How to Avoid Eating Disorders During the Holidays

Holidays and too much food go hand in hand, so if you’ve got an eating disorder, they can be a real trigger.

In this Mental Health Guide we will take a look at how you can navigate a successful course of action and avoid eating disorders during the holidays.

Holiday Tips for Those with Eating Disorders

While there are several eating disorders to contend with, and each one has different characteristics, these tips should offer general help for those with any type.

Stick to your healthy routine

Getting out of routine gets our equilibrium out of whack. Continue to eat properly leading up to the holidays, exercise appropriately without overdoing it, keep going to therapy or meetings and attend more frequently if needed, stay positive and maintain any spiritual practices you may have.

Find supportive people

Eating disorders can cause quite a few personality disorders such as suicidal thoughts and impulsive behavior. If your family members understand and support you, tell them you need their help working through these during the holidays. Being honest makes the issue less difficult for you and them. Tell family members and supportive friends exactly what they can do to help, since they may not know.

Consistently review your recovery goals during this season

Keep in mind the better future you are creating for yourself since this will help prevent you from making short-sighted decisions.

Plan your reactions ahead of time

Be prepared to politely but firmly turn down food when you know you need to.

If anorexia or bulimia are issues for you, take care of yourself by eating healthy, nutritious foods

Remind yourself that your perception of your body image probably isn’t correct. Women and teenagers with eating disorders need to learn how to trust their doctor, nutritionist or therapist to help them set appropriate eating guidelines.

Offer to help prepare food for the gathering

Then, you’ll be assured of having something to eat that is right for you and your healthy eating goals.

Keep your focus off of food

Do fun, relaxing things with family and friends that don’t involve eating. Go for a long walk, attend a holiday concert together, go on a holiday light tour or see one of the holiday movies at the theater.

Confide in a trustworthy person

You may already have a support partner if you’ve been in group therapy. If not, before the holidays start, consider confiding in a trusted family member, friend or clergy member. Having someone to talk with – someone who is positive and encouraging – can make a world of difference.

The holidays will come and go

Have the goal of getting past them with your goals and personal commitments still intact. You can help assure this by planning ahead and sticking to these holiday survival tips for those with eating disorders.

Parents should also be aware of changes in mood with their teenagers and especially in young children. They may have a more difficult time expressing their emotions and need to be prompted to talk through them.