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As this final stretch of 2021 rounds the corner, and another new year looms on the horizon, the inevitability of transition is at the forefront of my mind. But while this idea of change can often bear a negative connotation and cause stress levels to escalate, the change itself doesn't always have to bring chaos, fear, anxiety, or upheaval into your actual lived experience. If you can create a buffer of mental and emotional resilience around the changes and life transitions on your own personal horizon, you'll have a steadier, more balanced outlook on how to manage stress as it comes. However, in order to achieve this, you also need to prioritize your eating disorder recovery in the midst of those life transitions.      
I think one of the most difficult aspects of coping with anxiety is dealing with the fear that is inherent to this experience. While fear and anxiety are not necessarily the same thing, they typically walk alongside one another, and that is why it can be helpful to analyze one in order to understand the other.
During the holiday season, one of the most talked-about topics is holiday shopping. Many people who struggle with anxiety find it to be overwhelming. Before I started my holiday shopping, I had the following thoughts. What do my friends and family members really want this year? What if they don't like my gifts? What if they already have the gifts I will give them? How much money should I spend on presents? Now that I have finished shopping for two people, I do not feel as anxious. Here are some tips that helped me start my holiday shopping.
"Surviving Mental Health Stigma Blog" — that’s the name of this blog full of tips and advice to get through moments of stigma, overcome it, and so on. Often, that’s how I approach writing for this blog: what tips can I share? What have I gone through that might be useful to others? But then it struck me. Dealing with mental health stigma can quite literally be an act of survival. It’s not hyperbole. It’s not dramatics. Mental health stigma could literally lead to someone dying. I’ll elaborate. (Note: this post contains a content warning.)
I find pain destroys my ability to think. I find that once pain reaches a certain level, I can no long formulate rational thoughts, and all I can think about is the pain. I short, pain kills my brain. This feels like a curse for someone who uses her brain for a living. However, pain's penchant for affecting one's ability to think is hardly limited to me.
Sometimes, even when you are no longer the victim of verbal abuse, the lasting effects can hinder your mental health. Finding ways to deal with the possible symptoms of verbal abuse like anxiety and depression are critical for your path to healing if these symptoms prevent you from living a full and happy life. Box breathing may be able to help.
A self-harm tracker can be a useful tool in helping you begin the recovery process and maintain a self-harm sober streak over the long term. Let's take a look at how you can use a self-harm tracker in your own recovery journey and what information you might want to include in your own version.
When you are depressed, it might feel like a waste of time, money, and energy to go on a vacation. You are probably going to be depressed wherever you go because traveling is not going to cure you of depression. And in case you can't or don't want to travel, relaxing at home is unlikely to make your depression go away either. This begs the question: should you even take time off from work in the first place?
In many cases, eating disorder behaviors can be fueled by cognitive distortions. These irrational thought patterns could influence you to latch onto a negative and inaccurate view of yourself, a situation, a relationship, or life as a whole. But cognitive distortions only have power if you allow them to take root, which means that you can learn to spot cognitive distortions—and ultimately combat them—in eating disorder recovery.
Bipolar is usually medicated to a manageable level. In other words, people with bipolar disorder who are on medication are not "back to normal," rather, they still exhibit some bipolar traits but at a manageable amount. This is completely different from what I was told for years after diagnosis, and it's also different from what people see in the media. People seem to think that a pill will make the person back to who they were before the bipolar disorder. I'm sorry to say, this just isn't true for the vast majority of us.

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Comments

Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
Hi Lizanne,

You are so right! Structure and routine are beneficial in all aspects of life, but they can be particularly vital for those in recovery. Change can be difficult, but planning ahead with tools to manage the stress is so helpful and important. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!
Brittany
I appreciate this post. My daughter has depression and anxiety. She is 13. On medication for these issues and seeing a counselor. She often uses her anxiety or depression as a way to not to do her school work or not go to school at all. I often find myself wondering what I can do for discpline to avoid an outburst from her. When I spoke to the mental heath team at Children's hospital here, I was told that it is okay to discipline a child with mental illness. She has to have boundaries. Just because she has issues, doesn't mean she gets a free pass. I was relieved to hear these coming from a professional, because in the past I have always been told to pick my battles. I have recently started a different type of discipline such as taking her phone away. I am hoping keep her off social media for a period of time will have a positive effect. Thank you again for your honesty and your post.
Angela Lewis
Can you share the modifications that came up in the IEP for your son with DMDD? What have you found that works best?
Lizanne Corbit
This is a read that everyone can benefit from! We need more conversations that openly discuss the stress of holiday times and gift-giving is often a big part of that. I think your plan sounds fantastic and it will lead you (and all those around you) to have a much happier, relaxed holiday season. We shouldn't be causing ourselves stress and strain over the act of giving. This allows us to tap into that holiday spirit and generosity while maintaining healthy habits and boundaries.
Lizanne Corbit
Excellent read! This is something that so many people can relate to. I love "talk it out" as a way to help when fear and anxiety arise. I've also found that naming our fear or anxiety "personas" can be helpful because it reminds us that we are not these things, they are something that we are experiencing. It helps to minimize that spiral intensity and allows you to keep things in check, talking with your fear and anxiety rather than being controlled by it.