ED Recovery: Morning Self-Care

 EDIT™ Worksheets | Give To Your Self
Self-Care Routine #1 | Morning Check-In

Eating disorder behaviors can sometimes be your client’s way of life. Eating disorder recovery involves replacing ED (Eating Disorder) with Intuitive Self-Care – truly nurturing and nourishing habits developed through guidance from IT (Intuitive Therapist). As your client gradually integrates new habits which have meaning for them, their old eating disorder habits will gradually disappear. As your client’s life is filled with their new routines of Self-Care, and other meaningful activities in their life, they will suddenly realize, “ED hasn’t been around for a while…  I truly feel free… I wonder if this is what complete recovery is all about?”

One of the best places to start guiding your client with Intuitive Self-Care is when they first wake up each day. Their initial waking hours can be a critical time in their day, as they set the stage for ED… or, recovery! This Morning Check-In worksheet illustrates a simple format for your client to complete each morning.

The top section of this worksheet includes some basic details about your client’s sleep patterns, which is helpful for your client and also you as a clinician to also be aware of. You can suggest some holistic strategies to improve sleep hygiene – which is related to their bedtime routine (discussed in the next worksheet, page 48 of the pdf file– Evening Check-In). Many clients report having access to their Intuitive Therapist (IT) during their dreams, where they receive a direct message through the dream, or in the dream interpretation. Also of note is that the transition from sleep to waking is also a time when clients can more easily access IT wisdom – this is a naturally meditative state.

How ideal to pause for a moment when waking, rather than just quickly jumping out of bed! Perhaps this is when your clients can close their eyes and check in with what they know is listed in the top sections of this form. They can also gently notice any physical sensations, and what this may be signaling them from an IT perspective.

Next, clients are guided to check in with their morning mood, noting any awareness of anxiety or depression. This is especially helpful for clients with a co-occurring mood disorder, to notice how a prescription medication may (or may not) be working. ED thoughts, other addictive cravings, and details about these can also be recorded. It’s very interesting to notice if there is a link between anxiety, depression, and ED symptoms. On days when anxiety and depression are high, is ED triggered? And is the opposite effect true – with low anxiety and depression, what is happening with ED? Finally, the client is guided to check in with their predominant emotion (clients can refer to worksheet in the Express Your Self principles section, page 36 of the pdf file – Feelings Check-In).

The next section on the worksheet is a quick journal entry – it’s what I call “raw writing,” and you want to encourage your client to write whatever they are thinking in that moment, without “trying to write right.” If they are having any ED thoughts, get them out here. If they are having any challenging emotions, get them out here. It’s through the awareness of these thoughts and emotions that authentic needs can be revealed – from the client’s IT. Or, perhaps the client is is a good mood that morning, and affirmative thoughts surface. Journalling about these can help to anchor them – and needs may be related to carrying these helpful thoughts and feelings forward into the day.

Finally, the client can set three intentions for their day. These may be related to recovery, or other things they hope to accomplish or experience. For example:

1. Be aware of WHY I’m eating today – quick check-in before I eat
2. Call my friend Sue when I’m leaving work for accountability and support
3. Have a Self-Care plan for tonight – look at my 5Rs worksheet for ideas!