The holidays bring in joy and laughter with loved ones, family, and friends. For most people, the highlight of the holiday season is the meal that comes with the celebration. But, for those battling an eating disorder through the holiday season, it leaves little room for joy or gratitude. Family and social gatherings with food laden tables can be scary, stressful, and uncharted territory for a person suffering from an eating disorder.
While others indulge in copious amounts of food and stuff their faces to the point of discomfort, those in recovery are fighting these triggers. Although overeating during the holidays is an unhealthy habit even for “normal eaters,” it is a dangerous land mine for a person with an ED. It’s all too common for those to experience an increase in ED symptoms as the holiday approaches. We’ve put together some tips to allow yourself to enjoy the holiday rather than live in anxiety and fear during the celebration.
- Before the holidays, meet with your treatment team and identify the difficulties you may face and come up with problem solving strategies for dealing with them
- Try to stick with your registered meal plan
- Remove the focus from the food
- Make a list of things you can do to distract yourself after the meal (go for a walk with a friend, read a book, watch a holiday movie)
- Refrain from “diet talk”
- Be aware!
- Try not to count calories and try to avoid weighing yourself on a scale
- If you end up giving into your ED, don’t beat yourself up about it, put it behind you and move forward and meet with your treatment team to get back on track
- Make sure to plan something that you enjoy, because it is very important to take care of yourself during the holidays