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 happiness||What steps can I take to make improvements in this area?|
|My physical health|
|My social life|
|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?