When thinking about the way the COVID pandemic has shaped and altered our world over the past year most people don’t think about how this may have a direct result on eating disorders and those who struggle with them, but the impact is huge. There is a complicated relationship between food and individuals with eating disorders and some have a small spectrum of food, some with specific brands, that they allow themselves to eat or that they deem as “safe”. Bare grocery store shelves, delayed shipping, and lack of specific supply can cause already anxious individuals that struggle with their food to struggle more and begin to panic.
On top of dealing with the anxiety of whether the specific food needed will be available, the required stay at home orders or social distancing can cause already inclined isolating individuals to isolate themselves more, causing strain or even severing the support systems they have built. Going from a full schedule of work and the requirements to get out of the house for needs or wants has diminished as many have lost their job or work from home and groceries and supplies being delivered can leave lots of extra free time to worry and ruminate on food that was previously occupied or could be filled with distracting outings.
Remember that many people are struggling through this time and some may be very good at hiding their struggles, but that doesn’t mean the struggles aren’t there. Reach out to people and give support and love to those you know and instead of social distancing have physical distancing and get creative. Come up with safe ways to support your friends and those around you because it just might make all the difference in the world to them.