The holiday season is upon us, which means it is time to start preparing and planning to make this time of the year, as enjoyable and manageable as possible, no matter where you are on your recovery journey. You are welcome to consider all the points below or select those that you feel are most applicable to you currently.
Shift your focus
What parts of the festive season do you enjoy? It may be making Christmas cards, decorating the tree, decorating cookies, spending quality time with friends and family, singing and or dancing to Christmas carols for example. Channel your energy into doing more of these things.
Expose yourself to motivation
Set your screen saver as a motivation reminder, whether that be a photo of something recovery will give you or a helpful quote. Photos on the wall, post-it notes throughout the house, and pop-up reminders can also be great.
Knowing the schedule for the day can reduce unwanted surprises and allow you to prepare. For example, if you are headed to a family or friend’s house and they are planning on serving a platter and then a late lunch, you are better able to navigate how you will manage this beforehand.
Re-frame your thoughts
Work on reframing your thoughts (challenging the inner critic) and shifting the ‘all or nothing mindset’. For example, instead of allowing your mind to label food as good or bad, use neutral language e.g. Christmas cake has nostalgia and fills my social eating cup or bread is bread and it will give me energy my body needs.
Keep consistent eating times
Continue with regular meals and snacks, as you would any other day in recovery, to stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce binge eating episodes and the feeling of ‘loss of control’. Furthermore, this can also reduce the eating disorders’ ability to skip meals.
Move for enjoyment
Move the body for enjoyment and be creative, such as a post-meal boogie [Macarena anyone!?] or a gentle walk with a family or friend.
Plan distractions & activities that do not revolve around food
Board games, finska/yard games and card games help to keep the mind busy and shift the focus away from just being about food.
Give yourself time to reflect
You may feel extra vulnerable at this time of the year. Reflect on what previous cues could have been for negative thoughts and distress.
Identify what could cause heightened stress and how you previously would have responded. Could there be a more helpful way to respond now? Could you plan in advance, how to deal with these scenarios?
Ensure that you have coping strategies in place should you begin to feel overwhelmed. For example, breathing techniques, meditation or talking to a friend or family member. Your Clinician can help you prepare strategies that work for you.
The holiday season is never easy in recovery. If you do not currently have an appointment or are not wanting to engage until the new year, reach out to us. Our team can provide some helpful resources and point you in the right direction for support over the break, to help you navigate this time of the year.
If you would like support contact us on 43623443 or visit the contact page.
Note we are closed from 22/12/22 through until 5/1/23.