There’s a great business leadership tool in having debriefing meetings after events to analyze what went well and what didn’t. What did we learn? What do we want to repeat and continue? What do we want to change?
Now is a good time to have our own debriefing meetings, following Thanksgiving. It is that time of year in which so many are seemingly enjoying the heck out of the holiday atmosphere. And then there are many others who are stressed and triggered by the events around them, the stores, and the interactions with family who may or may not be supportive. Thanksgiving can be especially difficult for someone in eating disorder recovery, surrounded by food and eating and the nuances of eating in front of others and hearing comments about food and bodies.
To have your debrief meeting, gather your team. In this instance, your team may be you and your therapist….or you and a partner or best friend who is a significant source of support in your recovery journey….or it may be you and your journal. Really dig in to how things went. If they went well, see if you can see what helped things to go well. If there were bumps in the way, try to identify the source of the bumps. Could there have been a way to avoid them or a better way to handle them? If it was a complete disaster, what did you learn? Is there a better strategy for next year?
Record notes from your meeting so you can review them when it gets close to the holidays next year. Sometimes a decision can be made to go against tradition and do something altogether against the usual. Sometimes you can concoct a plan for increasing your self-care leading up to the events, as well as during and after. Maybe there are some practical strategies of calling a support person prior to and immediately following the stressful events. What other things can you think of?
This debriefing meeting doesn’t just have to be after Thanksgiving. It can be any holiday or celebration, any event that was stressful, and it could be an annual or semi-annual review of your own journey. What are the strengths and gains over the last six months or a year? What needs to be analyzed and tweaked? What have we learned?
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