Dealing with an Eating Disorder During the Holidays

By Jessica Carter

Although holiday celebrations may look a little different this year, it can still be a time of increased anxiety for those suffering from an Eating Disorder. This time of year emphasizes social gatherings, increased talk of food, diet, and body image, which can increase feelings of engaging in disordered eating patterns and behaviors. While this time can be challenging, a holiday plan can help alleviate potential anxiety and enable you to be better prepared to make the holiday season more enjoyable. 

How can I cope effectively during the holiday season? 

According to Psychology Today, these tips can help you manage the holidays and stay focused on your recovery. 

  • Make & commit to a plan.  Maintaining support during the holidays is vital to managing your recovery. It is important to keep consistent appointments with your therapist, dietitian, and other members of your care team. You should collaboratively work alongside your care team and support system to develop a plan that includes healthy ways to cope with triggering situations during the holidays. Your care team may recommend a plan that includes ways to manage triggering foods or situations, along with a list of people you can lean on for support in the moment. 
  • Set boundaries. As you are thinking through your plan, think about the healthy boundaries you may need if diet or weight-related discussions arise. Some of these statements may help you navigate these situations:  
    • “There is no good food or bad food. All foods fit with balance and moderation.”
    • “I think we need to declare this a diet-talk free zone.”
    • “I am just really thankful that we have food to eat and we are here together.”
    • “Let’s talk about something other than food and diets.”

It is important to remember that you are allowed to set boundaries. It is also acceptable for you to excuse yourself from the conversation or change the subject. 

  • Practice self-compassion. Despite what your eating disorder voice may be telling you, you are brave and entitled to self-compassion. During the holidays, it is vital to be gentle with yourself. Practice self-care affirmations and taking mental health breaks to encourage healthy preparation for the upcoming holiday season.  

Renew your hope, restore your health, recover your life. 

At Magnolia Creek, we are dedicated to helping you find freedom from your eating disorder. We offer evidence-based care to women 18 years and older who struggle with eating disorders and other co-occurring disorders. In partnership with the client and family, your team of experts creates an individualized comprehensive care plan that meets your psychological, medical, nutritional, spiritual, and social needs. We offer individual, group, and family therapy sessions to deeply explore and address the contributing factors related to your eating disorder. 

 At Magnolia Creek, we understand how overwhelming an eating disorder can be, and we are prepared to provide the support you need to support lifelong freedom. For more information on our eating disorder treatment program, call us today, or complete our contact form