Being a Supportive Traveling Buddy to a Friend in Eating Disorder Recovery

Males discussing the facts about binge eating disorder

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Traveling with family and close friends can create memorable experiences. Whether traveling abroad in foreign countries or on a cross-country road trip, having someone that you trust and are close to along with you can a trip more enjoyable. This may not necessarily be the case if your traveling companion is recovering from an eating disorder.

The recovery journey from an eating disorder is a complex thing with any ups and downs. Even if a person has been in recovery for an extended period of time, certain situations and experiences can unexpectedly trigger a relapse or difficult period.

Supporting a Friend While Traveling

Having an eating disorder does not mean someone is handicapped or incapable of doing certain things. Many individuals in recovery might find that traveling is a therapeutic experience, particularly if a person has been unable to do so for some time.Travel

A person in recovery should be in a place of physical, mental, and emotional stability before considering traveling for any extended period of time. Your friend in recovery might find certain aspects of traveling somewhat challenging, such as trying new foods, coping with stressful situations, or dealing with a time change.

Whatever the challenge might be, your support can help your friend more readily adapt to any obstacles that might be encountered during traveling. Stay in open communication, check in with your friend periodically, and encourage your friend through difficult times.

Understanding red flags that might indicate your friend is struggling may be helpful in learning when to offer help and support. These might include restrictive eating patterns, going extended lengths of time without eating, and more.

Offering Help in Time of Need

If at any point, you feel like your friend is unable to travel successfully while remaining in recovery, be sure to voice your concern and offer suggestions for help and support. Some necessary measures might include shortening a trip in order to get back to a place where more adequate help is available.

Taking a trip with your friend in recovery can be successful and memorable, and knowing how and when to offer support when needed can be instrumental in making this possible.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What might be some challenges faced for a person in recovery who is traveling?

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 8, 2016
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