one of the most gorgeous days this summer here in Minnesota, I couldn’t get myself into my happy place. That good headspace eluded me. Even my most favorite thing, sun sparkling on the water didn’t erase the grip of the funk. I knew what was happening, noticed the thoughts, tried to choose new ones and yet I could not get there. I know I cannot help anyone or myself if I stay in this place of fear, sadness, anger, frustration and hopelessness. Tapping into my resilience plan became priority number 1. And I am not also parenting a child with an eating disorder.
Having a loved one living in one’s home and being faced with the challenging behaviors 24 x7 makes the need for a resilience plan extremely important.
Here are a few of my resilience tools that I was reminded of in my post kayaking shower thoughts.
- Fun – find ways to have some
- Meditation – use it to get to a good head space
- Movement – any joyful way to move the body
- Talking with friends who can relate and listen
- Gratitude – practicing micro moments of appreciation and being grateful
- Taking Action – making a phone call, writing a letter
- Organizing things – the kitchen cupboards, your closet, the garage, your bathroom drawer – anything
- Laughter – even if it’s at our own silliness
- Fun with friends – make it special even with candles or music
- Getting grounded – in whatever way works for you: prayer, meditation, breathing, etc
- Releasing negative energy – again in any way that works for you
- Mantras – repeating, “All is well.” can sometimes shift things
- Breathing – conscious, specific breathing can really help shift
- Remembering good times and feeling the feeling we had during those times
When things are feeling bad and our fear is up we can amplify it by focusing on the thing or things that feel so threatening to us or we can notice the negative energy and try to shift it.
It’s not easy especially if the scary thing is in your home and feels like it’s trying to take your child’s life. It might take every single thing on my bulleted list to help shift you out of your funk. That is okay. Whatever it takes. You matter. Your peace of mind can make a difference not only for you, but those around you.
The eating disorder sadly is not like the news that we can just turn off.
So how then are you to manage doing any of the things on the list?
First, prioritizing your needs is key.
Then, creating a way to have some private time alone. This will take really making the choice to get yourself in a solid place. Really believing that your needs matter.
And then making a plan to be resilient and not react.
It is possible to be prepared with tools for communicating with your seriously compromised child, so you can not react and be able to see the positive parts that are in them somewhere. When you have a resilience plan, it will help you be able to not stay stuck in the muck.
It’s hard and takes practice and support. You can do it and you don’t have to do it alone. Check out the various support services on my website or give me a call if you’re ready to make your resilience plan.