Coping with Covid-19

Posted 15/04/2020

Hi everyone, I’m Issy. I am one of Beat’s Ambassadors and firstly, I would just like to say “Well Done.” This is an incredibly challenging and stressful time and it may not feel like it right now, but you will look back on these few weeks and months and you’ll be so proud of yourself for getting through this. I often say to people that living with an eating disorder and starting recovery is like sitting at the bottom of the biggest, most daunting mountain. The key thing is that every step you take up that mountain, the peak gets a little bit closer and trust me, that view is really worth it.

So, Covid-19. That’s the equivalent of a rocket appearing at the bottom of this mountain and essentially the driver pushing you inside and whizzing you up halfway. Not fun. I’ve been asked by Beat to share some of my thoughts with you during this tricky time, but my main message is that you are doing great and I’m sending you a virtual elbow bump from where I’m sat.

I remember so vividly that the biggest fear I had during my recovery was change and a lack of control over what’s changing. Trust me, I know that what I’m writing right now probably won’t suddenly make it all better, but I think the most important thing to keep in mind during this tricky period is that we’re doing all of this – staying at home, avoiding contact with people outside our houses – to save lives. As frustrating and scary it all seems right now, thousands of people out there will have you to thank for making these changes.

If I could give everyone three tips to help with all of this, here’s what they’d be:

  • Download the Headspace app. This is a really stressful time and I’m sure many of you out there are feeling incredibly anxious and worried. Meditating is a great way to slow things down and feel in control again – something which was super important to me during my recovery. Headspace have launched a Covid-19 programme called ‘Weathering the Storm’ which is free and available to everyone, but they also have a ‘Stress and Anxiety’ programme.
  • Write it down. Despite the fact we are living through history and this would be an amazing thing to keep for the future, getting your thoughts onto paper can really help you work through what’s going on in your head and exactly what’s worrying you. When I was in recovery, I religiously wrote a diary each day which really helped me put things in perspective and feel better in general.
  • Talk to people! Call your family, video call your mates, elbow bump the nurses. We need each other now more than ever right now and spreading some love around will only do you good.

That’s all from me guys – take care and remember, you are smashing it.

Issy x 

If you're worried about coronavirus, you can look at our guidance addressing some of the questions around the impact of the illness on eating disorders. You can also join our new online support group, the Sanctuary, set up to support anyone with an eating disorder who may feel worried and isolated right now.