Self-Care Practices for Healing from Disordered Eating Due to Trauma

Last Updated on: 18th September 2023, 10:01 am

Today, I want to talk about self-care practices for healing from disordered eating, especially when it’s linked to trauma. I understand that this journey can be challenging, but please know that you’re not alone. Let’s explore some compassionate ways to support your healing process.

1. Embrace Self-Compassion: The first step on this path is to be gentle with yourself. Understand that your eating disorder has been a coping mechanism—a way of navigating the challenges that life has thrown your way. Recognize that you are doing your best. Self-compassion is a powerful tool on your healing journey.

2. Acknowledge the Impact of Trauma: Trauma can significantly affect your self-esteem and your ability to advocate for yourself. It may be challenging to find your voice again and begin asking for what you need, but that’s okay. Be patient with yourself and understand that healing takes time. Its also important to note that the eating disorder often feeds off of  low self-esteem that can be cause by the trauma you are going through or have been through, so practicing self-compassion is crucial as well as using other tools that can help build or repair your self-esteem.

3. Explore Different Treatment Approaches: If you find that a particular treatment isn’t working for you, it’s essential not to blame yourself. Sometimes, the treatment may not be the right fit, or the healthcare professional may not fully understand your unique needs. Instead of self-blame which can be an automatic default, stay curious about why it’s not working and be open to exploring other options.

4. Self-Care Tailored to Your Reality: As a busy mom or someone with financial constraints, you may not have the time or resources for trendy self-care practices. That’s perfectly okay. Simple acts like calling a friend, telling your story or sharing your pain with people who love and care for you, setting aside 10-20 minutes each day to relax and breathe deeply, journaling, gentle movement you enjoy if this is accessible to you, art, singing or listening to music you love and giving yourself permission to feel without judgment can be incredibly beneficial. Remember, it’s okay to feel as you do; your feelings are not good or bad.

5. Create a Safe Routine: Establishing a routine can help your body feel safe and secure. A daily structure, even a simple one, can provide stability and support during your healing journey.

6. The Importance of Therapy: Therapy is not just a form of self-care; it’s a vital tool for recovery. While diet culture may falsely suggest that healing comes from dieting, the truth is that therapy is where true healing begins. Seeking therapeutic help from a trauma therapist is important if this is accessible to you, if it isn’t, can you reach out to charities like women’s aid or other domestic charities in your area who can support you?   Working with a trauma-informed dietitian can also be especially beneficial in addressing the deeper connections between trauma and disordered eating.

Remember, this journey is about healing and reclaiming your life. It’s not about judgment or blame. Be kind to yourself, embrace self-compassion, and seek the support and guidance you need. You’re stronger than you think you are, and there’s a brighter future ahead. If you’d like to explore this further or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You’re never alone on this path to healing. 🌱💕

About Me

I’m Sarah, a UK registered dietitian and eating disorder specialist. I am passionate about helping individuals and families overcome the challenges of eating disorders, disordered eating, and mental health conditions. My expertise lies in supporting families and individuals with a history of trauma, including domestic abuse, and guiding children and teenagers through the complexities of eating disorders, particularly those stemming from adverse childhood experiences.

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