The pandemic challenged many of us as our lives were turned upside down this past year and a half. This led to eating disorder rates and mental health concerns rapidly rising throughout the world.
You’re not alone if the eating disorder thoughts got louder as a result of quarantine, local restrictions, and the wave of emotions the pandemic brought.
Some people are excited and eager to resume face-to-face activities as restrictions are starting to be lifted. Others find it intimidating to leave behind what we’ve grown accustomed to during the pandemic.
Are you feeling re-entry anxiety as we return to normal? Re-entry anxiety refers to the fear, apprehension, and mixed feelings that arise with entering back into life without COVID restrictions.
Transitions are hard so know that what you’re experiencing is completely valid.
Let’s talk about WHY the pandemic’s restrictions created the perfect opportunity for eating disorders to thrive and then we’ll discuss HOW you can move forward in coping with re-entry anxiety as we return to normal.
During the pandemic did you find yourself falling into more disordered thoughts and behaviors surrounding food and your body?
Disordered eating tends to surface when someone feels out of control and they want to gain control over external stress or internal emotional distress.
The pandemic provided numerous pathways for eating disorders to intensify, and it also eliminated factors that protect against eating disorders:
Here are examples of how the context of the pandemic’s restrictions essentially provided a sneaky invitation for the eating disorder to force its way into your life.
The pandemic was a new trial that many of us had never gone through before. If you fell back into the eating disorder, or disordered behaviors, try to forgive yourself with compassion and grace. Recovery is not perfect and you did the best you could to get through it.
Think all the way back to pre-pandemic and reflect on the positive progress you were making in recovery. What was working? How would it feel to be back in a place where you’re overcoming the eating disorder?
Here are tips and strategies for how to support yourself or a loved one who is dealing with re-entry anxiety as we return to normal.
The pandemic required resilience in the wake of fear, uncertainty, and obstacles. Be proud of yourself for getting through this tough time, no matter what it looked like. Now, use that same resilience, shifting your energy, to propel you back into the world of recovery. You can do this!
The dietitians at Nutrition Counseling Center are here to walk alongside you if you’re experiencing re-entry anxiety as we return to normal. We offer individual and group services, both in-person or virtually. Let’s get in touch and do this together!