While reflecting on this past World Eating Disorders Action Day (June 2, 2018), I realized how much I love the word “action.” It’s about doing what we can to make a difference. On a personal level, when I think about action against eating disorders, I think about self-care.
In my own recovery, self-care turned out to become quite the hobby of mine (who knew?!). I grew to love discovering ways to feel well and treat myself to soothing moments each day. Even if they are tiny, each moment really adds up. These moments mean different things for each of us. For me, I try to make each day a bit spa-inspired, even if I’m having a ten-hour day at work! Because, the thing is, while days spent at the spa are amazing and luxurious on occasion, I find that creating my own little moments can be just as rewarding. How do I do this? I surround myself with things (and people) I love and make me feel well. For example, I carve out the time in my mornings before work to make a pretty breakfast and do yoga. That quiet time is just what I need to get my day started on the right track. I have an hour and half commute to the office each day, but during that time, I bring some essential oil, listen to calming music, and focus on the work at hand that day. Again, this time makes me feel centered and balanced. When lunchtime comes around, I always make a point of leaving my desk to take a walk and eat something nourishing that will help my brain think best during the day. Meals are so important and eating food that makes me feel well is one of the best gifts I can give myself. I also use this time during the day to catch up on texts from people I love that bring me joy. And when the workday gets busy, I am the first to be okay with taking a breath, saying I need a minute to think, or pausing when I am uncertain before I address something. These are all tools that came from my recovery.
I like to surround myself with pretty things—maybe it’s a notebook I love, a soft sweater, a spa-like candle, a fresh glass of cucumber water, or my favorite lip gloss. They are all reminders that I am caring for myself in every little thing I do. At the end of the day, I turn off and make dinner, using that time to be with the people I love as I take a minute away from the phone and computer. Dinner is a really special time, and one that I always look forward to. I have grown to love cooking and baking, and that love strengthens with each year of my recovery! My favorite thing to do is bake cookies after dinner. I end each day with a hot bubble bath. I wash the day away and breathe in the lavender or eucalyptus inside the bath/shower mist I make at home (recipe below). Each night before bed, I write down five things I am thankful for. This is something I started doing after reading Oprah’s book, What I know for Sure, which, if you haven’t read it yet, please do! It is beautiful and empowering in each and every way. On the weekends, I make extra time to do things I love; cleaning my apartment, exercising outside, and getting a manicure each Sunday evening!
Bottom line: find what you LOVE. Incorporate small pieces of it into each part of your day. Make it a part of you and your life. It doesn’t take a lot. And I promise you, you will feel it flowing through you, and those moments will carry you along the path of recovery.
Some of my favorite recovery food recipes and natural spa home recipes:
Cashmere at-home Eucalyptus bath and shower mist (takes 3 minutes to make!):
Pour distilled water into a mini glass spray bottle and add in several drops eucalyptus essential oil.
Cashmere at-home spray cleaner:
Combine 1 part white vinegar with 1 part distilled water in a glass spray bottle and add in 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Your home will feel like a spa!
Cashmere Foundation Guided Meditation:
A guided meditation transporting to you a serene spa.
Cashmere recovery cookies (my favorite treat!)
Cashmere Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies.
- 2/3 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup almond butter
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Mix together the oats and baking soda, set aside.
- Blend sugars, eggs, almond butter, and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the dry oat mixture to the sugar mixture, stir well, and fold in chocolate chips.
- Bake on parchment lined cookie sheet in the oven for 9-11 minutes.
Makes 20 cookies!
Rachel Happ is an eating disorder survivor, advocate, and founder of The Cashmere Foundation, a non-profit focused on self-care in eating disorder recovery. In addition to running Cashmere, Rachel works as a Senior Project Manager at Google. She received her degree from Parsons School of Design in New York. Follow the Cashmere Foundation on Instagram @cashmerefoundation.