Here are some suggestions to try:
1/ If you feel angry/down or frustrated, count to 10 and distract yourself. Pause to notice your thoughts and emotions non-judgmentally.
2/ Do a body scan. Scan your body from toes to the crown of your head, imagining that you are breathing into each part in turn. Helps with the fixation of sad or anxious thoughts.
3/ Practise ‘noting’ meditation. Label each thought or sensation that arises (such as worry, tiredness etc). The act of labelling can remind you that fear and you are not one of the same.
4/ Close your eyes and relax, focussing on breathing. Breathe in, visualising a colour you feel is peaceful and breathe out a colour that reflects your anxiety. Then visualise a hot air balloon and imagine that you are putting all of your negative thoughts/stresses/feelings into that hot air balloon and watch it gently float away into the distance with the ‘problems’ getting smaller as it floats away.
Scroll down below the image for more strategies for coping with stress.
Strategies For Coping With Stress
Caring for someone with an eating disorder can be very stressful and often a carer can feel emotionally drained and vulnerable.
Here are a few ways to help ‘ease’ you through the day.
1. When you feel an increase in how distressed or anxious you feel, make a conscious decision to try a distraction activity of your choice. This could be a crossword puzzle, reading a book, whatever you like to do. Practice your activity for 10 minutes every other day.
2. Do one thing at a time. When you are walking, just walk, when eating, just eat (try not to let your thoughts take over.)
3. Close your eyes and pay attention to the physical sensations that you feel in different parts of your body. Work gradually from head to toe, being mindful as you do. Alternatively, you can work from your toes through every body part, right through to your head, then imagine the top of your head releasing all tension and negative thoughts, just as a valve releases pressure. If you feel your mind wandering, try to bring it back to the task.
4. Try the Five Senses technique - Think of five things that you can hear (maybe a bird singing, a car outside), then think of five things that you can see and then five things that you can feel (maybe the texture of clothing, your hand on a cold table etc.) Follow the same sense awareness, counting down four things, three things until you reach one thing. This technique can be used almost any time and any where and can really help to calm and relieve stress.
5. Imagine writing your thoughts and stresses into sand on a beautiful beach. Then when you are ready, imagine waves gently rolling up over them and washing them away into the sea.