I will start this post by pointing out a realization I had on… my own. Throughout all my years of treatment, and through all of my research on the web, I have not found one other person to point this out to me… BUT ITS SO OBVIOUS!
THERE ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT TYPES OF POSITIVE COPING SKILLS.
1) LONG-TERM COPING SKILLS
See a List of Ideas for Long-term Coping Skills Here
2) COPING SKILLS FOR IMMEDIATE RESULTS
“Long Term Coping Skills” are necessary to have from day one of your ED recovery. These skills are meant to be ongoing, pre-planned, positive replacements… in exchange for eliminating your Eating Disorder. While deep into my eating disorder, my only essential “hobby” was in fact… my eating disorder! No time left for anything else. It was beyond frightening for me to realize all of the new free time I would have once I QUIT ED. Although exciting, it was also very difficult to have to think about what I actually enjoyed doing, outside of ED. Who was I? What was I good at besides having an eating disorder?
“Coping Skills for Immediate Results” are incredible tools used in times of distress. Their purpose roots from the DBT study on Distress Tolerance. These types of Coping Skills work to redirect the brain (aka your current thoughts). By distracting your current thoughts, you can essential block out the negative urges, triggers, anger, anxiety, anxiousness… etc. etc.
Immediate Coping Skills are a Mindfulness Practice – meaning that they are bringing your mind back into a PRESENT STATE. Anxiety heightens when your mind becomes outward-thinking… basically you are stressing out about the future. Eating Disorders stem from anxiety, because Eating Disorder Behaviors are used to change the outcome of future events (ex. change the way your body looks tomorrow). However, if you implement these Immediate Coping Skills when Anxiety strikes, you may be able to: A. Redirect your focus, B. Distract your outward future thoughts, and C. Not act on impulse… and Not Use Eating Disorder Behaviors! Brilliant Right?
I have developed an ongoing list of Long-term Coping Skills for you to Utilize During your recovery. You can find the links at the beginning and end of this post.
I have also developed an ongoing list of IMMEDIATE Coping Skills for you to Utilize During your recovery. You can find the links at the beginning and end of this post.
Both of my Lists of Coping Skills are ideas collected from people like you! Please feel free to drop a comment or suggest one that has worked for you!
- See a List of Ideas for Long-term Coping Skills Here
- See a List of Ideas for Immediate Coping Skills Here