While caring for someone who has an eating disorder is a labor of love, it can also be very taxing — mentally, emotionally, and physically. That’s why at our bulimia recovery centers in California, we remind caregivers that it’s critical that they take care of themselves as well. We say this for two reasons. First, because they deserve to be as healthy and well-rested as possible. And second, because taking care of someone with an eating disorder requires strength and mental clarity, which are things that are in short supply when you aren’t caring for yourself.
Important Self-Care Tips
Here are some things you should do on a regular basis to ensure that you stay healthy and happy as you try to help your loved one:
Do a self-assessment. As a caregiver, much of your time and attention is focused on the person you are caring for. Are they improving? Are they getting worse? What can I be doing to help? But, it’s important that you ask those same questions of yourself.
Seek assistance. Taking care of someone with an eating disorder is a major commitment of time and energy. There’s no shame in asking family and friends to help when you need a chance to recharge your mental and physical batteries.
Be kind to yourself. Nobody is perfect. And that’s especially true when it comes to helping someone whose thoughts and emotions can be all over the map. You won’t always say and do the right things for your loved one, but you’re trying. Give yourself credit where credit is due.
Get away. Sometimes the only way to give your mind and your heart a break is to put some distance between you and your care responsibilities. Take a hike, go the museum, take a road trip… do whatever you have to to clear your head.
Pamper yourself. When a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, it can feel wrong to have a spa day or go out with friends to your favorite restaurant. But you deserve it, and it will help you be a better, more refreshed caregiver.
The Key is Balance
As one of the bulimia recovery centers in California that people turn to for advice, we emphasize the importance of balance. Yes, be as devoted to your loved one as you need to be. But don’t forget about yourself in the process. If you’ve got questions about our programs, please call 916-784-1120.