F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

sk8r31
Because we are moving into holiday time in many cultures, and because we all need to practice self-care daily, most especially at this time of year, here are a couple of resources that may be helpful.

I love this blog post about a self-soothing sensory kit.  You can have one for you, as well as one for your loved one with an ED.  My d still uses some of these things to alleviate stress, especially during exam time.  A clicker, stress ball, scented candle...

And this is a link to a thread from a few years ago, which contains lots of ideas from the wise folks on ATDT on how to take care of yourself, as you take care of your loved one.

Feel free to post any ideas you have or tips or techniques you use to combat stress in your life.  We all need to practice self-compassion and self-care, and I love the idea of sharing what we do  with our online community.

A simple thing for me to do is put scented lotion on my feet & slip into fuzzy socks.  Takes just a couple of moments, but feels so good!  If I have the time, adding an adult beverage & a 30 min comedy show...bliss!  But even a few minutes with the fuzzy socks helps...

I look forward to hearing how you guys relax and practice self-care...
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Quote
scaredmom

Thanks sk8r31,
This is great!

1) I never feel I get enough sleep so, I like naps
They feel indulgent in the middle of the afternoon
2) I listen to my tunes and sing in the car with abandon-I don't care who thinks what!
3) grab one of my cats and smother them with love
4) talking to my friends
5) exercising 
6)reading: murder mysteries or thrillers. If anyone has a few suggestions, I would be grateful, I need a good book for the holidays!
7)Comedy shows, I love going to them - laughter is the best medicine
8) being silent and truly present. I have found that "listening" truly is a skill I need to work on and when I do really listen, I really feel lighter and recharged. 
9) going to my friend's farm and seeing and feeding the animals. 
10) Spa day: Pedicures and massages
11) movies and popcorn
12) Volunteering at this time of year  makes me feel positive. 

These are  in no particular order. 
XXX



When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
sk8r31
Such a wonderful list of ideas scaredmom!  I like so many of those things too!  Laughing is truly great medicine!

And I do love a dark, twisty mystery too...and some that aren't so dark, but engaging such as the Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs series or Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series.

For a long while, during refeeding but also for at least a year afterwards, I couldn't concentrate enough to read.  Even though I LOVED reading prior to ED in the house.  During that time, I did more listening to music or watching short comedy series such as Modern Family.

Regarding the link above to the self care threads....apparently I wasn't able to link directly.  However, if you go to the 'Search' tab and type in 'self care' in the keywords box, you will find many interesting threads that include self care ideas. 
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Quote
mjkz
I had a period where I couldn't concentrate enough to read either.  I highly recommend listening to books.  I could follow them that way but I couldn't even get through the first chapter of a James Patterson novel without taking notes (note to anyone who doesn't read James Patterson novels-they were very short chapters, pretty much similar story read in one night kind of thing).

I found it very important to get out of the house.  My daughter went with me if she couldn't stay home (didn't really give her any say in the matter).  I did a lot of craft classes, short term things I could do there and see whether I liked it before investing anymore time and money.

I honestly kept my life as normal as possible which was a requirement for me with a daughter who was so sick for so long.  She didn't get a break on holidays-we went to family events and she had to cope.  I needed that time to feel normal.

I also see/saw a therapist which was a huge self care thing for me to have a place to unload every week. 

One thing that truly save my rear end was breaking things down into pieces and figuring out what I had to do each day to stay afloat.  Some days it was all I could do but other days I had some down time after I finished the minimum for the day.  It really helped my stress level and kept me from feeling so overwhelmed.

When I was in the thick of refeeding, I got my sister-in-law and hired a nurse to give me time off.  My sister-in-law is a nurse and I hired another nurse to do an afternoon shift between meals and snacks.  I had groceries delivered and hired someone to clean my house.
Quote
sk8r31
Some great ideas there mjkz!  It can be tough to ask for help from other family members or friends, or even to 'allow' oneself to pay for help cleaning the house or doing other tasks,  but that is definitely a source of self-care.

Taking care of one's mental health needs with counseling, meds, meditation, some daily exercise can all help us to cope for the long haul.

When we are 'firing on all cylinders' to help our loved one, it's easy to ignore our own needs...and then illness or paralysis or burnout happens.

Hope everyone can be gentle with themselves this holiday season, & beyond.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Quote
jessheart999
Here are my personal favourites
*meditation
*yoga
*cup of tea
*massage
*bubble bath
*go for a walk
*journal
*watch favourite tv show or movie
*reading
*cuddling pets
*going to be early
*mani pedi
*facial

Hope this helps :)
Quote
scaredmom
All of those are so great jessheart999! I love all of those things. 

XXX
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
Ellesmum
Singing! Any chance I get I sing, it’s such a release.
Fresh bed linen is so nice and soothing radio to listen to in bed, I also use a lavender and chamomile sleep spray.

I try to escape in my mind, late at night I plan my future new house - the carpets, curtains, plants etc. I also like to try and visualise a better life.
On rare occasions now I like to share a bottle of wine with my closest friend, she has problems too but we always end up laughing not dragging each other down. It feels great to be normal for an evening.

I miss reading, I can’t focus on books right now and rarely get the chance but a good film is a nice escape for a couple of hours.

Ellesmum
Quote
sk8r31
Mimi321 & Ellesmum, such great ideas!

Reading your post mimi321 made me remember what it was like to parent two toddlers, both in diapers, and how 30 min alone in a cafe with a coffee and a newspaper or magazine felt like heaven!  Taking care of a kid with an ED is almost like going back to those overwhelming days, and it's a good reminder that whatever you did to get through a long day of parenting then may very well help now too.

Ellesmum...nothing I like better than snuggling in bed with fresh linens and a good book!  Like you, I couldn't read in the midst of refeeding...just couldn't concentrate, but listening to books on tape, or music or a podcast sometimes did the trick.  And lavender spray on pillows!  Oh that sounds lovely...
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Quote
scaredmom
I am bumping this for me today. Being a bit selfish- need me time.😊
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
debra18
Sk8r31 I am still in the baby phase. My AN daughter is the oldest of 8 and my youngest is 18 months. I still enjoy the hazelnut coffee while the baby is taking a nap.  And try to take a walk with hubby around the block every night while smelling the flowers and gazing at the stars. 
Quote
scaredmom
Going to add in dancing for pleasure. Mindful, purposeful movement to my favourite music with my H. It makes me feel lighter and makes my worries a bit smaller. It takes me "out of my head" and into a positive head space.😊
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
scaredmom
debra18, 
That is a really lovely thing to do, quiet time outside and look at the flowers (still waiting here for spring) and I love looking at stars. Yes a favourite beverage is always great. I love my Earl Grey tea time. I do it with my pretty tea pot and pretty mug or tea cup. I make it a special time just for me.
XXX
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
sandie
I have been inspired by all the talk on the forum to actively plan to self-care/ improve my resilience. First step this weekend was I bought myself a bright new notebook to write down how I was feeling and plan how I was going to get better. I found it very therapeutic and it pushed me to go for a short walk, and meet a friend for a chat today. I have decided to challenge myself to note down everyday in a "resilience" notebook a couple of things I have done each day to improve my resilience. Had a chat with my other D about this as well as she is very stressed by her sister's illness and we reckon we will share the "resilience" notebook!
Definitely agree with singing loudly... walk round block with H too when I can...Church on Sundays (although sometimes this can make me tearful at the moment for some reason). Great idea about the dancing. That's one for tomorrow. Thanks. Xx
Quote
debra18
Great idea about the notebook.  Could you write everything you are grateful for?
Quote
sandie
Lovely idea Debra. There is always something to be grateful for- like the kindness of people I have never met and their willingness to listen and care. Xxx
Quote
sk8r31
LOVE the notebook, and ideas for resiliency and gratitude.  Though I don't write anything down, I do sit for a few moments with my morning coffee, and appreciate 'the little things'...today, it's the hanging baskets that I planted over the weekend, with their small bursts of color, which will grow over the next month or two, and brighten my day everytime I look outside.  
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Quote
Lildil
So many great ideas, I love it!
While my son and I were at the hospital I think I went to every pawn shop and thrift store in Denver and I found a banjolele to take home to my 10 yr old daughter. I didn't know at the time that this happy little instrument would be my get away from the world thing but it is, I have so much fun learning new songs and the ones I know I blast and sing as loud and crazy as I want to....... If no one is home.
My sons school councilor is amazing, each week when we weigh my s she councils with me also, I have learned so much from her. So even though I couldn't afford a therapist in a way I have one, it is so helpful.
Lildil
Quote
Jojo2271
I go for a run... I went this morning instead of doing chores before work. 
It was glorious sunshine and I stopped and breathed in spring. 
Quote
deenl
I had an operation a few months ago and force myself to make time to do physio 2/3 times a day. Not really fun but very much self care. I deserve full recovery and it is right to put this need above other things (except full nutrition - that's still the No1 priority!)
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
Quote
sk8r31
What a great reminder deenl that taking care of our own physical therapy needs is so important too!  It's easy to push those to the 'back burner' when life is spinning like crazy, but you DO deserve to prioritize your own health and recovery.

And lildil, what a great gift to be able to have support from the school counselor for yourself.  It sounds like you are enjoying the sweet balm of making music too!
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Quote
mjkz
Daughter is still inpatient but I have to say this relapse really threw me for a loop.  My self care around it was to be admitted for a short stay in March to get my meds adjusted.  There were a lot of compounding factors that led to both my daughter's relapse and my own spiral downward but I realized early March that I was going down and fast.  I couldn't eat or sleep or function so I asked my own psychiatrist to do a direct admit to get my depression under control.  I didn't think it would help but I didn't know what else to do.  It was exactly what I needed.  I needed that time to just focus on my own health and recovery.  I'm not back to normal yet but a lot closer.
Quote
tina72
I am glad that you did that, mjkz. We often need to remind us that we need to help ourselves first to be able to help others. Torie always reminded me that this is the reason why the stewardesses on planes tell you to take the oxygene mask first for yourself. Please care for yourself, my friend.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
teecee
I struggled for self care ideas then I read a book called The Self Care Project which encourages taking up activities you enjoyed as a child. 
I now do 3 hours a week pottery painting and a yoga class each week. 
I also write a journal and colour in adult colouring books using felt tips you can blend! I love the feeling of the ink on the paper!! 
I’m getting more arty inspiration to do other things at the moment. 
I finished seeing my counsellor a couple of weeks ago and am in the process of coming off medication. 
Feeling positive and full of energy again...oh and we bought a new bed! After a year of no sleep we realised how important beds are. I sleep likes a log now. 
D also gets her new bed next week!! 😊
Quote
scaredmom
teecee, 
That is wonderful. To connect with the joy of childhood is truly a great thing to do. That really resonated with me. I will look up that book and will try to remember ( I feel so old) what I enjoyed as a kid. 
And YES sleep is so therapeutic! I appreciate my ZZZZZs so much and always feel so much better after a good snooze!
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote

        

WTadmin