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Time and time again I hear about people dreading the holidays. There are people everywhere freaking out about all of the food and possible weight gain. I see articles titled “How to Survive the Holidays” and so on. Well, I think it’s about time we stop enduring the holidays and start enjoying them!
It is different when you have an eating disorder because your safe eating routine gets disrupted around this time of the year. There are different foods that you are expected to eat and you are around different people that you may not feel comfortable eating around. Thinking about this can bring on anxiety but it doesn’t need to! The holiday season shouldn’t be anxiety provoking, it should be fun!
So, my post today is going to be less focused on the negative side of eating disorders and the holiday season and more focused on how you can enjoy the holidays and all of their excitement.
I’ve been through all of this before. As November approached and our shopping cart filled with all sorts of chocolates, cakes, candy, cream…this brought on a massive freak out. I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable with all of this forbidden (or once forbidden) food in my house. But one thing I had to remind myself was just because the food was there, it didn’t mean that I had to eat it. It will be there if I choose to have some but if I don’t feel comfortable then there is no need to push myself.
Food shouldn’t have this power over us. After all, it doesn’t talk to us. It doesn’t give us orders or tell us that we are fat or worthless. It is your thoughts that do that. So if we learn how to manage our thoughts, then the food part should be easier to handle.
Like I said earlier, the holidays should be fun. Here are some of my tips for enjoying this magical season:
1. Take each day as it comes.
2. Talk to family or friends about how the upcoming holiday season is making you feel.
Talking to someone close to you like a parent or friend about how you are feeling can help them to help you. That way you can reach out to them for support during meal times or if you’re just feeling anxious. Being surrounded by large groups of people can be very overwhelming as well so make sure that you are able to text someone or talk to someone that understands your situation.
3. Try your best to enjoy the food!
I know it can be difficult, especially when you are reintroducing yourself to certain foods but like I said before, it’s not the food that controls you but your thoughts. Fill your plate with a little bit of your fear foods. Just a little bit. And have a taste. It’s not scary, it’s delicious! Eat and be merry 🙂
4. Enjoy the company.
It’s not everyday that you are surrounded by loved ones. If you are worried about the food side of things, focus on the people around you. Talk to people. Mingle. Wear a silly hat. Smile even if you don’t feel like it. Fake it till you make it, I say.
5. Help out with the festivities.
6. Have fun with it!
It can all be so overwhelming and I know that. I’m giving you this advice from experience and I now look forward to the holiday season because it’s such a happy time of the year. Everyone is smiling and giving gifts is so much fun! Remember that the holidays isn’t just about food. It’s about being with close friends and family and don’t forget the presents 😉 And at the end of it all, you have the new year to look forward to so you can start off the year with a smile and a cheer.
Katy has an honours degree in meteorology and an undergraduate degree in geophysics and mathematics. Katy chose to recover from her eating disorder in May 2010 and has never looked back. Throughout her recovery journey, she has struggled with crippling anxiety, which she has now learned to manage and by writing at Libero, she hopes to help others to manage their anxiety, have fun with recovery and learn to live again.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.