Many of the women struggling with eating disorders are young. According to The National Eating Disorders Association, .9% of women will struggle with anorexia, 1.5% of women will struggle with bulimia, and 3.5% of women will struggle with binge eating in their lifetimes. And, that women between the ages of 15 and 24 with anorexia have 10 times the risk of dying compared to their same-aged peers. This means that women of this age group need to be specifically careful about maintaining their recovery. And, since women of this age group are at the most common age to be in college, it’s important for these women to know what going to college in recovery entails. In this article, we aim to help women who have developed eating disorders in college. To do so, we provide some tips to help women in college maintain a healthy eating disorder recovery while in school.
Don’t Forget to Keep Getting the Help You Need
Recovery doesn’t end when you graduate treatment. It’s a lifelong commitment to yourself that involves keeping up with and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t come into contact with things that may put your recovery at risk once in a while. So, that’s why it’s so important to keep support resources close at hand. During the college school year, you can find the support you need:
- At an outpatient treatment service center that offers extended care therapy and support.
- Local mental health support group meetings.
- With the help from a friend or family member. Ask someone you trust to schedule times to check up on you, listen to you about your concerns, and offer any additional support you may need about once a month.
Planning for College Meals While in Recovery
You’ll be busy studying, meeting new people, and going to class in college. So, it’s important to stay ahead of your nutritional needs before they become overwhelming. And, you end up reverting to past, unhealthy eating behaviors. Some of the things you can do to prepare for your college meals may include:
- Talking to a nutritionist about your daily meal and snack needs to determine a schedule. Specifically, find specific moments in your daily schedule to make time to eat. This way, you don’t end up skipping any snacks or meals.
- Try to meal plan as much as possible. Knowing what you’re going to eat and preparing it beforehand gives you a better chance of actually eating it. So, determine a day of the week to go grocery shopping, work on your meal scheduling for the week, and preparing food for the week ahead.
- Have a backup plan. College schedules are busy and things might come up that you aren’t prepared for. So, to help in these moments, remember to pack snacks in your purse or backpack. This way, when anything unexpected happens, you don’t have an excuse to skip getting the nutrition you need to maintain a healthy recovery.
Implement a Balanced Schedule
Sure, college can get stressful and overwhelming at times. And, when this happens, these negative feelings can become relapse triggers that put your eating disorder recovery at risk. This is why it’s important to implement a healthy, structured schedule. For example, if you find yourself doing too much, next semester, take fewer classes. And, remember to find time for the things you enjoy as well. You don’t want to get overworked, but you still want your schedule to remain structured.
Getting Support During College for Eating Disorders
Here at Willow Place for Women, offer treatment services for women in college struggling with eating disorders. And, supportive outlets for the women who have already graduated from our care. Whether you’re looking for outpatient treatment before going back to college or have already been to treatment, we can help.
With a number of outpatient services, we provide the structured care that women need to establish healthy lifestyles in recovery. To learn more, contact us for a confidential conversation with one of our specialists today.