If you’re reading this, you have survived, hopefully more or less intact…3 years now of this pandemic. We’re all weary of it and having a loved one with an eating disorder adds a whole extra layer of challenges.
Perhaps you and your parenting partner are not on the same page – or you don’t have a partner helping you, maybe your partner has the illness. Many families of those with eating disorders and other mental health challenges are still reeling and trying to help loved ones. Many of you have had college students come home doing very poorly mentally and physically and in need of a higher level of care.
One of the most helpful actions family caregivers can take is to fill oneself up. Sounds counterintuitive I know. AND, I’ve seen the difference it makes over and over with myself and my clients. It can be helpful even when you and the child’s other parent are not on the same page. All the more reason to practice EXTREME SELF CARE.
3 Tips for Coping Now
- Listen to a meditation on grief (there are so many losses…) Here is my Breathing/Meditation Playlist on my YouTube Channel.
- Take action to find the proper treatment for your loved one – action can help with the helplessness and can help your loved one.
- AND THEN, take time to fill YOU UP. Take a day if you can to do things just for you. Just rest, we’ve all been through a lot.
There are of course many more things you can do to help you to help your loved ones, and just for today, perhaps these three things can be enough. You are enough and you deserve to be taken care of too. You matter.
Your needs matter too. We’ve all lost so much these past three years. Be gentle.
If you think about running a marathon (and caregiving someone with an eating disorder has often been compared to a marathon rather than a sprint) you would never do it if you’d been completely wiped out and not training for it. Many people train for a marathon for months getting into prime shape to take on such a grueling endeavor. This is no different. When you are in peak shape emotionally and physically then you’ll be ready to be a primo caregiver.
Be kind, and that includes being kind to YOU too.
So what’s stopping you from going against your instincts and letting go of a lifetime of “shoulding” on yourself and guilt about selfish self care? What do you think? What will get in your way? What will support you in making this big SHIFT HAPPEN?
What is one small step you can take today to begin filling your cup and getting that oxygen mask in place so you can be a calm, compassionate, competent caregiver tomorrow?
I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to comment and let me know.
Cheers to a new year of including YOU on your TO DO list. We can do this, together we can continue to survive this pandemic and to find moments of joy. Please reach out for support, we’re here to help.