Distract Thyself

If you are in recovery from an eating disorder, or any addiction, being able to distract oneself is a critical tool.

The folks over at Psych Central offer these suggestions: Some good ones: crossword puzzles, novels, Sudoku, e-mails, walking the dog (pets are wonderful “buddies” and can improve mental health), card games, movies, “American Idol” (as long as you don’t make fun of the contestants…bad for your depression, as it attracts bad karma); sports, decluttering the house (cleaning out a drawer, a file, or the garage…or just stuffing it with more stuff); crafts; gardening (even pulling weeds, which you can visualize as the marketing director that you hate working with); exercise; nature (just sitting by the water); and music (even Yanni works, but I’d go classical).

Everyone needs a blankie. Okay, not everyone. Mentally ill recovering addicts like myself need a blankie, a security object to hold when they get scared or turned around. Mine is a medal of St. Therese that I carry in my purse or in pocket. I’m a bit of a scrupulous, superstitious Catholic (I fit the religious OCD profile), but my medal (and St. Therese herself) give me consolation, so she’s staying in my pocket or purse. She reminds me that the most important things are sometimes invisible to the eye: like faith, hope, and love. When I doubt all goodness in the world–and accuse God of a bad creation job–I simply close my eyes and squeeze the medal.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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