Eating Disorder Recovery During the Holidays

For many people, the holidays are a time of celebration and joy. The months of October through the beginning of January are filled with plans, festivities, family, friends and lots of food.

For clients in recovery from an eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder, the next few months can be very challenging. Many clients have heightened levels of stress, fear and anxiety.

With awareness and planning, you or a loved one could have a successful recovery holiday season. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Spend time discussing the holidays with your treatment team. Talk about stress and anxiety with your therapist and dietician and come up with a plan of action to successfully navigate through the next few months.
  2. Take time for yourself. Prioritize your self-care behaviors like relaxation, meditation, healthy exercise, journaling and time for you.
  3. Focus on quality time with family and friends, not on the food. Connecting with others you trust is what is meaningful.
  4. Reach out for support. Surround yourself with people who understand your needs and have healthy relationships with food.
  5. Stick to your healthy eating plan. Continue to eat according to your body’s needs (as directed by your treatment team) and do not skip meals or compensate with ED behaviors.
  6. Celebrate your recovery victories. Take time to acknowledge your hard work and success.
  7. Mindfully plan your holiday schedule. Prioritize your health and emotional well-being.

You can do this!

Written by:

Nicolle Arbelaez Lopez, Psy.D., CEDS
Licensed Psychologist
Certified Eating Disorder Specialist

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