The importance of self-care

Carers of people with eating disorders suffer high levels of anxiety, depression and burden.  It is extremely important that carers look after their own physical and mental wellbeing.  We have a saying that a distressed carer is an ineffective carer.  Be kind to yourself. Show the same compassion to your own needs as you would like your loved one to show to her/his needs.  Live by example …….

  • Think about how happy you are in each of the areas listed.  Add some more if you feel this is necessary.  On a score of 1-10, 10 being very happy, note down current scores and then perceived scores of happiness before the illness.  
  • Now look at the scores you have given for current and past happiness and in the next column write down the reason for any changes.
  • Keeping these in mind, score how important an improvement in each area is to you using a scale of 0-10, 0 being not at all important and 10 very important.  

My happiness with: 
Rate current happiness (0-10)In the past (0-10)Reason for change in happinessWhat steps can I take to make improvements in this area?
My physical health

My social life

My job

Financial issues

My emotional health

My relationship with spouse/partner

My relationship with other children (non-eating disorder)

My relationship with my son/daughter with eating disorder

My relationship with my close friends

My relationship with my extended family (parents/sister/brother etc)

Once you have done the above exercise, reflect on the following:

  • What, specifically, would you like to be different?
  • Create a small list of at least 3 options to experiment with
  • What, specifically, could you do to get started?
  • If the first step is successful, then what?
  • Who else (if anyone) could you ask for support and assistance?
  • What could you ask them for?
  • What would be the signs that things are going well with any changes you make?
  • How would you know if you were off-track?
  • What obstacles do you foresee?
  • How would you address these obstacles?
  • What would you do if you go off-track?