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Webinar Recap: What's in your Backpack? Self Care Tools for Back-to-School

By: Rachel Tenny, MA, LPC

Posted on September 23, 2019

Last week on Wednesday, September 18, we had the privilege of having Dr. Laura Minch McLain, Site Director at The Renfrew Center of Atlanta, share with our alumni ways to continue to take care of themselves when they head back to school.

Back to school is a notoriously challenging time, even for those without an eating disorder. New schedules, sometimes new schools, stress, comparison, learning a different routine, new peers, and teachers. It can all feel overwhelming without pausing to reflect inward and take care of yourself. Increases in stress can lead many to engage in eating disorder behaviors that feel familiar, not allowing themselves to sleep enough, not properly fueling their bodies, and even isolating from their support.

I've rounded up some of Laura's tips to share with those of you who weren't able to tune in. As she shared, self-care isn't necessarily about manicures, facials, shopping, and massages. It is about being able to identify needs, both emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental.

Basic self care includes:
- Getting adequate sleep
- Eating and drinking enough water
- Engaging in relationships
- Taking medications
- Prioritizing tasks
- Minimizing caffeine intake (which can often help with anxiety)
- Finding a mindfulness practice that works for you

Another important tip mentioned was being able to identify when you are struggling and need support, before it escalates. It is a lot easier to make time to talk to a friend and go see your team than it is to have to leave school and go back to treatment. Taking time for your mental well-being and prioritizing yourself can lead to success not just in school, but also in your recovery!

If you missed this webinar, make sure you join us for the next one on October 16 at noon and 6 p.m. EST.
In this webinar, Chelsea Woodard will present on "The Path to Body Acceptance-How it Affects All Aspects of Recovery."

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