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Monday Motivation: Make a Coping or Comfort Box

Monday Motivation

Every Monday, we post some 'motivation': this could be a quote, picture, activity, story, articles etc. This week's 'motivation' involves making a 'Safe Box' or 'Comfort Box'. Read about how to do this below.

Make yourself a 'Safe Box' or a 'Comfort Kit'. This can be very useful during times of distress, overwhelm or when we feel under threat in some way (e.g. anxious, confusing feelings etc.)

What you put in your box/kit is up to you; however it's purpose is to provide you with a 'go to' a toolbox that you can reply on during times of distress or discomfort. You can choose from various things from the kit or box that will help you when you are feeling distressed, upset, unhappy, angry, sad or when your eating disorder thoughts, feelings and behaviours are overwhelming or difficult to control.

Some of the things the box/kit might include are:
* relaxation CDs; favourite music that you can dance to/cheers you up
* photographs of happy times
* blank thought records/diaries that you can fill in and which can help you to get your thoughts and feelings 'out of your head' and onto paper where you can start making more sense of them
* breathing exercises
* a list of distractors that you can use when you need to turn your attention to something else to distract you from your eating disorder
* coping techniques/tools you find useful (e.g. grounding, mindfulness, externalising attention activities
* your favourite book
* little cards with positive thoughts/quotes
* reminder of things you enjoy doing
* ink pens and a colouring book
* a sheet with helplines, supportlines etc
* and lots more self-help exercises that you find helpful.

Your 'Safe Box' or 'Comfort Kit' can really help you to stay safe when you are feeling most upset, distressed, overwhelmed etc. with eating disorder thoughts and feelings.

By interrupting the vicious cycle of eating disorder thoughts, which lead to unhelpful/distressful feelings, and then lead to eating disorder behaviours and actions, you can really start breaking such automatic behaviours (which may appear to keep us safe at the time, but which, over time, aren't helpful. Interrupting the vicious cycle can really help you begin challenging the automaticity and 'go to' path of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that encompass those struggling with eating disorders/disordered eating.

Go on, give it a go, it can really work! We have done something similar during previous support group meetings and I've even done it with many of the clients I see in one-to-one therapy sessions. Many of them have made their own 'Safe Boxes' or 'Comfort Kits' and they have proven very helpful for many people who still use it to this day.

Try making your own 'Safe Box' or 'Comfort Kit' to help you get you through the difficult times as they arise. (Alexandra O'Brien, Talking EDs, 2015/2021)

Best wishes,



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