When struggling with an eating disorder, every holiday can come with its own challenges, especially when a holiday is associated with food such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Whether it's the pressure of lofty goals at New Year's or navigating through the costumes, crowds and candy during Halloween, check out the resources below for some helpful guidance!
Looking Glass Resources
Advice by Kaela: How You Treat Yourself Shouldn’t Change Based On The Day Of The Year: This blog talks about the challenges that come with New Years, specifically resolutions that often involve dieting and weight loss. Suggestions to cope with this time include focusing on your relationship with yourself and your recovery, setting boundaries, and focusing on taking care of yourself.
Advice by Kaela: Helpful Tips On How To Approach The Holiday Season: "Instead of challenging yourself to say yes to all the holiday festivities, pick the top 2 or 3 that feel the most important to you and commit to showing up and engaging in a way that would make you feel proud of yourself."
Tricks, Treats, & Tips On How To Approach Halloween: "It’s also very important that you take some time and space to reflect on the things that trigger you around Hallowe’en. Is it the overtly sexy costumes, candy and treat marketing, gore/violence, crowds, past negative experiences, fireworks, or maybe something else? Once you can identify your own personal Hallowe’en triggers, it will become much easier to come up with healthy self-care practices that will alleviate their effects when you encounter them, like using meditative mantras, plugging into your music, or talking to a friend."
Advice by Kaela: Thanksgiving:"Be involved in choosing some of the menu items: I know that being involved in the whole food experience can be a little triggering, but from my experience, people who have some say in what will be made feel more prepared and less anxious when it is time to sit down for a meal."
Tis the Season: Navigating the Holiday Season While in Recovery: "Your worth is not defined by the number on the scale. There are things about the holidays and about time with your loved ones that cannot be quantified. Take the time and make the effort to focus on spending time with the people who make you feel safe and who make the holidays feel special."
9 Tips to Help Challenge Your Inner Critic Post Holidays: This article offers suggestions to help the holidays feel more manageable, including reflecting (and celebrating) on how far you’ve come, letting go of expectations, saying no to New Years resolutions, taking time off of social media, stopping comparison, getting in touch with support systems, etc.
5 Tips for Surviving Halloween Without a Slip Up: "If it’s too hard this year, don’t go out. Or just invite some safe people over for pumpkin carving and hanging out. It’s okay to take care of yourself by avoiding a situation that can be potentially harmful."
Tending the Soul During the Holiday Season: This blog focuses on how to make the holidays meaningful for you, especially if you are in a difficult place or find the holidays hard. It addresses such things as how to find meaning in the time of year, connecting with others, healing old relational wounds, giving, dealing with food and gatherings centered around meals, self-care, dealing with anxiety, and spreading peace.
5 New Year’s Resolutions for People in Recovery: "When we're struggling with recovery, we tend to focus on the negatives. We become so fixated on everything that's going wrong and all of the things in our life that are bad, that we also end up losing sight of all the good that still exists. Break the habit this year by starting off each day or finishing each night with a gratitude list."
Mindfulness and Holidays: Key to Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders: This article offers advice on how to cope with the holidays, including examining thoughts and feelings that arise, using recovery tools to cope, having a support person, and placing the emphasis on people.