Positive Coping Mechanisms was one of the questions I received on my Instagram questions the other day. Positive coping mechanisms are an important part of recovery. You have been living with your eating disorder and that is a coping mechanism that has served you, therefore what do you do when you're in recovery and trying to get rid of it.
I developed my positive coping mechanisms throughout my recovery. I read and listened to others positive coping mechanisms and I tried them out and found what worked best for me. I recommend you do the same from this post, read mine, try them, find what works for you. Everyone is different therefore their positive coping mechanisms differ.
My Positive Coping Mechanisms:
Spending Time In Nature - I am a person who loves being outside and finds it very therapeutic. I either like to do some of my activities outside such as sitting and reading outside, watching sports, walking around, watching or listening to birds or the waves at the beach. This a perfect pick me up that I can grab pretty much anywhere just by stepping outside.
Journaling - If you're here on my website you probably know I write a lot. In residential I journaled everyday from day to today things to topics and thoughts. I've always loved writing as it makes me process my thoughts at a much slower pace than i talk...hehe. I also love writing because I can go back and read what I wrote and be able to navigate my feelings. I journal on anything I am feeling or wish to dive deeper into. If you need topics to journal about I can make a post about some I found helpful related to my eating disorder. There are also tons of writing prompts online now and even some journals in stores that already have prompts.
Reading - I have always loved reading in the Summer especially because I get to pick the books I want to read. I enjoy biographies a lot especially on the Kennedys and even more specifically on Jackie Kennedy. What ever your genre of choice is having a book whether it be physically, on a kindle, or an audio book it's a great way to escape, learn, and be intrigued by something esle for a bit.
Art - I am a creative person and I like the physical act of art and creativity. Whether you're naturally good at art or not i've found it to be very soothing, escaping, and therapeutic for me. Sometimes I sketch fashion related things, otherwise I color in coloring books, and other times I do a craft with paints or whatever materials I have. It's nice to get the creative side of the brain thinking. Doing art is also a way to express your emotions if you're not into journaling them.
Talking - when I say talking I don't just mean to your therapist but rather if its eating disorder related to those you trust and those how support you and otherwise sometimes just listening to what others are doing in life or not talking about anything eating disorder related is exactly what you need.
Grateful List - a grateful list. Expressing gratitude is a great pick me up and makes you realize everything you have and helps you forget what you don't have right now. You can do a list when you feel like it or what I like to do is think of three different things every morning and every night.
Meditation - meditation is something i've only really played around with and haven't gotten so serious about yet, but every time i've done it, it helps me more than I thought it could. Even doing simple breathing exercises really helps me. I like to do these with the therapists i've had and they guide me through meditations. You can also now get apps on your phone for meditations to have anywhere you are so you can always catch your breath.
Activities - activities or plans are good to have to keep busy and be excited for. I like to setup plans with my family, friends, and also with myself. Whether this is just going to the store for something, going to the movies, getting your nails done, going out for a snack or meal, it's good to have things to look forward to, that aren't just related to your eating disorder. I also like to do activities like puzzles and playing cards. These two activities are easy to do with others and also just yourself.
Tea - tea really relaxes me and I like to drink it when i'm stressed or need to calm down. I also enjoy drinking sleepy time tea before bed to relax me and help me get a goodnight sleep.
These are just some of the positive coping mechanisms I have been using throughout my recovery. I hope to those fighting you try some out and find what works for you. Installing positive coping mechanisms is an important step in recovery.
No Retreat No Surrender. JR