Holidays tend to involve a lot of eating. For those in recovery from an eating disorder, the holidays can be especially difficult. Here are some tips and suggestions to make the holiday season manageable while recovering from an eating disorder.
Change Your Christmas Story
Whatever it is your culture, religion, heritage, or tradition has you celebrate during the holiday, change the story up a little bit. One of the most triggering parts about the holidays are the expectations. Change your expectations by changing the story. Instead of trying to live up to what you believe others expect of you, or what you expect of yourself because of what others expect of you- create your own! Redefine the holidays and create meaning for yourself. You’ll feel the stress slip away, calming your nerves and helping you to stay centered.
Be Merry And Bright
You don’t have to fake it if you aren’t feeling the holidays. However, a little extra push can go a long way. Often we say in recovery “fake it ‘till you make it!”. Bringing an air of holiday cheer will help you get in the spirit of celebrating. Holidays are about expressing gratitude. If you are in treatment or for an eating disorder, you have a lot to be grateful for!
Keep It A Silent Night About Food
Everyone gets a little uncomfortable about food and eating during the holidays. Rather than join in the conversation about food, body image, and weight, set the example of your recovery by choosing not to participate. Avoid making comments about yourself and your food choices and encourage others to do the same. You’ve learned how to be nonjudgmental about yourself. Give that gift to others.
We (Need) Three Meals
A great setup for setback during the holidays is agreeing to the typical eating schedule of celebrations. Don’t avoid eating for the sake of bingeing later on. Instead, make sure to maintain balance by eating balanced meals throughout the day. You will still be able to enjoy favorite holiday treats, but without the shame and guilt you might experience after purging and bingeing.
Avalon By The Sea in Malibu, California, proudly offers primary care for mental health disorders and substance use disorders. Our programs of care strive provide total healing for mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.