Wednesday, February 22, 2023

'Getting Your Life Together' for 2023

Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope you are all doing well and have started 2023 off with a bang! Secondly, relax. I hope you all know that there's really no need to throw a fit thinking up and executing all of these (over-hyped) new year's resolutions for your 'new year, new me.' This year, I propose a different approach.
    As we all know, the start of a new year is often seen as an opportunity to make significant changes in our lives. Many people use this time to set new goals, make resolutions, and try to 'get on track.' And while I don't think that reflection and goal-setting should be confined to January-time (with no additional reflection carried out throughout the year and habit change deterred until the following year), if resolutions are your much-needed push to set new healthy habits into motion, fine! Any excuse to reflect is a good one.

    For individuals recovering from eating disorders, however, the new year can be a challenging time, precisely because of this. Whether it triggers reflection on the lack of progress of the previous year, the work yet to do in the upcoming year, or whether it overwhelms the recovery-oriented self with an incredulous influx of January diet-talk, January can suck.

    But you are not alone. You can get through it and you will get through it.

    Here are some ideas for how to get on track in the new year without focusing on weight loss or restrictive resolutions: 
    1. Focus on self-care: Instead of setting weight loss goals, set self-care goals. This could include getting enough sleep, taking time for yourself each day, practicing mindfulness, or finding a form of exercise that feels good for your body. 
    2. Set meaningful goals: Rather than setting arbitrary goals like 'lose 10 pounds,' set goals that are meaningful and relevant to your life. This could include pursuing a hobby or passion, building stronger relationships with loved ones, or advancing in your career. 
    3. Practice intuitive eating: Instead of following strict diets or meal plans, focus on intuitive eating. This means listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues and eating foods that make you feel good, rather than following strict rules or restrictions. If you're not there yet, work with a coach or another professional to get there!
    4. Connect with others: Building a support network can be incredibly beneficial, especially during recovery when we are all too inclined to shy away from the company of others. Connecting with others could take the form of joining a support group, reaching out to a friend or family member, or working with a therapist or coach. It could also mean joining a social club or spending time with familty!
    5. Celebrate progress: Instead of focusing on perfection, celebrate progress and small wins. Recognize the hard work and effort that you're putting in, and acknowledge the progress you're making towards your goals.
    By focusing on self-care, meaningful goals, intuitive eating, connection, and progress, you can (and will!) get on track in the new year without falling back into old habits. With a supportive community and a positive mindset, it's possible to achieve lasting recovery and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

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