Some guidance/ tips for bulimia and binge eating disorder that have been helping my service users recently:
-Develop a list of alternative behaviours to bingeing and/or purging. These can range from distracting to actively soothing, for example, taking a shower or bath, reading a book, colouring in, going for a short walk, spending time with family and friends, using essential oils, journaling or listening to a podcast.
-It is helpful to have a varied list of activities to ensure you have options to consider depending on the situation, for example, what time of day it is and where you are.
-It is best to choose something that is incompatible with the eating disorder behaviour, for example, if you normally binge and/or purge while watching TV, choose an alternative.
-Practice delaying the binge and/or purge for a specific period of time and over time, you can practice delaying the urges for longer periods of time. You will likely find that the urge passes after a specific amount of time, and that you are less likely to resort to your eating disorder behaviour, and more likely to use an alternative coping mechanism.
-Attempt to substitute one alternative behaviour when you have an urge, if it doesn't appear to be working, try another activity from the list. It can be a bit of trial and error until you find something that works for you, and it will take a lot of effort at the beginning.
Please email email@example.com for further support or to discuss some potential alternatives that you could try. If you are supporting someone with an eating disorder, please call our helpline on 02890235959. You are not alone, and recovery is always possible!