So, it’s HOT – at least in the Northern Hemisphere. And I’m of Norwegian descent and my body tells me to go look for a snowbank to stick my head in, or a mountain top to cool off on when it gets over 60% humidity and the temp is above 80 F. And yes, we’re going to talk about self care AGAIN. Cause it’s THAT important.

Self care is not just mani-pedis and massages, or whatever people have made up about self care.

First, it’s what fills YOU up. That is YOU singular. You, reading this. What you in particular enjoy and find fills your own cup up. That might be silly things like alliterations.

It is VITALLY important to practice EXTREME self care when you are the primary family caregiver of someone with an eating disorder.

Self care is not optional. Not selfish. NO! Imperative. I’m going on and on about this because many of us (sadly, women in particular – aka: moms) tend to see self care as selfish. It’s a belief many of us embedded in ourselves at some juncture due to all sorts of reasons. And lack of self care can leave us depleted to the point we are no longer able to function at our best, to say the least. There is no way we can effectively care for a loved one with an eating disorder when our cup is empty and has holes in it.

Right now, it’s a HOT holiday weekend in the USA, (Happy Independence Day Americans) and if you are the primary caregiver of someone with an eating disorder, their anxiety is likely skyrocketing. So that means that your life has become something similar to a cat on a hot tin roof. Close?

So…self care time.

Here are my top 5 tips for this hot holiday weekend to keep your sweet self cool, calm and collected. Yes, it’s okay to let some other stuff slide. YOU matter.

  1. FROZEN LAVENDER WASHCLOTHS – Wet a washcloth and spritz it with some lavender essential oil. Or drop a few drops on it and smush it around. Then roll it up or fold like an accordion and place it in the freezer for several hours (okay, 3 will do). Then take it out when you’re hot and place it gently on the back of your neck to cool your tired neck (that probably has a pain in it) and sit back and relax.
  2. FOOT BATH/WEED KILLER – When you have weeds in your patio, here is an idea for a hot day. Get a shallow bucket and fill with cool water, some epsom salts and your favorite essential oil. Soak your feet while you relax (maybe with the frozen lavender washcloth). Then when you’re finished, dump it on the patio and voila! The weeds will die from the salty water. 🙂
  3. SIT & DO NOTHING – It really is okay. Actually, it’s necessary at times. And you’re worthy of taking the time to actually DO NOTHING for a while. Really. Sitting and doing nothing for a while is okay.
  4. BE IN NATURE – Wherever we are we can simply notice the colors, smells, textures, light and feel of plants we can stay grounded and be more present. It can take us out of our heads and help us be in the present moment. Which takes us out of our heads and calms us.
  5. CONNECT WITH OLD (okay, longtime) FRIENDS – Who can you spend time with just chatting about what matters and relishing in the moment? Just being ourselves with long time friends can sooth us and help us feel supported and nurtured.

What will you allow or gift yourself to enjoy this holiday weekend? Even if your child is still really sick. You filling your cup up will help them.

Next week, watch for our guest blog from Cultivate Counseling and Wellness in Minneapolis, MN:

“How often do I need to change my bed sheets?”: Involving Supports In Young Adult Eating Disorder Recovery
By: Brianna Ripoli, MPS, LPCC and Katie Gilder, MPH, RD, LD

As part of my SELF CARE, I’m inviting colleagues to share insights and helpful information as guest bloggers. If you’d like to participate, please reach out.

If you or someone you know needs more support in taming fears and being more calm, compassionate and confident in their caregiving, please reach out. As I have always said; you do not have to do this alone. Here is a list of our resources:

1:1 coaching with Becky & Referral Partners info here https://beckyhenry.com/individual-coaching-sessions/

Weekly Online Group Support for family caregivers is each Wednesday at 6pm CST (USA) and is open to families anywhere. https://beckyhenry.com/group-phone-support/

Monthly Free Online Group Support for family caregivers is the 1st Wednesday of each month at 5pm CST. https://beckyhenry.com/group-phone-support/

HUG Kits provide Hope, Understanding and Guidance for families who are not able to access the individual or group coaching. HUG Kits: https://beckyhenry.com/group-phone-support/  are an affordable way to get the 10 basic concepts she has seen that family caregivers need help with while supporting a loved one in treatment.


Recovery Roadmaps Webinar Series – Becky is co-founder of Recovery Roadmap Specialists with Wendy Wright, CEDS and Ibbits Newhall. The series, “Going From Panic to Plan” is available at https://www.recoveryroadmaps.com/ For your treatment team, we can custom package these topics. We’ve re-recorded them into 12 very short videos and have worksheets that accompany them. Ask us about our Affiliate and Subscription options today.