Distractions

Distractions get a bad rep.  Most of the time, conversations about distractions go something like this: “Distractions just keep people from facing their problems/fears head-on,” “distractions are unhealthy,” “he/she is too distracted,” and so on.

But for those recovering from eating disorders, distractions can be a key part of refraining from giving in to disorders thoughts and behaviours. Feeling guilty and ready to panic about a meal or a binge? Considering purging, using laxatives, or chewing and spitting your next meal? Thinking about weighing yourself? Find a distraction. Channel all of your anxious energy into a neutral activity.

 

distractions

Distractions get a bad rep.  Most of the time, conversations about distractions go something like this: “Distractions just keep people from facing their problems/fears head-on,” “distractions are unhealthy,” “he/she is too distracted,” and so on.

But for those recovering from eating disorders, distractions can be a key part of refraining from giving in to disordered thoughts and behaviours. Feeling guilty and ready to panic about a meal or a binge? Considering purging, using laxatives, or chewing and spitting your next meal? Thinking about weighing yourself? Find a distraction. Channel all of your anxious energy into a neutral activity.

I’ve been an artist my whole life, and I never once considered art to be an “escape”. It has always been a form of expression for me. Instead of journaling my feelings, secrets, and fears, I drew them. It wasn’t until I started seeing my dietician, who had art by her patients covering the walls of her office and waiting room, that I ever considered using art as a coping mechanism. Since then, I’ve developed a new (new to me, that is) style of art – highly detailed, time-consuming “doodles”, as I like to call them. Putting all of my energy into creating these intricate drawings has been a tremendously effective distraction.

 

Healthy distractions can be any activity or hobby that requires your full attention and mental energy. For example, painting an intricate design on your nails, knitting, doing a crossword puzzle, baking cookies, and so on. How do you distract yourself when the seemingly-overwhelming urge to engage in disordered behaviors hits? Let us know in the comments section below!

Written By
More from Sarah Rose

ED Recovery and Surgery

Dentistry is one of the unfortunate realities of life, whether you’re eating...
Read More
Distractions get a bad rep.  Most of the time, conversations about distractions go something like this: “Distractions just keep people from facing their problems/fears head-on,” “distractions are unhealthy,” “he/she is too distracted,” and so on.

But for those recovering from eating disorders, distractions can be a key part of refraining from giving in to disorders thoughts and behaviours. Feeling guilty and ready to panic about a meal or a binge? Considering purging, using laxatives, or chewing and spitting your next meal? Thinking about weighing yourself? Find a distraction. Channel all of your anxious energy into a neutral activity.

" />