Súigh síos literally means "Sit down" in Irish and when I was in school this instruction would be on the teacher's lips all of the time: when she had entered the room we would all automatically stand up from our desks, and she would bid us all to súigh síos in her delightful sing-song voice. So why, years later, do I find myself rambling on about an old childhood memory? Well, I actually do have a reason for doing so you see...for at the moment, I am constantly telling myself to suigh sios from the point of view that, in this phase of recovery, I need tro rest and sit down as much as possible. And boy, it is not easy...I wouldn't be telling you the truth if it was. But you just have to tell yourself that you can, and will, do it. And don't ever let yourself think, that you are bbeing lazt by doing what your doctor/parents/friends etc tell you, sitting down and resting all the time.
You are not being lazy. No, not in the slightest. You are being so, so strong by resting and staying sedentary. You are making yourself stronger, and the eating disorder weaker.
But please, if you are in my position and have been essentially forbidden to do any kind of exercise at the moment, whether that be light, moderate or strenuous - don't do what I did the other day; sit and cry while my mam and dad went out walking together and I ouldn't go with them. Looking back on that now, I really do want to kick myself, because, I mean...the amount of things I could have done with that time. Ok, sitting around and doing nothing really isn''t my thing, but...there's loadsssss of things one can generally do in such a situation. And so I have compiled a little list below, to give you some ideas (and if you can think of anymore or have some of your own to add, please feel free to do so ;) )
Constructive strategies and distractions.
- Writing...it's so so helpful. Write out your feelings and thoughts...it is always so, so much better to get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Write stories, keep a diary, or write poetry, email a friend, or even better, write a letter to one.
- Write a letter to your ED...this might sound strange, but someone once suggested this to me and I think it is such a great idea. Think about what it has taken away from you, and how much suffering it has caused you. Write this all out, and then tell your ED, right there, that it is over.
- Write out your reasons to recover, your motivations. Think about what you will be leaving behind in moving away from your ED - the fear, the anxiety, the constant self-critical voice in your head.
- Do some research on something you have always been interested about. For me, this involved doing a project-type thing on the countries of the world as I have always been fascinated by this topic. Gather together all your information and make a collage or a scrapbook. You could do a number of these and make yourself a miniature library of your own work!
- Crossstitch and sewing - I used to loveeee doing crosstitch!! I think you can get the little sets in craft shops and the like.
- Knit and crotchet - I can't speak for crotchet as I wouldn't even know where to begin with it ;) but in regard to knitting, I think it is such a lovely way of passing the time. I find it so theraputic too and it gives you a bit iof space to be creative too - by yusing different patterns, colours, types of wool etc. Why not start making scarves and hats etc for youf freinds and family - they make awesome presents :)
- Read a book - I love reading as immersing yourself in a good book essentially means you are transferring yourself into an entirely different world. Find a good book that you have maybe always wanted to read, or which catches your interest as soon as you look at the blurb. Personally I would recommend not trying anything too heavy or depressing but each to their own as they say!
- Painting!! Here is something which I always think is so fun to do - write a load of themes/topics on little slips of paper and put them in a jar. Select a theme and use that as a starting point
- Painting by numbrs
- Crosswords, wordsearches, kriss kross
- Board games
- Untangling wool
- Cleaning and organising room
- Organising books and Cds into alphabetical order
- Tidying and cleaning
- Photography: perhaps use a theme jar as desribed above. You'll surprise yourself when you take pictures. Sometimes even in the smallest, seemingly most simple things one can find great beauty.
- Write out inspiring recovery quotes or anything that is meaningful to you. Spend some time writing them on little bits of colourful paper and then maybe decorating them with little pictures of pretty colours. Stick them on your mirror or your desk or wherever you will see them, or make an inspiration board (I am planning on doing one of these very soon and when I do I will post about it to give you some inspiration! ;)
- read blogs !! Here are some ones which I follow which I love. I would recommend them with all of my heart.
- Cuddling a fluffy teddy
- Playing with your cat/dog
- Wearing fluffy PJs
- Drinking hot choc and dunking in biscuits <3
- Soaking your feet in hot water
- Cuddling a furry friendly animal <3
- Having a really hot, long shower or bath