Things have been pretty crazy in my neck of the woods. With the semester coming to a close, it’s difficult to avoid stress. I find that I still place an enormous amount of stress on myself to do perfectly in my classes. When something I turn in doesn’t get the best grade possible, I beat myself up about it. I dread going online to check my grades for fear that I’ve done poorly. All that I want out of the semester is to succeed well enough to make dean’s list and I’m not sure that I will make it.
Naturally, all of this stress is building up and not helping me with my recovery. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s really hurting my recovery, but it makes things more tricky. It’s high-stress situations like this that lets the eating disorder voice creep back into my mind. I need to get creative with ways to calm myself and to keep my mind occupied with positive things.
Living at home, I naturally am more inclined to become reclusive. I have not been doing a very good job to minimize that so I know I need to try harder. It’s just difficult when my bed is so comfy and I don’t need to wear flip flops in the shower!
Some ways that I help to calm myself down is by doing crafts. I love anything crafty that I can do with my hands: sewing, crocheting, coloring- you name it, I love it. The only problem is that crafts can get pretty expensive.
Another thing that helps me a lot is exercise. Yeah, yeah, I know that a lot of people would not suggest exercise as a stress coping mechanism to someone recovering from an eating disorder. But the way I look at it is that I stop when my body tells me I’ve had enough or when my mind tells me I’ve had enough even though my body could go longer. If it makes me feel better about myself, gives me energy and a little bit of alone time, I’m all for it.
Over the summer I did yoga a lot. There’s a studio downtown by my house that offers free yoga/pilates classes on Sundays and I just went for the first time in a while today. I got to say, it felt wonderful to be back on the mat. It is just so relaxing to be there, focusing on making my breathing and my movements in sync. (Also, I got a lot of design inspiration for my room at school next semester) Yoga is definitely something that I have to keep up with. It makes me feel good about myself and it is super relaxing.
Speaking of next semester, I get to pick up my forms from my therapist tomorrow so I can turn them in for a medical need for a single room next semester. It’s going to be so great to be living back on campus in a space of my own. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss having someone to laugh with at night before falling asleep and hearing about all the crazy things i said in my sleep, but having my own space is what I know deep down that will help me get better. I won’t feel like a constant burden on my tough days.
Basically what I want people to get out of this post is to know what works for you when dealing with stress. Have options. Don’t rely on one thing to get rid of your stress because then it just becomes too routine. Routine is not always a good thing! Learn to live life and take things as they come. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s something that I’m working on each day little by little.