Empty shelves and cafe closures: The wider detriment to those suffering from an eating disorder

Empty shelves have unfortunately become a regular feature in Australian supermarkets since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. No doubt, the sight of an empty toilet paper isle is one we will never forget! However, as we encounter this new phase with spiking Omicron cases nationally, the focus has shifted to empty food shelves as a result of supply chain issues. Café and restaurant closures due to staff shortages have also become a more common occurrence.

What may be regarded as an inconvenience by some, can present a more consequential challenge to those recovering from an eating disorder. Routines often play a crucial role in recovery.

To those recovering from an eating disorder, it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed or anxious about not being able to fulfil part of your routine, particularly if this is something that you have relied on for years to stay on track. Be kind to yourself! To family and friends of those in recovery, it is important to be mindful and understanding if your loved one is experiencing this. Be patient, empathetic and let them know you are available for support.

There is no rulebook on how to manage this, and it is likely to vary between the individual. If you are feeling stressed by new or on-going issues associated with COVID-19, it may be time to re-visit our previous blog written on 23 March 2020 COVID-19: How to Cope with Coronavirus outbreak to gain some useful tips. Additionally, if you or your loved one require professional assistance to work through this challenge, it is perfectly okay, and we urge you to reach out to your support network. This may include speaking with a health professional.  Additionally, services such as the Butterfly Foundation Helpline, Beyond Blue and Lifeline Australia can be reached for further guidance. 


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