Holidays are a time for joy and celebration. They are a chance to get together with friends and family, and many people look forward to sitting down to eat a traditional holiday feast with their loved ones. For people with eating disorders, holidays can bring a great deal of anxiety and stress. They struggle to relax and enjoy the day due to worrying about the food that is present.

If food is something that makes you dread the holidays, here are some ideas that may make it easier on yourself:

◦ Remember to do some self-care during the holidays.  Take a bath, visit a friend, give yourself a manicure, go for a drive, etc.  Doing something that you enjoy.
◦ Commit to not counting calories or weighing yourself.
◦ Remind yourself that no food is forbidden and that it is normal to eat more during the holidays.
◦ Prepare responses to comments that make you feel uncomfortable.
◦ Do not let anyone pressure you into eating more than you can handle.
◦ Call a friend if you are experiencing urges to use eating disordered behaviors.
◦ If you do end up engaging in eating disordered behaviors, put it behind you and move forward.

It is very possible to enjoy the holidays if you do what is right for you.  Remember to focus on gratitude for the many blessings in your life.  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Lauren Davis, MS, RD, LD
Registered Dietitian
Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders