Holiday Tips for People with Eating Disorders
Make a plan - If you know in advance what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it, your anxiety will be significantly decreased. This is both because you will know what to expect and because there will be less in the moment decision making needed.
Eat regulary - Try to eat at the same basic times that you normally do. This may mean that your holiday meal looks different than others, and that is OK as long as it is truly healthy for you.
Try to take healthy risks - If something sounds good, even if i's not something you would normally eat, try to incorporate it into your meal plan.
Communication is key! - Talk to your supports about your concerns and brainstorm ways that they can help you in the moment. For example, if you are nervous that you will struggle during a meal, work with a family member on talking to you about your favorite TV show during that time.
Don't let treatment slide - Everyone wants to take a break from seeing their therapist and dietitian during this time - it's completely normal! But, it is a very important time to make and keep those appointments. Holidays are stressful for everyone, but particularly so for people with eating disorders given the emphasis on food.
Write a letter to yourself - Focus the letter on the happy and healthy things you are excited about for the holiday season. When you get stressed bring the letter out and read it to yourself.
Avoid overbooking - It is important to have planned social activities, but it is also important to have time for yourself. Plan on having no more than one social event per day and no less than four per week.
Remember that you can do it!!!