10 Ways to Preserve Your Eating Disorder Recovery in the Heat
With the temperatures soaring and health warnings being issued far and wide, it's really important that anyone recovering from an eating disorder, or continuing to experience eating disorder behaviours, pays special attention to their wellbeing.
Here are 10 actions we urge you to consider during such extreme weather conditions:
Ban yourself from exercising. We know that pausing lower body movement when you're still in the compulsive exercise trap, can feel really really hard. But this is a matter of life and death. Exercising, even moderately, is not sensible in this high heat and could pose all sorts of risks to you.
Stay hydrated. Fluid intake can be a battle for some, but without adequate fluid during the heat, you risk dehydration and worse. Limit use of drinks which you know are more inclined to dehydrate you.
Sleep and rest as much as you can. If you have the opportunity to do so, your weary recovering body will thank you for being in a dark room and away from the extreme heat. Now is the perfect time to permit your body the rest it craves.
Stay in touch with those who love you. Family and friends always worry about those of us who are more vulnerable - so it stands to reason that they will be particularly concerned about you if you live alone and are avoiding staying in contact. Be kind to yourself, but also to others. Communicate regularly to reassure others.
Dress appropriately. There can be a tendency to mask your body in many layers, particularly when you feel the world observes you to be unwell, or when you feel great shame of your body. However, dressing in too many clothes will only cause you to overheat. Keep cool with the choice of your clothing.
Keep eating, and choose foods which aid your energy levels and hydrate you. Whatever others around you might be saying about their level of hunger in the heat, don't forget to stay in your own lane and eat what's necessary to maintain your recovery. You don't want this period of extreme weather to be a reason for you slipping backwards.
Cut your purging behaviours. Opting to use laxatives or electing to vomit after mealtimes are of course behaviours that someone in recovery is seeking to overcome, but now, more than ever, you really have to STOP. Purging in extreme heat will lead to devastating consequences on your body and leave you feeling wretched.
Find ways to self-soothe which aid the body's opportunity to regulate its temperature. Consider a cooling bath and moisturising your skin with cooling sprays. Alternatively find simple distraction hobbies, like reading or jigsaws, which don't over-exert you.
Stay on top of your medications. It's really important not to let your healthcare routine slip or suffer during these challenging weather days.
Reach out for help if you need to. Yes, healthcare services will be under additional demand, but do not stay silent and allow symptoms to escalate. If you become unwell and think you need professional help - make that call.
We always welcome hearing from you about your recovery journey.
- Jul 2022