In the second edition of my book, I include a section called “Next Step” at the end of several chapters. It includes additional information to help you continue on your journey to overcoming Binge-Eating Disorder. Now that Memorial Day weekend is over and summer has officially begun, I imagine there are some of you out there who, like me, would benefit from a reminder of what to “keep” (and use) in your recovery toolbox.
Here are just a few of the tools I find helpful:
1. Talk back to your inner critic. When you hear your critic saying something well, um, critical you have every right to talk back (and you won’t get in trouble for it!).
2. Write. Write a letter to your inner critic. Write a love letter to your child self. Write a letter to someone who has hurt you (but don’t send it). Write a letter to the person you want to be. Journal about your food intake, your feelings, your (non-judgmental) observations about triggers and patterns in your eating.
3. Experience the natural world. Take a walk in a park. Hike in the woods. Swim in a lake. Take a bike ride. Sit still under a tree or in a meadow and breathe.
4. Engage in activities that stimulate your creative, spiritual, or physical sides. Try scrapbooking, painting, drawing, other crafts. Gather leaves, twigs, seashells, and see what you make out of them. There’s no right or wrong…being creative is a great way to learn to go with the flow and to tell off your inner perfectionist!
5. Take a new perspective. Are you stuck in a rut, thinking about something over and over again? Purposely try to look at it from someone else’s perspective, either the other person or an outsider. Look closely at something that you’ve observed many times before. Is there anything new about it that you never noticed before?
6. Engage in mental imagery, visualization, meditation, and relaxation. Check the internet for countless resources and even smart phone apps. You deserve to relax and to picture yourself where you want to be.
Last of all…don’t just keep these tools in your toolbox. Use them!
Peace, joy, and health.