Preventing Relapse: When Coping With Stress Feels Impossible

I’m under a tad bit of stress these days. Actually, more than a tad. More like a humungous elephant is sitting on my chest. Between bills, a rapidly dissolving marriage and three kids, I am primed and ready for a serious relapse of my eating disorder.
After all, it’s what I fall back on when I’m stressed. Or scared. Or lonely. Or damn near any other emotion that’s difficult. But something feels different this time. I wrote about my relapse last week, and I’m working pretty hard to stop beating myself over it.
Here are a few things I’m doing to stay healthy right now:
• Get enough rest.
• Eat several small meals throughout the day.
• Enjoy light exercise such as walking.
• Have very little caffeine and no alcohol. Drink plenty of water.
• Use relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.
• Avoid stressful situations as possible.
The best thing for me is to be with people who know about my addiction and who can both encourage me and hold me accountable. Something new I’m doing this time is affirming all the wonderful things I am doing right – all the great parts of me that make me special. It feels good to do that for a chance, instead of beating myself up.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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