We are continuing to share our top tips for women entering or returning to the collegiate environment after treatment. We hope these tips will assist you in navigating this transition and embolden you to truly enjoy your college experience.
This set of tips comes from one of our Clinical Directors, Melissa McLain, PhD. Melissa has been a pivotal member of the OPC team since 2008 and has extensive experience in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and compulsive over-exercise. Dr. McLain is an active board member of the Miami-Dade NEDA committee and has presented nationally on eating disorders, body image, food rules, and self-care at conferences by the National Eating Disorder Association, the Binge Eating Disorder Association, and the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals.
1. Embrace change. College is an exciting time in life and it is ripe with new opportunities. Be open and flexible to the changes that come with it even if it means trying something that you’ve never done before.
2. Be mindful. With all of the opportunities in college you have to pick and chose what is most important so you don’t spread yourself too thin. Be conscious around how you spend your time and what you commit to as that will shape your experience.
3. Engage in self-care. Make sure to schedule time in each day to relax and take care of yourself, even if it’s just for a short time. Having rest, sleep, and time to decompress regularly will help to keep your stress in check.
4. Stay connected. Not only will you be forming new relationships in school, you still have your family and friends at home. Use your resources to stay connected with old and new.
5. Ask for help. It’s OK to ask for help from family, friends, and professionals if you need it. There are those on campus that can help you with your mental health, medical health, academics, financial issues, social needs, career planning, et cetera. Reach out and ask for what you need. The counseling or health centers are usually good places to start.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, Melissa McLain and Mary Dye, MPH, RD, CDN, LD/N, Director of Nutrition Services for our Transitional Living and Intensive Outpatient Programs, will be presenting at the Integrative Life Center’s First Wednesday Breakfast Series on December 4 in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, please contact our Southeast Regional Outreach Manager, Colleen Stephens, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-431-2712.