Sydney Keller, Mental Health Worker at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Boston, helps us wave goodbye to summer and welcomes us into the holiday season with a recovery focused post on vacations. While vacations, trips home, or experiences in new places can be fun and exciting they can also induce feelings of trepidation and unease. Sydney provides us her top six tips to support your recovery during times of travel.
Summer is the time for rest and relaxation, spending time outside, and going on vacation with family and friends. Wouldn’t it be nice for even one day, one week, one trip, to take a vacation from your eating disorder?
I recognize you might not be able to go on vacation because of the added stress that can interfere with recovery. However, for those who do, provided is a list of tips to utilize while you are away.
1. Be flexible. Just like your home life, vacation is not always on a set schedule. Planes can be delayed, weather is not always as we expect, and traveling can take longer than planned. Be prepared for these situations and have snacks that are both fulfilling and nourish your body. Remember not to let more than two hours go by without eating.
2. Journal. Journal to resist urges, create a dialogue with your healthy self and ED self, and to explore any feelings that may surface.
3. Do not be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. When traveling to a new environment, the foods you may typically have at home may not be available. That is okay! Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a part of life and so is trying new foods that you may not otherwise expose yourself to. Challenge yourself and try something new if you have the opportunity.
4. Don’t focus on your appearance in family photos, but rather the beauty of your surroundings and the incredible memories you are making as you partake in new experiences. To be in a new place can be both nerve racking and exciting, however, remember to take a moment and capture the beauty around you, rather than focusing and analyzing your figure in photos.
5. Reach out to others. Your family and friends are your main support systems. Lean on them in times of need, especially if you are struggling. It is vital to your recovery to reach out to your supports in order to gain a realistic perspective. This can be achieved in a variety of forms including talking, taking a walk together, or even simply, a hug. Use these supports and remember they will always be there for you.
6. Lastly, enjoy yourself and HAVE FUN! Vacations are a time to unwind, relax, and let go. While taking a vacation from your eating disorder during recovery is not possible, it does not mean you cannot enjoy this time with your loved ones.
For more posts from Sydney, please visit Eating Disorders Blogs where she has been featured as a guest contributor. To learn more about Monte Nido Eating Disorder & Affiliates eating disorder programs, please visit their website here.