Christmas is a time where food feels like the sole focus of the day. If you are a suffering from an eating disorder, the festive season can fill you with dread and fear.
It is also a time of year when many family and friends may visit, and if you have recently lost weight, you might be concerned that they will notice and ask difficult questions.
There are ways in which you can develop coping strategies to deal with some of these anxieties. Our eating disorder specialists have shared 5 with you today.
Top 5 coping strategies for the festive season.
1. Plan your menu
Talk over your meal plan with someone. Ideally a professional if you are currently under somebody’s care. If you are spending time with family and friends share this plan with someone you trust so they can help you, and others, stick to it. If there is a buffet, and you don’t feel confident to put food on your own plate- ask for help, and get someone else to do it for you.
2. Avoid the kitchen
You may think you’re being helpful but being in the kitchen will encourage you to interfere and possibly tamper with the food, which will only lead to arguments and tension. Make sure that boundaries are clearly set out and agreed before the day.
3. Keep cool
Due to the nature of Christmas, meal times are often out of sink and things do not run as smoothly as you may like or expect. Make sure you understand the running order of the day so you can discuss your anxieties before-hand. If things change, try to stay cool, and remember that this is normal in any family home at Christmas time.
4. Prepare for awkward comments
Some well-meaning relatives or friends may comment on your weight, particularly if they haven’t seen you for a while. Think about how you may respond. You could also ask a family member or someone you trust to give them a heads up that you have been unwell recently, and this may stop the asking of awkward questions, or making awkward comments.
5. Stay busy
Keeping your mind occupied and busy will help you get through the day. Call your friends to wish them a happy Christmas, play around on facebook, organise and play board games. Try to enjoy your time with your family and friends. The focus of the festive season doesn’t have to be food, it can be your family, friends and loved ones instead.
Care UK services
Care UK specialise in eating disorder treatment for children and teenagers. We also offer services to women with severe and enduring disorders. If you would like more information about our eating disorder treatment and care please email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01453 767 093. We’d be happy to discuss your options with you.
For more information on Care UK’s effective eating disorder treatment, please either visit our website on www.careukeatingdisorders.com, email us at email@example.com or call us on 01453 767 093. We want you to live your life, not the disorder.