By: Jessica Cushing-murray
The CoronaVirus, COVID-19, the world pandemic. The chaos that is our lives today.
Maybe you know someone who has been diagnosed with this virus, or maybe you are lucky and you and your family have been safely and successfully quarantining as directed. But whether or not this world pandemic has affected your medical health, a big question is has it affected your recovery?
For those of you in recovery from eating disorders, you know that a big part of recovery is learning to become more flexible: with what you eat, how much you eat, your habits before and after you eat, your exercise routine. So this Coronavirus outbreak is likely having an impact on your ability to do your normal routine.
Whether you are in quarantine, or still working an essential job, all the COVID19 restrictions and precautions might feel like they are taking away from your autonomy. This post is here to remind you that no matter how long you’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder, it is still important to check in with yourself and with where you are in your recovery journey.
A few things that have crossed my mind over the past few weeks: your appointments with registered dietitians/physicians/psychologists that may have been canceled or postponed, the idea that we need to be “stocking up on non-perishable food” may be changing how you grocery shop, the closures of state/national parks and gyms may keep you from your normal exercise routine. All these have affected me in different ways. In my head I think “well I want to be safe, so I should buy a good amount of non-perishable foods, even if they aren’t included in my usual food groups,” but that can be stressful. For those of us in recovery, any deviation from our daily routines can be stressful, especially when it involves food.
So, there are a lot of things to consider. But while some of these changes may give you some stress or anxiety, it’s a great time to practice the flexibility we learned when we first started our recovery journey. It won’t kill us to buy boxed mac n’ cheese at the grocery store, just in case this pandemic worsens. Losing your gym to COVID closures doesn’t mean you can’t exercise: go outside and go for a walk, buy a yoga mat and sign up for the free at-home workout lessons posted by Chris Hemsworth! And give yourself the flexibility of not needing to achieve at the level you were before quarantine.
It’s ok if you are not working out as much as normal right now.
It’s ok to rest.
It’s ok to just survive.
No matter what the world situation is, now is the time to practice all the important lessons you learned at the beginning of your recovery process and stay strong! Don’t let this pandemic change all the hard work you have put into your recovery. Remember that you are strong and that this too shall pass.
Libby also created a video for grocery shopping when you have anxiety that you can view HERE.