This may sound like an odd post, but some have had eating disorders for so long we just don’t know what to do with ourselves besides starve, binge, purge and repeat. The idea of asking yourself “what do I want to do?” is daunting.
When I share about eating disorders with people who haven’t experienced them I wish that I could build empathy for the fact that this addiction takes over your entire life. A person with an eating disorder is so enthralled in it that they lose touch with reality, forgetting the things they love and enjoy. I have found that it can be especially difficult to help women remember the things they loved, due to depression playing a part in the disease. I often encouraged the women to make a list of 20 things they could do instead of starving, binging and purging. Their lists were always beautiful variations, showing each women’s gifts and talents.
Here are some creative, fun and healthy ideas for your own recovery. Feel free to tweak some of these ideas to better suit your gifting.
1.) Beach walks – If you’re blessed enough to be in Newport Beach like us, the beach is a great place to go for a mellow walk. Take in some vitamin D and enjoying the beautiful ocean
2.) Bike Rides – We love our boardwalk in Newport Beach! Bike rides down the peninsula are the best! Whether with friends or not a bike ride always gets endorphins flowing!
3.) Blogging –Whether it’s commenting on someone else’s creative blog or starting your own, eating disordered women are known to very creative and quick witted writers!
4.) Bubble Bath’s – Fill up the tub, light some candles and soak up some self care surrounded by bubbles!
5.) Calling friends – Sometimes just checking in to ask a friend“How are you?” Can completely change their day. Many of us have friends who are also struggling with an eating disorder. Giving a random call just to say hello can help someone tremendously.
6.) Coffee Dates – Bring a book or a friend to a coffee shop and soak in the joyful energy of others caffeine aficionados! Pick the right coffee shop and enjoy some art too!
7.) Crocheting + Knitting – Such a therapeutic, rhythmic skill! Make scarves and blankets for the ones you love while you watch your favorite chick flicks!
8.) Dog Walking – Who doesn’t love pups? Ask your friends that work if you can help them out by walking their pup during the day while their at work!
9.) Gardening – What woman doesn’t love flowers?! Enjoy flowers every day by staring your own little flower garden! Seeds, dirt, water and a little internet research and you’re green thumb will start to ripen!
10.) Hiking – I am always in gratitude whenever I am on a hike. Realizing that I am blessed to be healthy enough to use my body to enjoy the beauty of nature is an incredible feeling. Take some friends with you and make it a day trip!
11.) Kayaking – Take a friend with you to enjoy the fun! Locally we have the Newport Aquatic Center for all nautical needs!
12.) Jewelry Making – Whether it’s beads or jewels, you can build such an appreciation for jewelry once you try to make it!
13.) Journaling – So therapeutic.
14.) Recovery Meetings– I have never left a 12 Step meeting without feeling better than when I entered the room. Meetings are a place of growth and reflection for us all.
15.) Movie Days – Get some movies and don’t forget your Snuggie and head on over to the couch!
16.) Painting – Whether it’s your bedroom walls, a canvas or your nails, painting is a very
cathartic action that gives the painter a calming feeling.
17.) Photography– Cannon, Nikon, Toy camera or disposable, capture the world through your new eyes in recovery.
18.) Reading – Save some buckaroo’s and check out your local library!
19.) Volunteering – Find a local non-profit that interests you and volunteer with them
20.) Writing– Share your sassy, classy and poignant observations in print