Holiday Season and Eating Disorders: Universe Perspective

Dealing with a mental health issue can be challenging at any time, but during the holiday season, it can become even more tough. This is especially true for those battling an eating disorder. Today, we will discuss some strategies to help ease the burden this festive period brings.

Holidays, especially Christmas, focus heavily around food. There are endless television advertisements tempting you to stock up on festive meals and desserts from various supermarkets. There’s abundance of treats and alcoholic drinks every time you visit someone. This can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re dealing with an eating disorder.

Here are some tips to cope:

  • Remember all the recovery steps you’ve taken so far. The progress you’ve made is yours and can’t be taken away, so don’t let the holiday season set you back.
  • You don’t have to strive for a ‘perfect’ Christmas. Do away with the notions perpetuated by movies, books, and social media posts. If necessary, distance yourself from social media as it can sometimes cause more harm than good.
  • Stick to your coping plans, don’t adjust them to blend in with others’ schedules. Maintain your routine to the best possible extent. If required, seek support from friends and family.
  • Find distractions – If the celebrations around you become too much, retreat to something that helps you relax. This could be listening to music, reading, walking, etc.
  • It’s perfectly fine to refuse. Your recovery is paramount, and if anything makes you uncomfortable or anxious, you don’t need to partake. Ensuring your own wellbeing is not selfish.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need more support. Plenty of resources exist to help you.
  • Be sure to remember that your feelings are valid, irrespective of the season.

Here are some points if there is a loved one battling with an eating disorder:

  • Continue involving them in activities without forcing them. If they decline, gently ask if anything is causing anxiety and if there’s anything you can do to help. If they don’t want to, ask them if there is anything else they would like to do instead.

Also, we can turn to resources like BEAT, which offers various support tools for those dealing with an eating disorder. They operate support groups and forums throughout the holidays, and their helplines will be open from 4 PM to midnight on Christmas Day as well.

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