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Fighting ED: Priceless Stress Relief Tips for Your Child

Posted Oct 26 2009 11:01pm

As wildly stressful as refeeding can be for parents, it can be even moreso for your child.    Some kids liken refeeding in particular to torture.   As more objective observers, we know that anorexia or “ED” is the tormentor.   In the meantime, it is vital for your child to have safe ways to relieve stress during the recovery process.  

I am lucky enough to get to work with incredibly talented and creative kids and am thrilled when ED has abated enough to let those qualities shine through.   One of my brave teenage clients brought in the list below—an incredibly thoughtful and creative list of things she can do when she is feeling stressed, angry, or needing to vent.   She produced this list instead of listening to ED’s command to exercise compulsively and generously agreed to let me share it with you, as did her parents.   I am confident this list will be a tremendous resource for many of you, truly a gift that keeps on giving.   Keep in mind that this lift was approved by my client’s parents; you may or may not feel all are appropriate for your house/child.   Nevertheless, I hope that this will be a useful starting point for you.

Food can indeed be medicine in many ways (hint: see tip #1 and more below)!    

 

The “Help!! I have no control!!” List

 

If you need toTHROWsomething:

Throw eggs at approved area

Throw water balloons at approved area

Chuck tennis balls

Paint your feelings on large newspaper canvas (i.e. throw paint on

canvas= splatter paint)

Throw clothes onto bedroom floor

Throw old plates on the ground

Throw small stuffed animals at a target (i.e. a soccer goal)

 

If you need toBITEsomething:

Bite a pillow

Bite a stuffed animal

Suck on an ice cube

Bite toothbrush

 

If you need toRIPsomething:

Rip pages out of an unused diary/old book

Rip up old newspaper

Rip up Silly Putty

Cut up paper scraps

Rip old rags

Unshell peanuts

Rip up old cardboard boxes

Rip out weeds :)

 

If you need toKICK/JUMPon something:

Kick a soccer ball (in juggling net)

Kick sand or water

Jump on bubble wrap

Jump rope as fast as you can

Jump on crackers (something crunchy)

 

If you need toHITsomething:

Hammer a nail into wood

Punch a pillow

Hit tennis balls (with racket)

Press unused keyboard keys

Hit rotten apples/empty soda cans with a baseball bat

 

If you need toSQUEEZEsomething:

Click an old computer mouse

Pop bubble wrap with fingers

Squeeze a stress ball (blanket/wad of toilet paper will work)

Bend wire hangers

Unscrew old tomato sauce jars

Fold paper into a million pieces

Grip a zipper and “Zip” it up and down

Squeeze peanut butter or Jell-O between your fingers (over the sink if necessary)

Tie really tight knots in a string

Squeeze a water bottle

Squeeze a broken remote really hard and press every button

 

 

If you need toMAKE NOISE:

Scream as loud as you can into a pillow

Suck on a lollipop for a distraction

Chew gum for a distraction

Shake maracas or hit them on bed

Slam a textbook closed (NOTE: It is UNACCEPTABLE to slam doors)

 

When you need toVOICE YOUR FEELINGS:

Scream at a stuffed animal

Write an angry letter to “Bob” or “Sue” about how you feel, and then recycle it

Type, “I hate this” a hundred times on the computer

Draw faces on old magazines

 

 

 

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