Traveling with an eating disorder can be a monumental undertaking. The beauty about vacations is that they are meant to be fun and they also provide an opportunity to explore new cultures, people, and foods. The isolating, rigid nature of an eating disorder casts a shadow on what can be a life-changing experience. It is possible to travel with your eating disorder and still get the most from your vacation. The key is to know your limits and plan ahead so you feel supported and secure. Read on to learn about traveling with an eating disorder planning ahead is the best course of action.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
It is absolutely essential to work with your treatment team to plan how you are going to maintain your recovery on vacation. Now is not necessarily the time to throw all caution to the wind. There is no need to put pressure on yourself to eat every meal in a restaurant. You can find a grocery store in just about every corner of the world and stock up on your essentials, and maybe plan to try one meal out. You and your team will know what’s going to be manageable for you.
Look ahead to your destination and find out what restaurants and grocery stores are nearby. If you are taking a trip that has a set itinerary, find out how long you will be out each day so you will know how many snacks or meals to bring with you. This planning will help you to ease into your vacation knowing that your recovery is being maintained and not everything is going to be a scary challenge.
Stick to Your Routine
If you have a meal plan that schedules three meals and three snacks, it is important to stay with that routine. You don’t want to be left without an afternoon snack indefinitely when dinner is hours away. Routine will help you to feel safe and will mitigate some of the anxiety that comes with travel and new places.
Part of your recovery routine at home includes regular contact with your treatment team. You may be able to schedule phone sessions with your therapist and dietitian while you are away. Plan to incorporate self-care activities into your vacation. Bring your journal and inspirational books, make contact with your support network of friends and family each day, make time for meditation or spiritual practices, and above all commit to making time for yourself every day.
If Traveling with an Eating Disorder Planning Ahead is a Must
Wherever your vacation takes you, make sure to enjoy the new sights around you! Food is only one small part of a vacation experience. The opportunity to take in a new environment, learn a new culture, and try new things makes for very full days! Your recovery can be maintained in the midst of all the excitement, and can help you to remain calm and therefore enjoy even more.
Need More Information?
If you or someone in your family is struggling to recover from an eating disorder, call Center for Discovery now at 800.760.3934. Please don’t hesitate to call immediately with any questions. Call now and speak to one of Center for Discovery’s highly trained admission specialists today. Or fill out this form for a FREE assessment. All calls are completely FREE and strictly confidential.