Navigating the New Year

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The New Year: A time for reflection. However, what often comes in tow is pressure to set

“new goals” or “resolutions” and a social media feed swarming with “new year, new me” messages that often focus around diet-culture and exercise. This can be a really triggering and challenging time for those in recovery from an eating disorder.

The following are some top tips for helping you navigate the New Year and to maintain focus on recovery and self-compassion:

1. Social media distancing

If your feed feels overwhelming, take a step back. There are two ways you can do this: 1. Delete social media apps off your phone for a while so you aren’t tempted to scroll or 2. Unfollow any accounts that make you feel badly about yourself or bring you negative energy. Removing accounts that talk about dieting or unhealthy exercise can help you disengage from diet culture and opens up the space for you to consider following accounts that make you feel good. (Top tip: following animal accounts can really brighten up your day!)

2. Motivations over resolutions

Setting resolutions can often bring out perfectionism which is not so helpful for those in recovery. Writing a list of your motivations for recovery can be useful to bring the focus back when the noise around new year goal setting feels too loud, and things feel tough.

3. Talk and set boundaries

If you find those around you continually talk ‘diet chat’, then think about how you can express how you feel to them. If you feel able to, letting these people know that you are finding the conversation topics unhelpful and suggesting another topic can help set boundaries. It is likely that friends and family will also want to help support your recovery journey, therefore being open and honest about how you are feeling is important.

Remember, you are not alone if you are finding the new year challenging. If you are feeling triggered, treat your response with self-compassion and ask yourself, “How can I support myself right now?” followed by reaching out to your support network.

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