Sunday, June 5, 2022

Your Body Needs Rest (& a Lot of Food)

Exercise. The all-defining exercise. In eating disorder recovery, this seems like one of the most recurring themes and topics. To do recovery, but to do it 'the healthy way.' To do it in a way that still appeases the eating disorder...  

Guess what though? Exercise is NOT the healthy way. Not in recovery at least. Nor is it healthy to push yourself through a workout every time you are tired or just not feeling up to it. It's okay to listen to that, and to take rest.

If you want to exercise because you hate your body or you feel the need to 'cancel out' what you ate, the best thing to do is NOT to give in. The best thing to do is to sit with the discomfort and defy the eating disorder's voice. Amidst all the people and professionals preaching the importance of exercise, I am here to tell you this: I sometimes go weeks and weeks without a formal exercise routine... and it's fucking great. During my recovery, I didn't exercise at all. It is okay not to exercise, and sometimes rest is the best thing you can give yourself.

It's time to reframe your thoughts and beliefs around taking time off and embracing rest. We do not need to be 'perfect' / productive / busy / stressed out all the time. In fact, no one ever benefits from this, and it has a range of negative consequences! Rest is crucial, and this is a lesson I'm still learning myself. 

So, today, and for the remainder of this week (and the one after that and the one after that), make a conscious choice to have some rest, whatever this may mean for you. 

Rest can be: 
  • Making time for the things you enjoy, and for the hobbies you may not otherwise make time for 
  • Turning off your phone 
  • Going out into nature 
  • Sleeping in 
  • Having a bath 
  • Saying no to plans 
  • Binge-watching a series 
  • Skipping a workout 
  • Baking 
  • Yoga 
  • And so much more!

Rest means no “to do's" and no "musts". Allow yourself to have a few minutes, an hour, or (even better!) an entire day off. Your mind and your body will thank you.

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