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Coping with an Eating Disorder at Holiday Time


Holidays are stressful for someone with an eating disorder. Large meals are intimidating when you’re preoccupied with food. Memories of past holidays or wishful dreams trigger intense emotional reactions. Heightened stress leads to interpersonal discord at the time you most need support. Relatives make comments about weight, shape and size. You’re likely physically compromised although you might deny it. You want to look perfect to feel better about yourself, so you intensify your eating disordered behaviors. Instead…


Take healthy control. Plan to eat 3 nutritionally complete meals and a snack daily. Get rest, and avoid alcohol. Avoid people and situations that upset you. If you’re ready to face stressors, have a trusted friend who knows your problem accompany you. Make an agreement together about how you will handle situations, and leave together if you feel too uncomfortable. Think ahead about how to edify yourself. Look at your distorted thoughts, and correct inaccuracies. Perhaps imagine a protective force field surrounding you. Mentally rehearse situations, and picture successful outcomes. When you leave, congratulate yourself and self-soothe with something non-food related, like a hot bath, music, or TV. 

Eating disorders are dangerous but treatable. See a therapist with special training for professional assistance.

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