Eating disorder recovery can be lonely. You are most likely in a place away from home with unfamiliar people and surrounded by new environments. Even if you have finished your eating disorder treatment, you may find yourself isolating yourself from old friends who may be have bad influence or triggering for you. Loneliness is a common feeling associated with eating disorders and this feeling of isolation can also bring feelings of sadness and guilt. No matter where you are in your eating disorder recovery journey, it is important to try to build healthy connections within your community. Being surround by positive and like-minded people can prevent feelings of loneliness and help you form new connections and friendships.
- Join a club or a sport team: There are so many community clubs such as book clubs, volunteer clubs, hiking clubs, mom clubs and even craft clubs that are a great way to engage with like-minded individuals while getting involved with a hobby you enjoy. After spending time with the same people on a regular basis, you quickly exchange contact information and may find yourself seeing them outside of your regular scheduled meet up events. There are many groups online such as Meetup or Facebook groups that have many different types of activity clubs you can join. Another great way to meet new people is to join an adult sports league. Kickball, dodgeball, softball, ultimate Frisbee and even soccer are common sports that are open to the general public. Try searching for adult sports leagues in your area.
- If you are religious, become involved in church: Churches not only offer worship services to the public but they also have many small groups that are often broken up by age and gender. Additionally, many churches offer retreats, which are a great way to meet people.
- Volunteer: Giving your time to a local charity is not only a great way to give back but it is also a way to meet other volunteers and to learn about how other people live. Volunteer at an organization, which you support and you find interesting.
- Find events and gatherings on social media: Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram commonly advertise events within your area. Additionally there are many social groups on Facebook, which you can join to connect with others. Meetup is another great organization that is based online and hosts in-person gatherings for specific interests and groups.
- Be open to meeting new people: Meeting new people can be daunting, especially if you are shy or have been hurt by others in the past. However, it is important to step out of your comfort zone and although being cautious is good, it is also important to remain open-minded and optimistic.
- Try to meet friends of friends: A great way to meet new people is to connect with friends of your friends. If you already have some great friends, it won’t hurt to surround yourself with their friends so you can expand your social circle.
- Connect with coworkers: Coworkers can become your best friends. They may act completely difference when they are work so try to connect with your coworkers outside of work by going to lunch together, grabbing a coffee or meeting up after work.
- Join an eating disorder support group: Every individual in eating disorder recovery should join an eating disorder support group not only for the therapy benefits but also because you can meet many like-minded individuals who are going through a similar journey.