Things To Do Instead of Eating

Here are some things you can do instead of eating. You might think of other cool things I didn’t include. Note some of these ideas are not possible right now due to social distancing and coronavirus. Keep yourself, and others, safe. 

When your thoughts are consumed with food and eating there is little space left for thoughts about you: who you are, what you want from your life, what matters to you, what you love, what you stand for. 

When you stop binging or eating unproductively, you get to start doing something else. 

  1. Take a class (online or in person) in something that interests you. Connect with a community.
  2. Go shopping. You can just walk around a mall or a store like Target without buying anything. Or, treat yourself to something small like a new journal or set of colored pens.
  3. Go to the beach. Salt water is our beginning.
  4. Go for a walk. Just being in nature, around trees, can be soothing. Forest bathing is a thing.
  5. Visit a museum or an aquarium.
  6. Find a new hobby.
  7. Write: fiction, non fiction, poetry, journalism, a blog, a short story, a diary. Just write. Try writing non stop for 30 minutes without filtering your words.
  8. Meditate. There are so many ways to meditate. Try an app, progressive muscle relaxation, body scans, guided imagery…or just listen to soothing music and/or focus on the rising and falling of your breath.
  9. Do yoga or stretch.
  10. Create beauty. Paint, draw, take pictures. Make a collage. Make a scrapbook. 
  11. Dance. 
  12. Knit.
  13. Listen to music.
  14. Take a bath with Epsom salts. Soak & soothe ~20 minutes. 
  15. Watch something funny on YouTube. 
  16. Clean, declutter, make your bed.
  17. Do something productive. Do the laundry. Wash your car. Clean out your closet
  18. Call or FaceTime someone.
  19. Get a haircut.
  20. Watch something. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Dinsey+…there is so much great streaming content now. Dramas, documentaries, comedies, childhood favorites…
  21. Go outside and watch the clouds float across the sky.
  22. Read a book. Go to the bookstore or library.
  23. Look for new music.
  24. Go to the gym.
  25. Color in a coloring book.
  26. Volunteer.
  27. Take a nap or go to bed early.
  28. Drink some water.
  29. Plan a trip. Research a new destination and culture.
  30. Cry.
  31. Find quotes that give you strength & inspiration & perspective. Instagram has a lot of these. Write them down so you can refer to them again. Maybe add them to your scrapbook or journal. 
  32. Find some coping statements. Write them down so you can refer back to them. 
  33. Work through a self-help workbook.
  34. Leave whatever situation/environment you are currently in.
  35. Do a puzzle or a game.
  36. Surf the web re: topics that interest you.
  37. Go out for coffee or tea.
  38. Make a movie or video.
  39. Find and join a group related to one of your interests. Ideally this would be an in person group but there are a lot of online communities too.
  40. Do something kind for someone else.
  41. Take your attention off yourself. Be around other people. See the beauty in the world around you. Pay attention to the details. Become very curious about the place you are in. Look at the flowers, trees, sky. Listen to the sounds. 
  42. Think about and mentally picture some of the things you are looking forward to.
  43. Make a plan to move your life forward in a positive direction.
  44. Find a social event and make a plan to go to it.
  45. Get some work done. Or maybe look for a new job.
  46. Play with imagery. Tarot and oracle decks can be useful tools for self-inquiry, journaling and processing. There are a variety of themes. Find one(s) that resonates with you and develop your own introspective practices.
  47. Educate yourself on sound nutrition. Read pubmed articles.
  48. Write a list of reasons why it’s important for you to overcome the habits and behaviors that keep you stuck with food and your weight.
  49. Write a list of things you are grateful for.
  50. Just be. Watch your mind. See what thoughts come. Understand deeply that you do not need to follow every thought that comes into your head, and what you think isn’t necessarily true.
  51. Cuddle up with a weighted blanket. This can be very soothing and grounding. You might also find it helpful to cuddle with a stuffed animal, pillows, or other soft items. Additionally, identify other objects that give you comfort such as special stones.
  52. Play with bubbles and/or sidewalk chalk. Simple, rhythmic movements can be very calming.
  53. Write a letter of forgiveness to anything in your life that needs to be forgiven, including yourself. No need to send this letter or show it to anyone.
  54. Embrace your inner child. Color with crayons, watch Disney movies, reach children’s books, build a sand castle, any activity that is considered to be child-appropriate.
  55. Pay those bills and Do The Thing you need to do. Whether it’s paying rent or crossing some other task off your to-do list, see if there’s any way you can take at least one step towards getting those daily life tasks completed so they don’t feel so overwhelming.
  56. Make a self-care plan. Include exercise, healthy eating, mental health & wellness, physical health, healthy relationships, meaningful work, fun, and more.
  57. Try bilateral drawing. Use chalk, pain, markers, or other media in both hands, moving at the same time.

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