By: CFC

These suggestions and ideas come from women at Center for Change who are currently engaged in treatment for an eating disorder and are at various stages in their own recovery:

  • Be honest about your feelings with your family.
  • Be open with your family about your struggles and allow them to help you.
  • Do not try to avoid situations that involve food.
  • Do not spend a lot of time by yourself.
  • Interact with other people.
  • Be honest and open about how you are feeling.
  • Do not avoid others.
  • Remember holidays are about friends, family, and fun – not food.
  • Get extra help in treatment.
  • Eat what your body wants.
  • Do not think about what is in the food.
  • Spend more of your focus on family instead of food. Your family is more important.
  • Try not to isolate yourself but surround yourself with people you love and care about.
  • Try to have fun and not think about what food will be involved. Just handle it as it comes.
  • If you feel yourself struggling, it may help to talk to someone about those issues before it gets too big.
  • Talk to your family before the holiday events or family gatherings and let them know how they can help you. Try to focus on the people you are with and the spirit of the season and what you can to do reach out to others rather than the food.
  • Talk to a therapist or a professional who can help you make it through the tough times.
  • Do not avoid family situations, it only makes things harder.
  • Try your best to be normal and not play into your negative mind.
  • Do not get mad at your family for wanting you to be around them.
  • Find things and activities other than food to focus on.
  • Take each day one at a time.
  • Do not look at the holiday season as a whole.
  • It is easiest to take it step by step.
  • Remember if you over eat one time, it will not make a difference in your weight.
  • Be kind to you in your thoughts.
  • Talk with your family about your fears, anxiousness, and how to ease the meal or day for you and them.
  • Stay with people. Always be with someone.
  • Be patient with those who do not understand the eating disorder struggles.
  • Never give up.
  • Never give in.
  • Better family communication skills and less stress between family members.
  • Use healthy coping skills.
  • Help others to help you. Talk to them about what they can do and what you can do to help.
  • Take time for yourself but do not isolate yourself the entire time. Just take a break.
  • Try to eat intuitively and listen to your body. You do not need to starve or binge. Find a medium place.
  • Relax. You do not need to use harmful coping skills to distract yourself from distress. There are better ways: walks, bubble baths, music, etc.
  • Simplify. Do not feel that you have to do more than is necessary or what you are up to. Let go of perfectionism and enjoy.
  • Eat what you are comfortable with but try to challenge yourself to enjoy holiday treats without guilt. It is a chance to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Take time for yourself. Do relaxation things such as a manicure, a haircut, massage, etc.