Relapse PreventionRecovery is not something you achieve and then forget about. Rather, it is a process, a journey—something you cultivate over the course of a lifetime. On any recovery journey, there will be bad days and tough times. There may even be moments of relapse. There are many factors that might cause or exacerbate an eating disorder relapse; many of them tied to external stressors in your life or are biological, psychological or social factors The question is, what do you do in the face of relapse? First and most importantly: Show yourself some compassion. You have not failed, and relapse does not send your recovery back to square one. Recovery is tough, and we all have bad days—so do not beat yourself up about it. Note that while relapse can happen to anyone, there are things you can do to stay strong against it—ways you can develop your own relapse prevention plan. Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Write down a list of the ways in which you are doing well in your recovery, but also note the areas where you might need improvement. Encourage yourself with the good stuff but be mindful of the weaker areas—and talk them over with your therapist or support group.
- Spend some time contemplating the things that stress you out. Be mindful of what your triggers are, and what you can do to avoid them.
- Make sure you have activities you can turn to for daily stress release and management—whether it is exercise, journaling, or something else altogether.
- Keep going to appointments with your dietician, therapist, and support group—even on weeks when you do not feel like you “need” it.