It’s been a hot hot minute since I’ve written a post specifically about remission/recovery. Most posts as of late are hike recaps with the random life update sprinkled in here and there, and some writing I’ve been sharing as I work on my book. But this topic felt extremely relevant as I sat down with my laptop.
DISCLAIMER: if you are in recovery from or currently struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating please read this post with you own self-care and best intentions in mind ♥
The last few months have been a rollercoaster. Actually no, the last year has been a rollercoaster. Between graduating, moving out of childhood home, living between three places for about two weeks, writing and publishing a research article, moving North, living alone for the first time ever, starting my business, leaving my part-time personal training job on the seacoast, finding a part-time job up North, losing health insurance (oh hey 26th bday), starting the book writing process, having one of my best gal pals move across the country, being diagnosed with endometriosis, and probably other things. It’s been a lot. Mostly good or wonderful, but A LOT.
Life transitions throw us off. All of us. It doesn’t matter who you are, your story, or how “strong” you are – transitions are pivots.
Those have been the three words of the year.
It was the year of so many transitions, trusting that the universe would do its thing and trusting my intuition on what I knew were the right choices, and having patience in it all coming together.
Real talk: it’s been a lot.
Real real talk: I’m thankful to be so far along on the healing journey. With all the pivots, it has felt so much safer and more sustainable.
REAL TALK: there have been a handful of days where my brain is just like “can things puhlease settle down soon”, especially during the period of living between three places.
Then of course there is the settling into a new area. Meeting new people. Finding my humans up North. Becoming acclimated with the vibe here (it’s much different than the Seacoast).
A re-self-discovery if you will. Post pivot/shift/transition self-discovery.
I wrote a post back in 2015 titled being committed to recovery means that, and I do suggest reading that post as well. I’d say this current post is kind of a version two, five years later update on that post.
My two cents after five more years of this process have unfolded.
At this stage of my life (gosh this makes me sound old, ha!) the following practices are the ones that I try my best to implement as needed for self-care and supporting myself. Sometimes this means daily or weekly, or even monthly. It varies. There are so many factors which come into play such as overall stress levels, what’s going on in my life, etc. which influences how much I might need to check-in with myself and include some of the following practices. To start the list will be practices I tend to focus on daily and then I’ll get into other things which are helpful as needed and even some internal mindsets/dialogues that can be useful.
Nourishment – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. This one is broad so hear me out. Engaging in nourishing myself on all “wellness/health” levels. This takes time to cultivate a practice of but it’s FOUNDATIONAL for me. Think of a literal pyramid, these are the base, kind of like my “non-negotiables”.
- Physical nourishment: movement that feels good to my body and mind, that is participated in out of joy not “should”; food – finding what my body feels best with and fueling it with these foods, listening to my hunger cues, and being as intuitive as I can.
- Mental/emotional nourishment: sleep is a big one here for me, I need enough sleep. Checking in with myself about what I can do each day to best support myself – whether it’s writing, getting outside, taking a nap, listening to music, calling a friend, etc.
- Spiritual nourishment: including activities which connect my mind/body on a deep core soul level.
Outdoor time – time outside daily, whether it’s a half hour or a full-day hike is helpful. Connecting with nature.
Love, space, grace – this is SO SO SO CRUCIAL. Love for myself for choosing myself and continuing to choose to keep going. Space for the process. Grace for what comes up during the process.
Writing – this has many forms. Book writing, blogging, poetry, journaling. All have their place and a big focus for me is knowing when I need which one. Some days working on the book is so right (and cathartic) and other days I just need to journal either to a prompt or free-write.
Therapy – I have a therapist. She’s wonderful. We sit on the floor, drink tea, let out a lot of “ugh’s”, and chat. Having a neutral human can be so helpful.
Being honest – honesty is a pillar of recovery. When I was in the depths of my eating disorder lying was crucial to the sustenance of the disorder. Lying to myself and my loved ones. Now, it’s being brutally honest (in the most loving way) to myself first and foremost about where I’m at and what my needs are. Sometimes it’s easier than others to be honest to loved ones, friends, people in my life. But most importantly being vividly honest to myself and at least giving a general idea to others.
Connection – ranging from self-connection which is most felt when I’m in a good spiritual health internal space, to friends/family/community. Connection to self and connection with other humans whose presence and vibe feels good.
Curiosity – when negative feels come up (because they do and will), getting curious about them. Why are they there? What lesson am I apparently going to learn? What can this teach me? No matter how much we go through as humans, icky feelings will always show up throughout life, navigating these with curiosity is something I’ve found extremely useful.
Understanding and acceptance – these two are rather helpful during periods of transition and uncertainty. Understanding that I may have different needs than usual, that some dark stuff may pop up, and acceptance of this and allowing myself to pull in the appropriate tools and support.
Check-in – so easily can we opt into auto-pilot or cruise-control without even consciously recognizing it. Making sure to check-in with myself every so often and do a kind of “inventory” on how things are going from the physical/mental/emotional/spiritual perspectives.
Asking for help/support – we’re not meant to do every single thing on our own. While this process is totally my own, it’s completely valid to ask for support in all of this.
“Extra self-love/TLC” – little things that make me happy. Podcasts, hula-hooping, candles, essential oils, dancing, laughing, reading hiking books and blogs, accupressure mat, hanging out in child’s pose on my living room floor, bird watching. These help.
There are many more I’m sure, but these are the main ones coming to mind as I type this post. One of the biggest points I’d like to mention is how this is all a journey. A healing journey. A self-discovery journey. It’s a trail that is walked, sometimes over hills or mountains, sometimes rivers are to be forged and storms are to be managed, other-times you experience the rays of sunshine and fields of wildflowers. It’s the process of walking the trail home to yourself that makes it beautiful and wonderful.
I’m not sure the trail ever ends, and I’m not sure I want it to either. The further I walk, the more I learn about myself, the more I heal, and the more I grow into everything I never imagined possible.
“Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.”
– Pema Chodron