There are a number of different aspects to eating disorder counseling. Some are physical, and some are psychological, but all of them are very important. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that tending to the soul during eating disorder treatment is just as important as tending to the body. Not everyone is expecting this approach when they look for treatment, but learning to care for themselves on a level that’s not just physical is one of the most important things any individual can do as they experience the journey toward being fully recovered.
Eating disorder recovery is a mind and body issue, not just one or the other. By tending the soul along with the body, patients are able to use a two-fold approach throughout their therapy and treatment, so they can become fully recovered in a way that reduces the opportunity for setbacks along the way. It’s an excellent way for patients to feel empowered as well, and to see how their lives can be built around goals, dreams, and plans they may have for their future. Here are eight ways to tend the soul during treatment.
- Focus on the Positive, Even When It Seems Small
One of the many areas of focus at an eating disorder treatment center is the positive side of life. That’s not to negate the seriousness of the issue, but to begin to develop a mindset that will help clients see beyond their eating disorder. Of course, treatment should include many components, and understanding there is more to life than their eating disorder is one of them. Improving physical health can be hard when psychological health also needs attention. That’s why tending to the soul is important.
Whether an individual chooses to call it soul, spirit, mind, or anything else, it’s the flip side of the physical, and it’s just as important as anything that’s going on with the body. Applying positive attitudes to the soul can be an excellent way to improve your relationship with your body, as well. Then the patient, as a whole, moves toward being fully recovered. While the process can take time, it’s extremely rewarding and one of the best ways to get on a path of wellness that’s so vitally important to leading the kind of life the individual ultimately wants to have.
- Make a Standing Date With Nature
If a patient has searched the web with the phrase”eating disorder treatment near me,” they aren’t alone. They know they need to get help, and they’re ready to take steps to do it. But while they’re spending time in treatment, they should also be spending time in nature. Being in the natural world can be a great healer, and one of the best ways to tend to the soul and become their recovered self.
Whether it’s a park bench in the city or a densely populated forest outside of town, there are all types of ways to get close to nature. The closer an individual gets to the natural world, the more deeply connected to the world around them. That’s very good for the soul, and one of the ways to truly understand that there is so very much to life. Finding recovery for an eating disorder isn’t always easy, but it’s deeply rewarding and being out in the natural world can help with the connectedness that the soul needs to heal and feel whole once again.
- Choose a Hobby That Supports Mindfulness
For patients who come to eating disorder treatment without specific goals, plans, or dreams, finding a hobby that supports and nurtures their soul can be very important. It doesn’t matter what type of hobby that is, as long as it’s positive and rejuvenating for the soul and the body. If it meets those criteria and it helps the patient feel better about themselves during and after treatment, it has a value that cannot and should not be ignored. Some people like hobbies that they can do alone at home and others like to do something active with other people. What’s important is finding something psychologically nourishing to explore.
- Understand that Self-Care Is Absolutely Not Selfish
Society sometimes teaches people that caring for themselves is selfish, but that’s not the case. Among the myriad of treatment options for eating disorders, self-care is widely encouraged. Being fully recovered is possible, but in order to get to that point, an individual has to truly care for themselves and focus on the kinds of things that are important to them. That could mean redefining toxic relationships, moving to a new location, changing jobs, focusing on caring for oneself in your current environment or nearly anything else that can help a patient be more aware of their life and the things in it that are important and valuable to them.
Empathetic eating disorder treatment facilities often advocate for self-care in a lot of different ways, with the realization that self-care is not at all selfish. It is a necessary part of life, and even for those who have responsibilities to care for others, self-care still needs to come first. People who practice good self-care nourish their bodies and their souls, and by doing that they are better able to meet the demands of life. They also understand how to get away for a little while and do the things that matter to them, so they can “refill” and feel ready to take on life and handle problems, concerns, and joys, along with the quiet times.
- Reach Out to People Who Love and Support You
Having an outside support network can help an individual during their path to recovery. An eating disorder counseling center can work with the client and their loved ones to fully support the client’s recovery.
For patients who have outside friends and family to talk to, reaching out can be difficult. But it’s an important step and one of the best ways for a patient to feel the love and care they really need to tend to their soul. That “cheerleading” can really help patients become fully recovered and move toward a place of peace. Even with a difficult past, people can get through present struggles and go on to have a beautiful future.
- Journal, Blog, or Otherwise Discuss and Address Your Thoughts and Feelings
Part of eating disorder counseling is often writing down the things a patient feels about the process of treatment. This process can help them look back on how far they’ve come, and also set goals for the future so they can focus on the path to recovery and a bright future ahead. Whether patients use a paper journal, write on an online blog, or discuss and address feelings and thoughts some other way, writing it down can help.
It can be difficult to journal or blog in an open and honest way, but there are big benefits to doing that over time. Tending to a patient’s soul means focusing on psychiatric issues along with physical balance, to ensure a higher level of overall self-acceptance during and after treatment for an eating disorder. When thoughts and feelings are ignored, they can cause problems, but journaling or blogging can help get those feelings and thoughts out into the open where they can be seen, addressed, and talked about more clearly.
- Look Toward the Future and the Things That Make You Happy
When struggling with an eating disorder, individuals may not see the brightness of the future they could have. They may be depressed, or they may simply not see asking for help as an option for them. But with assistance from the best eating disorder treatment facilities, patients are able to protect and nurture their bodies and their souls at the same time. A focus on self-care and self-love, combined with a support network and an eating disorder treatment team who guides the individual on this path will support a more comprehensive understanding in treatment and on the journey to recovery.
- Consider New Ways to Look at the World
Having a positive mindset matters. When it comes to how you look at the world, there are a lot of different options. An eating disorder psychiatrist can guide a recovered individual to a new understanding of herself and the world. Mindful eating disorder treatment can focus on an expanded and flexible perspective on the world. The world provides a lot of unique experiences, and when there are options to consider and ideas to explore, the world is a more interesting and enjoyable place.
Eating disorder treatment options that allow for open-mindedness and exploration of the past, present and future can help patients tend to their soul while on their path to recovery.