Amidst all of the talk of New Years Resolutions and New Year, New You, it can be tempting to judge ourselves and our actions.

Sometimes, often maybe even, especially early January when the days are short and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, it can be helpful to just rest and relax. Resting looks different for each person…there is no “wrong” way to do this. 🙂 

Obviously, it’s not great for anyone to be judging and constantly trying to “improve” ourselves and it can potentially be setback inducing for those families who are supporting someone in recovery. I’m not into resolutions myself, since they are not typically useful to me. 

If you’re on social media, Seeing messages about resolutions and “New Year/New You” on TV, socials and in print/online news, it can feel like pressure to change and/or improve oneself. Sometimes, all we need is to rest. Not sleep necessarily, simply not doing much of anything or doing something relaxing.

Often it’s hard for families new to this to get the support needed to learn how and why all of this messaging to constantly improve oneself can be detrimental. And for seasoned professionals it is super old news…so how are we as a field to support family caregivers new to this daunting caregiver role without heaping on more judgement as they learn the whys and hows that are so contrary to popular opinion?

It can be as simple as love and curiosity and not judging. Far too often still, I hear from parents and other family caregivers who are learning the ropes that they feel judged by the loved one’s team. Yes, parents and other family caregivers make mistakes. And, many clinical colleagues have shared with me that your own parents have made huge mistakes that helped contribute to your own eating disorders and suffering, which of course might make it hard to have compassion for parents. Sadly, parenting does not come with instructions. In over 20 years of coaching family caregivers, I have not yet met one who doesn’t love their person to the ends of the earth. Have I met some who are doing harm in some way including dieting and weight loss messaging? Absolutely. And it was done out of purely wanting better for themselves and their loved ones, every time. 

We can help create healing for the individual client and their whole family system when we approach with love, curiosity and the perspective of a teacher. Teachers don’t judge students for not knowing, they don’t assume they’re ignorant or have malicious intent for not knowing. Teachers (usually) love, have curiosity and they teach. 

When the family caregivers are provided with support from a perpsective of love, curiosity, not being ‘broken’ or in need of ‘fixing’ they heal and also help heal their loved one with the eating disorder. We are finally seeing the data on improved outcomes when the family caregiver has their own support. 

It’s exciting to see the shifts happening in this field regarding including family caregivers in the treatment team. This is progress. 

If you or your team or you as a parent coach would like to provide ready made, simple to access support for the family caregivers of your clients, please check out my webiste for services or just reach out. 

Part of my REST is to cut WAY BACK on my social media presence…it’s become a real hornet’s nest out there and I’m more interested in personal connections going forward. You can find me at: beckyhenry.com, coachbeckyhenry@gmail.com or 952-451-5663. I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to comment and let me know.

Cheers to a new year of including rest on your TO DO list. We can do this, together.

For more support for caregivers and this topic, visit beckhenry.com

Remember, we have loads of free support on my YouTube Channel and on my blog.

If you or a family you know of are having a hard time right now with holiday stresses, please reach out about our support services for families. As I’ve said since 2003, “No one should have to do this alone.” And I’m glad to see others saying that now and families need the support to help loved ones through this difficult time.

Take care,

Becky Henry, Founder

Hope Network, LLC – Eating Disorder Family Support