Coping with an Eating Disorder During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Eating disorders build themselves on perceived feelings of control. Yet, as we find ourselves in the midst of unprecedented and uncertain times, with the coronavirus pandemic, how do those with eating disorders manage? As an individual with an eating disorder, I struggle with the Christmas season, mostly as my ‘safe’ foods are suddenly superseded with aisles of turkeys and potatoes and normal life grinds to a halt for a day as shops close and families and friends gather at home. Coronavirus feels like this, but every single day and on a much bigger scale. Food aisles are being stripped bare by panic buyers and some of my staple familiar foods are absent from the shelves, sending me into terror. Not only this, but the normal rhythms have life have paused, so everything that acts as a protective factor against the eating disorder, such as going for coffee, going on holiday or simply going to work has been cut off. Not only this, but eating disorders also gain strength in isolation, yet we’re being told to actively self-isolate, so once again, the thoughts intensify as I spend hours on my own. Many on social media are offering advice on “how to keep busy and occupied” during this time which can add to feelings of guilt when I do not feel as productive as I should be when all I can muster up is surviving each day. In light of all of this, I have been considering how those with eating disorders can stay well: Use mantras. The e...
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