Working from Home and Maintaining Eating Disorder Recovery Efforts

Many people can get overloaded with work and stress in corporate America

Recovery is built on the choices made from minute-to-minute that either keep you in the false safety of the disorder or push you toward recovery. When you work from home and have long days to yourself, these choices rely heavily on your ability to keep yourself accountable and grounded, but how do you do that?

Consider Utilizing a Meal Plan

This can be the most difficult part of working from home while maintaining recovery, as it relies predominantly on self-accountability. It may help to rely on Structured Eating: engaging in planned eating at planned times (emphasis on planned). Whether it’s a meal plan you received in treatment, or one you’ve created yourself, stick to it.

The same is true for timing; trust the clock to know when it comes to re-fueling your body. Think of it as programming your body to know that it will receive necessary nutrients at that time each day, fighting the chaos of restricting or bingeing with structure. It’s even more help to receive some outside accountability with this, if possible.

Express Yourself

Keeping your emotions in check doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with your eating disorder habits, but anyone who’s struggled with an ED knows better. Often, bingeing and restricting behaviors are tied to strong emotional reactions such as intense sadness, grief, trauma, or anxiety. Make sure that you have a healthy outlet to express these emotions to avoid falling back on unhealthy ED coping mechanisms.

Use Your Support System

Woman call eating disorder help hotlineIt can be difficult to continually rely on your support system when recovering from an eating disorder, but it’s important to remember that those in your support system are there because they care about your well-being and want to be there when you’re struggling. Reach out to a loved one, therapist, or mentor in moments of weakness.

Outside of your immediate support system, you can use hotlines and online group chats or forums. Talk with someone who has been there or read an inspirational blog or forum chat, just don’t be so afraid to reach out that your health and recovery suffer.

Remain Grounded

Moments when you are alone may be the exact moments that the voices of an eating disorder can creep back in, placing your mind in an unhealthy place and making you feel lost in ED again. In these moments, it’s important to remember what keeps you grounded and focus your energy on those things. Does it motivate your recovery to look at pictures of your loved ones and remember why you’re fighting?

Is it helpful to take the focus off of yourself and onto others through service? Is it distracting to engage in coping activities like journaling, listening to music, or creating something? Whatever it is that quiets the voice of your eating disorder and brings you back on solid ground, make time for it.

Maintaining recovery is just that – maintaining: enabling a situation to continue. This will take control, focus, and persistence, but it is possible.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

In what ways do you redirect your emotions? What types of healthy activities do you participate in to keep your mind and body in healthy balance?

Image of Margot Rittenhouse.About the Author: Margot Rittenhouse is a therapist who is passionate about providing mental health support to all in need and has worked with clients with substance abuse issues, eating disorders, domestic violence victims and offenders, and severely mentally ill youth. As a freelance writer for Eating Disorder and Addiction Hope and a mentor with MentorConnect, Margot is a passionate eating disorder advocate, committed to de-stigmatizing these illnesses while showing support for those struggling through mentoring, writing, and volunteering. Margot has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.

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 June 4, 2016
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.