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Safe spaces and reliable relationships are a catalyst during recovery.

Whether you relate better to your experience of disordered eating behaviours as a "disorder" or as a “survival mechanism” for coping with trauma, [neither is right or wrong, this is your lived experience] both require safe spaces and reliable relationships.

Some ways you can create safe spaces + relationships for yourself include;

- Think of your physical space - is your environment nourishing you. Is it tidy? Calming? Do you have some blankets? What about some a diffuser or candle scent you enjoy?

- Keep a safe room in the house e.g in the bedroom there are no difficult, stressful or tough conversations.

- Get a shoe box or similar and pop both grounding and fun things in it to have in your safe space. E.g. stress ball, candle, photographs, mantra cards, fidget spinner, colouring book.

- Join peer support groups, both online and in-person to start to create trusting relationships with others in a similar situation.

- Be open with friends and family about what you need from them and be honest as often as you can.

If you are supporting someone through their recovery journey + want to make the relationship and space safer from them, consider;

- Take a non judgemental approach to their behaviour, this is not personal against you. Sometimes instead of the thought of "whats wrong with you?' it can be more useful to have the restructured thought “what happened to you?" Acknowledge their pain.

- Become familair with phases such "that sounds really tough, how can I support you" or "may I offer you some advice or would you like me to listen right now?"

- Try to avoid taking the pain away, by saying it will be okay, or comparing their journey to your own [unless you are asked]. Sometimes a listening ear is the best support.

- See them as a whole person, not just their eating behaviours.

- Learn to self regulate. If you spend a lot of time with someone, co-regulation occurs. Where one of your emotional states will impact the others.

- In a moment of tension you could try co-regulating by making gentle eye contact with them, light touch, using a soothing voice, a soft smile, hugging.

- Ensure you have your own safe space to nurture yourself.