Supporting Parents: New project encourages parents to take time to care for themselves
Recognizing that parents do a lot to help their child recover from an eating disorder, and that over time the stress can take a great toll on their physical and mental health, the UNC Eating Disorders Program and the Duke Center for Eating Disorders are supporting parents with a new project called Caring for Yourself is Caring for Your Child.
The two-year project is designed to encourage parents of children with eating disorders to engage in self-care to reduce their stress and anxiety. Self-care can be as simple as taking personal time by going for a 5-minute walk or reading a fun book. Self-care doesn’t have to be done alone—parents can go out to lunch with a supportive friend or on a date with their significant other. More formalized self-care can be participating in a parent support group or talking to their own therapist.
Dr. Cynthia Bulik, UNC, and Dr. Nancy Zucker, Duke, through the Caring for Yourself is Caring for Your Child project, are hoping to support parents by letting them know self-care will help parents feel more confident, supported, and energized, which will ultimately enhance their ability to participate in their child’s recovery.
The project includes a website that provides parents with the tools to take care of themselves during their child’s recovery process. Parents are encouraged to visit the project’s website www.CaringIsCaring.org for resources and examples of self-care that clinicians and parents have found helpful.
The project is also made possible by UNC's Interdisciplinary Health Communication Program.