I was going through my binder from hospitalization and figured that some of these would be helpful to those of you in recovery now. Whenever you have an urge to purge, compulsively exercise, restrict, fast, binge, cut, etc. TRY ONE OR MORE OF THESE. I promise they will help<3
- Crosswords, sudoku, word searches, scrambles, color, doodle
- Make bracelets; whether it is bead work or friendship bracelets. If you are doing friendship bracelets, this site has a bunch of neat patterns and tutorials for beginners :)
- Talk to someone, even if it’s just texting. Don’t be afraid to vent how you feel if it is someone you trust. If you do not have someone to talk to about what you are going through, do not hesitate tomessage me! <3
- Listen to music/sing or play an instrument.
- Paint your nails.
- Play games on your phone, ipod, or computer.
- Watch a funny movie or television show.
- What is it you are feeling? When did it start? Why?
- Write about happy memories.
- Make up a story.
- What do you want to be remembered for when you are old?
- Write a letter to someone saying everything that you want to say to them; you don’t have to send it, of course.
- Write down ten things that you are grateful for.
- Write a song or poem.
3. CATCH AND RELEASE
- When an urge or a negative thought pops up, do not dwell on it. Observe it as only a thought, and let it go (like catching and releasing a fish). Move on.
- This can be hard to get into the habit to, but give it a chance because it has been helpful for me and for others that I know in the past.
- If it helps, you can also put this into a physical form: Write down the thought, shred/crumple/rip up the paper, and throw it away!
- You can even go the extra mile and cut out fish shapes, and whenever you get urges/negative thoughts, you can write them on the fish.
4. REVERSE YOUR THINKING
- For every negative, tell yourself two positives.
- When you look in the mirror, focus on what you like and ignore what you don’t.
- Or better yet, don’t look in the mirror at all! You are beautiful just the way you are, and you don’t need a mirror to tell you that!
- Remind yourself of the things you are good at, and things you are proud of.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you mess up.
- DO. NOT. COMPARE.
5. RECOVERY BRACELET
- Get some string and some beads, they don’t have to be fancy, unless you want them to be :)
- For every day that you do not practice your negative behaviors (i.e. purge, binge, cut, restrict, etc.) add a bead.
- Wear this bracelet so that when you are struggling, the beads will remind you that there were times before that you were able to get through the urges and the negative feelings.
6. JUST BREATHE
- When you are feeling anxious, take a moment to take full, deep breaths in order to calm yourself so that you can think clearly. Deep breathing inhibits stress-producing hormones!
- Take a long, deep breath through your nose, breathing in all the way down to your diaphragm. Your stomach should come out, that’s a good thing! Imagine your body filling up with oxygen, all the way to your fingertips and your toes.
- Hold your breath and count to three.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your muscles to relax.
- Repeat at least five times.
- Bring your full awareness to the “now”.
- You can do this by answering: What do I see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Feel?
- Get connected with how your body feels: Any part of you numb? Tingly? Achy? Tight? Is your tummy hungry, happy, or full?
8. POSITIVE SELF TALK AND AFFIRMATIONS
- Give yourself pep talks. Affirmations are like mini pep talks, that you repeat to yourself every day because they motivate you.
- Some examples: I can do this! I am strong, powerful, resilient, beautiful, and so much more than this. I will defeat my demons. I deserve health and happiness. Things will get better.
- Embrace the truth of what exists.
- Do not think of things as good/bad.
- One of the keys to recovering is not that you have to learn to love your body; rather, it is to learn to accept your body. Accepting that this is the way you were made will ease a lot of the anxiety over body image. Once you learn to accept, you can learn to like, and then even love!