Social isolation and home quarantine are causing anxiety about an unknown future. Many people are getting used to the situation but there’s still the underlying concern about when the pandemic will be contained and how we can avoid catching the virus. The COVID-19 safety measures are especially hard on people whose support system includes friends that they used to see in school and on the weekends.
If your child is recovering or receiving treatment for anorexia, you might want to pay close attention to their behaviour. They might be struggling with this so-called new normal.
Stay-At-Home Orders Might Be Making Them Feel Isolated
Friendship plays a major role in your child’s journey to recovery. While most anorexia studies focus on how friendships change due to anorexia, these social relationships can actually have a positive role later on. Your child might walk faster on the road to recovery if they receive constant support and self-validation from people who genuinely care about their health and well-being.
Unfortunately, quarantine takes away that motivation they receive every day. Text messaging, video calls, and social media might keep people connected but physical presence is still different. Their innera circle might have to put in more effort into being there despite the situation.
Social Media Memes Could Be Hurting Them
If there’s one silver lining about the global health crisis that we’re facing, it’s the fact that technology keeps us connected. This is a double-edged sword, though. On one hand, people can easily reach out to each other via social media. On the other, it’s not easy to avoid the onslaught of quarantine memes.
People don’t usually mean harm through their comments about gaining weight during their respective stay-at-home orders. But these comments, even without meaning too, could trigger feelings of shame and self-criticism for people like your child who are already dealing with body image issues.
In this case, you might want to talk to your child about limiting their social media usage. Instead, urge them to focus on healthier activities like exploring a new passion or enrolling in a free online course.
Pay Attention to the Behaviors that Might Cause a Relapse
Medical researchers and health care workers are working hard to contain the coronavirus. But while they’re a small step closer to the goal every day, this is still unchartered waters for all of us.
It’s understandable if you’re at a loss for ways to make your child’s anorexia recovery easier while the world deals with a health crisis that none of us have ever experienced. Nevertheless, you can play your part by observing their behavior and staying on the lookout for these relapse warning signs:
- Withdrawing from social interaction and isolating themselves
- Skipping meals or disrupting their recovery eating schedule
- Engaging in excessive exercise activities or workout routines
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes and avoiding mirrors
- Increasing anxiety or irritability
Encourage your child to voice out their anxiety about the situation. Make them feel as comfortable as possible. And constantly be in touch with their recovery team to determine the best way to address treatment during these difficult times.