Holidays, particularly one like Easter, can be a stressful time when you are in eating disorder recovery. This makes sense because it is a holiday that revolves around food and eating socially. You may feel increased pressure to eat different foods or to eat with friends/family that you have not seen for some time or are anxious about your eating disorder asking you to compensate
Take a deep breath. Ask yourself:
Where am I in my recovery journey?
What can my recovery mindset focus on this weekend?
Will this be a helpful opportunity to challenge a fear food?
We have put together some suggestions that you may want to use to help manage the long weekend. Your Clinician can work with you to create a more individualised plan.
- Start your day with a self-care activity for you. This may involve something like a face care routine, moisturizing, sitting in the sun, calling a friend, walking the dog, or taking a bath/shower.
- If you are planning on having Easter chocolate or easter foods this year, remind yourself that it is ok to eat them. You do not need to compensate or make up for it later. You should not feel guilty for enjoying delicious food.
- Plan a distraction activity to help ride out any urges brought on by your eating disorder.
- Create a playlist of feel-good songs. Altering mood on purpose through media such as a funny movie or a ‘happy’ playlist can lift your mood and help you to enjoy quality time with your family/friends.
- Continue to include your planned meals! Easter is just a day. It’s a day like every other. A day to eat breakfast, snack, lunch, second snack, dinner, and dessert. In between or during any or all these meals is an appropriate time to each chocolate. Work with your Dietitian to formulate a plan specifically tailored for you.
- Plan. If you are traveling at Easter time, work with your Clinician to find what snacks/meals you can take with you and come up with a plan on how you will manage these.
- Plan an activity to do with your friends/family that does not revolve around food. For example, craft (egg painting), board game, or a gentle walk.
- SOS! Can you pick a ‘go-to’ person? Their role may be to take you away from the situation for some fresh air or to give you a hug and remind you, that it is ok.
- Utilize self-soothing methods. When challenging your eating disorder, grounding can help you to become unstuck from uncomfortable physical sensations and to reconnect with your present moment. This could be utilizing your 5 senses, and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
Our team of Dietitians and Psychologists can support you to be free from overwhelming food thoughts. Contact us on (02) 4362 3443 to start your journey with us.