True Talks #3 was held during Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and offered an ideal opportunity to help break some of the silence around eating disorders. For those who missed the event, here are the tools and ideas we came up with as a group to keep us moving forward and feeling empowered in 2013:

  • Fill your room with your favourite scent, a smell that reminds you of something pleasant, or do some research and find out which scents cultivate positive emotions.
  • Play music without words, and choose sounds that calm you and help you feel centred. You can even make your own music!
  • Practice mindfulness. Pay attention to what your body is doing: are your hands sweaty or shaking? Are you tensing your jaw? Maybe you feel relaxed. Stop and think about what you’re feeling, without judgement.
  • Learn about Cognitive Therapy, or ask for help to find a way to calm down or prevent an emotional reaction. An example is to use a sound or scent to help ground you back in the moment.
  • Learn some yoga poses… get out of our mind, and appreciate what your body — and breath — can do.
  • It’s helpful to get rid of things that don’t serve you anymore. For example, cut the tags off your clothing, or throw out your scale.
  • When shopping, bring a supportive friend who can be the voice of honesty. Plan and prepare ahead of time and be specific with what you would like to buy.
  • Silence is deadly. Share with others you trust. You’re not alone in the world.
  • When getting out of bed is hard, break the process into small steps. Start with sitting up. Then bring your feet to the ground. Keep going until you have made it out the door. Getting physically out of bed is the hardest part.
  • Forgive yourself for your slips. See what you can learn from the┬ásituation.
  • Daily meditation readings are a great way to start your day. Some good books are: Just for Today, How to Stop Worry and Start Living, Until Today, and The Language of Letting Go. Then find something from the reading to focus on for the day.
  • Find some distracting, but positive activities like crafts or a hobby sport — something you enjoy and that keeps you in the moment.
  • Don’t over-focus on self help books and changing yourself. Sometimes just giving yourself the space to chill can be more helpful.
  • Try this breath technique: Count the inhale and then count the exhale, but make the exhale twice as long as the inhale.
  • Through all of this, get to know yourself. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t, and keep doing what works! And then share your learning with others.