Recovering from an eating disorder is a difficult journey, but it is possible. Along the way, it is normal to experience moments of self-doubt. You may question whether you are strong enough to make it through the process and whether recovery is possible. Fortunately, several strategies can help you overcome these feelings and move forward with your recovery.
Practical Strategies and Coping Mechanisms to Help Overcome Self-Doubt During Eating Disorder Recovery
Eating disorders and the recovery process can be overwhelming. Often, self-doubt is a significant obstacle that stands in the way. It’s essential to learn how to identify and manage feelings of self-doubt so that you can continue on your path to recovery. Here are some practical strategies to help you overcome self-doubt during eating disorder recovery (1):
- Identify your triggers. Take some time to identify what triggers your self-doubt so that you can start to recognize when it is happening.
- Practice self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself. Self-doubt often comes from negative self-talk, so try not to be too hard on yourself as you face the challenges of the recovery process.
- Set goals. Celebrate when you meet your goals. Even the smallest successes matter!
- Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Building a supportive community and talking to someone you trust can help you process and understand your self-doubt.
- Engage in mindfulness activities. Journaling, reading, drawing, and other activities are vital to recovery from eating disorders. Choose the activities that you enjoy the most.
- Seek professional help. If you find your self-doubt too overwhelming or not responding to self-care, consider seeking professional help from a behavioral health specialist like a therapist or counselor.
How to Manage Self-Doubt If It Begins to Resurface During Eating Disorder Recovery
Even though you may be armed with strategies and coping mechanisms when you begin your recovery journey, it doesn’t mean you will never experience moments of self-doubt and low self-esteem along the way. In fact, you can expect it. The recovery journey is full of ups and downs, but being ready for those down moments will help you continue to a successful recovery. These are helpful ways to manage those difficult times and improve your self-esteem (2):
- Take a one day at a time approach. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself.
- Recognize and acknowledge your fears. Facing your fears is empowering.
- Make a list of your strengths. Remind yourself how valuable you are.
- Use positive thoughts and affirmations. They are vital to building your confidence.
- Talk to your therapist. Reach out during difficult times so your therapist can help you work through your fears.
Long-term Benefits of Overcoming Self-Doubt During Eating Disorder Recovery
Self-doubt can lead to worsening low self-esteem and increased anxiety and depression. Practicing the skills you learn to combat self-doubt will improve your ability to manage these symptoms and your overall well-being. Recovery is a life-long process, and the strategies you use to overcome self-doubt are skills you will use for the rest of your life.
Mental Health Professionals Who Specialize in Helping People Overcome Self-Doubt During Eating Disorder Recovery
Mental health professionals who specialize in helping people overcome self-doubt during eating disorder recovery can provide invaluable support. Examples of mental health professionals who specialize in this area include registered dietitians, psychologists, and therapists. These professionals are experts in helping people manage difficult times during recovery. They can provide personalized strategies to help build self-esteem, identify triggers, and develop valuable coping mechanisms to manage self-doubt and low self-esteem. Working with a mental health professional gives individuals the insight and tools needed to regain control of their recovery.
At Selah House, our team of professionals skilled in eating disorder treatment can help you manage your self-doubt and support you as you navigate your recovery. Contact us at 765.442.3551 to find out how you can get the help you need today.
- The Eating Disorder Foundation. (n.d.) About eating disorders. https://eatingdisorderfoundation.org/learn-more/about-eating-disorders/coping/
- Clerkin, Bridget. (2022, May 3). 7 steps to overcome self-doubt: One of the hardest challenges in recovery. Addictions.com. https://www.addictions.com/blog/hardest-challenges-in-recovery/
Kate Delaney Chen, BSN, RN-BC is a healthcare writer and registered nurse with over 17 years of bedside experience. She specializes in Psychiatric Nursing and Nephrology and currently works at a nationally recognized Inpatient Eating Disorders Program.