Ways to Nurture Ourselves Without Food

I received this list from my previous therapist when I was struggling immensely with eating disordered behaviours - more specifically bulimia (binge/purge/laxatives/etc). Some of these may not work for all, or may even be counter productive, but hopefully you can find something on the list that may help you delay and distract from the urge to binge and purge. Feel free to add more if you’d like :)

  • Sing
  • Go shopping
  • Practice juggling
  • Buy yourself flowers
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Go for a walk
  • Take photos (of nature, random objects)
  • Colour in a colouring book
  • Cry
  • Browse in a book store
  • Go “people watching”
  • Kiss and hug your pet(s)
  • Go swimming
  • Write a letter
  • Massage your feet
  • Take a bath with or without a book
  • Love something: animal or a person or an object
  • Make a list of everything you like about yourself
  • Go to the park and feed the animals
  • Dress up for yourself and stay home, or go out to a movie
  • Go out on the porch and write in the dark
  • Make a list of affirmations or read ones already made up
  • Breathe deeply
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Meditate or do yoga
  • Lie around and don’t feel guilty
  • Ask to be helped
  • Punch your pillow(s)
  • Take a hot shower
  • Practice karate (or just flail about)
  • Paint, draw or play with clay
  • Go to a museum
  • Take a walk with a dog 
  • Take a nap
  • Listen to music
  • Burn incense
  • Visit or call a close friend
  • Hug someone you would ordinarily hug, including yourself
  • Put music on and dance around your room
  • Light lots of candles around your room and drink tea
  • Take a walk in the woods or somewhere peaceful
  • Organize your room, clean out old junk or decorate it with new things