Day Program Intensive & Standard Outpatient

Time Management in Eating Disorder Treatment

The Monday Morning Blahs and the Sunday Night Blues

Do you ever have the “Sunday Night Blues” or the “Monday Morning Blahs?” Do you find yourself living and working for the weekends? It is important to find joy in the journey and incorporate some pleasurable activities, such as enjoyable hobbies during your weekdays, so that you can mange your stress. Pick up a copy of your favorite author’s new book on a Tuesday evening or spend the evening browsing the bookstore and buy yourself a latte and a  biscotti. Establish a movie night where you watch movies and order take-out and lounge in your pajamas.  Thus, improving your time management and scheduled events improves your stress management.

time-managementIndividuals who know they have some control over their time management usually have less stress. One way to be in control is to incorporate more Type B personality traits into your lifestyle. Incorporating a more laid-back attitude will help safeguard your mental and physical health as well as replenishing yourself with leisure time such as taking time for yourself each day. Plan an occasional mental health day, such as a day of vacation during which you pamper yourself with a long walks, a facial, a massage, or playing with your frisky kitten, or just relaxing in your robe and slippers all day and watching old movies.

Identify your personal stressors by completing a stress inventory such as the Stress Map by Essi Systems. An inventory will pinpoint areas that are creating stress and will educate you on how to manage your stress more effectively. Examine your assessments and the charts. Identify areas that are particularly stressful for you and design a plan on how you will introduce change and be proactive. Learn to become more assertive and less aggressive in your communication style.

When people are assertive, they usually get their requests and needs met more often than when they are aggressive. One becomes assertive when one stands up for their rights in such a way that the rights of others are not violated. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Assertiveness implies that one can state their preferences without using accusatory statements that may be interpreted as blaming the other party. “I” statements such as “I would prefer to see the comedy instead of the drama. Assertive people express themselves without being self-conscious, accept compliments in a comfortable manner, and respectfully disagree with someone regarding an issue. Learning to say no and clarifying issues is also another manifestation of being assertive. WOMEN QUOTE: “The sign of a true lady is learning how to decline a dinner invitation without making an excuse.” One can be very gracious and say something along the lines of  “thanking for thinking of me, but unfortunately, I will not be able to join you” instead of “ I have to wash my hair and do my nails on Saturday.”

There are four basic interpersonal styles of relating to others:

  • aggressive style
  • passive style
  • passive-aggressive style
  • assertive style

The aggressive style is where one may raise their voice inflection and make demands and accusatory statements and the individual often does not consider the feelings of others. This particular interpersonal style often alienates others and is counterproductive. The passive style is where one does not communicate their needs or preferences and will often times acquiescence to avoid making waves. Girls who develop anorexia nervosa are often times very passive because they want to please others and do not want to ruffle anyone’s feathers by being assertive. Lastly, passive-aggressive is a style of relating in interpersonal relationships whereby one attempts to induce guilt or “pay back” another person by passively doing something to hurt that other person. An example would be to give someone the silent treatment because you are angry with them but you cannot find a way to express your anger in a direct manner.

Change stressors, such as moving across the country, starting a new job, or building a new home, are extremely challenging. Remember to allow yourself time to adjust to the changes, and try not to introduce too much change at one time. For instance, do not change to a new school system, train a new puppy and experience a breakup in a relationship in the same month.

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