Tips for getting through the holiday season

Merry Christmas to those that celebrate!
The next few days may prove difficult for some people, particularly if you are working through recovery of an eating disorder, or your relationship with food is not as healthy as you would like. Clients over the past week have spoken of anxiety around aspects of the holidays, such as judgements by others about the food you are/are not eating, dealing with disordered thoughts and behaviors when in the spotlight (social situations), having to eat more than what you’d like, or eating feared foods to be polite to others….. Here are a few tips to help you eat in peace these holidays:
1) Ignore all the “how to keep your waist down” and “tips to shake the xmas weight” articles!! My news feeds are flooded with them… Just skip over them. A week of eating more or less than you would normally is not going to make a difference.
2) Eat mindfully, respecting your hunger and fullness cues… Eat slowly and savour your food… Take in the look, texture, taste and smell of your food. Think about the love, care and thoughtfulness that went into preparing the food.
3) Remember you can have it if you want it, but do you feel like it in that moment?
4) It’s normal to do some non hungry eating if you are really enjoying the food and the experience of eating in that moment
5) Utilize your support people who know you and what you are going through. Talk to them about the support you may need to ease any distress.
6) Don’t avoid meals or social situations- prepare yourself for situations where food will be present and incorporate it into your daily eating pattern.
7) Be prepared with distraction activities after meals if this is important for you.
8) Remember (although it may be hard!) that Christmas is not all about food- for you it may be a time to catch up with family and friends, a time to relax and unwind or a time of self care and reflection

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