Surviving The Holiday Season: Tips For Those With Eating Disorders

How Those with Eating Disorders Might Feel About the Holiday Season

When first thinking of the holidays most people remember fun days spent with family and friends, meals with delicious foods and desserts, being thankful for what you have and giving to others. However, if too much planning, spending and other topics are brought up the holidays begin to feel stressful. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays are often anxiety-ridden and centered on the subject of food. For someone with and eating disorder, such events are often less than enjoyable, especially if painful holiday memories are present.

Popular eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. These three are both very serious eating disorders and each deserve appropriate eating disorder treatment. Binge eating therapy, anorexia treatment, and bulimia help is offered at many eating disorder treatment facilities. California eating disorder treatment clinics are widely available and eating disorder residential programs are offered in most other states.

15 Ways to Deal with the Holiday Season

Feeling pressured to eat more or eat less is never a comfortable situation. How can you deal with the stress and anxiety of a similar situation during the holiday season? The following tips may benefit you:

  1. Plan ahead. If you plan on visiting with friends and family, plan out the situation ahead of time in order to avoid extra stress and anxiety. You may also consider telling your family ahead of time not to make remarks about your eating disorder.
  2. Eat regularly. Despite the fact that many people eat excessively or eat a large amount of snacks during the holidays, try and stick to a normal routine.
  3. Make a list. Write down each thing you need to get done for the holiday season. Getting things done ahead of time and having a list so you do not forget anything can save you a lot of unneeded stress.
  4. Talk with your therapist. A therapist can work with you on coping methods and address specific worries or anxiety you may have.
  5. Find a support partner. This person will be there for you to talk with if thoughts regarding your eating disorder begin to enter your mind or you feel overwhelmed.
  6. Determine your reactions ahead of time. If someone makes an awkward remark about your eating habits or weight, know what you plan to say ahead of time. This may help relieve anxiety during holiday events.
  7. Offer to bring a dish. If you are unsure of what may be offered on the holiday menu, offer to bring something you know you will be willing to eat.
  8. Be flexible. While this may be difficult, being flexible with plans and situations which may arise can relieve tension that may come with the holiday season. This may also prevent emotional eating.
  9. Take part in fun activities. By taking part in fun activities, you can distract yourself from any food worries you may be having.
  10. Confide in someone. Tell someone who will be with you during meal times your specific concerns and allow them to give you advice on what is appropriate.
  11. Only attend what you can handle. Politely decline invitations if you feel the situation would make you uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Situations which include non-food activities may be most enjoyable.
  12. Eat healthy foods. If you stick to a regular meal plan and eat healthy food then you reduce the risk of feeling “guilty” over eating.
  13. Attend a support group. Attend events and make friends with other members, this type of fellowship will provide you with support and encouragement.
  14. Don’t focus on mistakes. If you feel too full or have experienced a binge, move on and do not allow it to stress you out.
  15. Set goals. Instead of only focusing on food and weight during the holiday season, set other goals regarding what you might like to talk about and focus on.