Students, you are settling back into a new university term, navigating student life once more after the long festive break.
Managing eating disorder recovery alongside university commitments can be a lot to handle, and at times it might feel overwhelming.
With this in mind, earlier this month on Instagram, we asked fellow students (current or past) in the Orri community to share their words of wisdom for those navigating university life whilst in eating disorder recovery.
Here is what they said..
“Reach out for as much support as you can.”
You’re human and putting your hand up to say, ‘I need help’ is such a testament to your commitment to your recovery and self-care.
At university, there is support available to you. Such as:
- Speaking to your Personal Tutor
- Liaising with the university Wellbeing Department
- Speaking with the Disability Advisory Service (DSA)
We explore more ways to prepare yourself for university with our checklist, here.
“Try not to compare yourself to others.”
You may know people who skip breakfast or miss lunch, but will this be a good idea for you?
Stick to the routines that you know are critical for your recovery. Paula, Orri’s Senior Dietitian, explores how you can maintain a sense of structure at university in our blog. For tips on how you can handle mealtimes as a student, read here.
It is easy to be tempted by societal trends that meet our needs for external validation. But we have to pause and check in to determine what’s right for us.
Clock the intention behind the activity and remember that an awareness of our behaviours is the first step towards positive change. Go gently too, we know you are trying your best.
“University can fuel motivation in recovery.”
Despite being challenging at times, university is a wonderful means of being connected to something bigger than your eating disorder. It provides an opportunity to experience new surroundings, meet and be amongst likeminded people, as well as offering you the means to develop your passions and skills for your degree.
Your university experience and academic interests reflect an aspect of who you are and are a stepping stone towards a future career and a future you.
“Prioritise YOU and your needs.”
As an Orri community member shared, ‘put your recovery first!’.
Give yourself permission to focus on yourself and do what’s right for your journey. This will mean taking moments to reflect on how you are feeling – in your body and mind – in the present, and respond to any needs or feelings that you identify. Remember, recovery is a process of unearthing those precious parts of ourselves that the eating disorder has pushed aside – this takes time.
As part of getting to know yourself again, you are allowed to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t serve your energy. Your energy is precious enough, never mind also reserving some to stay afloat in your recovery.
Put yourself first.
“It doesn’t have to be university or recovery, you can do both.” Orri Instagram Follower
We want to thank all members in the eating disorder community who inspire hope through recovery conversation everyday. You are what helps make Orri a refuge of safety, compassion and warmth.