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How do you recover from an eating disorder with a full-time job?

Today is World Mental Health Day, and – to the relief of those watching the clock right now – the theme is workplace wellbeing.

‘Workplace’ and ‘wellbeing’ aren’t two words typically seen together – some may even say it’s an oxymoron. And despite great efforts by HR to bring meditation and mindfulness into the office, ad-hoc workshops do little to minimise the genuine pressure felt by employees, no matter where they are in the pecking order.

At the Recover Clinic, we treat clients at different points in their recovery, meaning that some individuals continue to work whilst undergoing treatment for their eating disorder.

As you can imagine, balancing recovery with client calls and office politics can be extremely challenging at times. To alleviate some of the chaos, our Founder, Emmy Brunner, is sharing her top tips for ensuring recovery is still the priority.

Emmy’s top tips for recovery at work:

  • Plan your week and make sure that you have time to practice self-care

Clear some time on a Sunday evening to consider your week ahead. Are there days that will be more stressful than others? If so, when can you find time to check in with yourself? By taking time out to plan, you’re preparing yourself mentally and giving your “well” self the upper hand.

  • Plan your meals to ensure you always have something to eat on those days when you are too tired to prepare anything

The eating disorder is most powerful when you’re feeling your weakest. Don’t let it win! Cover your bases by ensuring you have a kitchen full of foods that make you feel good. No matter how tired you are, it’s important to prioritise self-care and stay on track with nourishing yourself.

  • Take time out during your working day – go for a walk or find a quiet space to meditate

Carve 15 minutes out here and there in your work calendar to remind you to leave your desk. Sometimes all you’ll need is a quick breath of fresh air or a coffee break. Other days, you may need the full 15 minutes to meditate. However long, these slots are for you to check in with yourself.

  • Put affirmation reminders in your phone during your working day, such as: “I’ve got this” or “I accept myself today”

Sometimes hours can go by before you realise the eating disorder’s critical voice has been ruling your thoughts. Setting reminders in your phone forces you to be aware of where your head is at, and notice the words you’re using to talk about yourself.

Affirmations can be particularly empowering if you’re feeling beaten down by work or aggressive colleagues.

Extra top tip: if you’re conscious of colleagues noticing the alerts, don’t use words! Use emojis and get creative with a secret language.

  • Create a vision board that includes your work. What are you aiming for? What are your long term goals? Get excited about your future!

Whether you’re recovering from an eating disorder or not, it’s easy to sometimes feel lost or side tracked from your long-term career goals. Creating a vision board that includes career-related dreams forces you to wake up and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing! It’ll get you focused and motivated before you’ve even switched on the kettle.

  • Lastly, allow yourself to access the right amount of support you need

Everyone requires a different level of support at different points in their recovery. Don’t hold back from asking for more help if you need it.

We’ve created an app for busy people (like you!) who want to keep focused on their recovery whilst going about their day-to-day lives. Download Recover & Me from your app store today to get started.

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Comments 2

  1. Excellent advise for my daughter who is doing just this with your amazing help.Thank you

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