Food and family are two hallmarks of the holiday season. Sharing big meals is often a staple of family get-togethers and holiday celebrations. For people struggling who suffer from disordered eating, the holidays may be times of intense stress. Anyone recovering from this condition is likely to face multiple disordered eating triggers during the holidays. One of the most common is likely just how pervasive food is. Managing disordered eating and the holidays does not have to be a roadblock to keeping your recovery in check. However, doing so requires careful planning and an intentional approach. Find women’s disordered eating support for the holidays when you call The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® at 855.773.0614.
Disordered Eating and the Holidays
Dealing with disordered eating is difficult at the best of times. For people in that situation, the holidays may not feel like the best of times. Instead, they may resemble a culinary minefield that threatens to put them back multiple steps. For starters, disordered eating triggers are everywhere in relation to holiday parties, meals, and gatherings. Some of the most common disordered eating triggers include:
- The volume of food present
- Conversations about dieting or New Year’s resolutions related to physical appearance
- Relatives who comment about your appearance
- Encouragements to eat more or take second helpings
Successfully navigating these triggers as they rear their heads starts with a recognition that you do not need to feel guilty about what you eat. Getting adequate nourishment is important. You only set yourself up for failure if you eat very little during the day in anticipation of a big dinner. Alternatively, compensating for partaking in a sweet treat or special food is unnecessary and only reinforces an unhealthy relationship to food.
Dealing with Disordered Eating Triggers
Another strategy for dealing with disordered eating triggers is to plan ahead with an exit in mind. That could be a physical exit from a scenario that becomes too challenging or overwhelming, though it also applies to healthy boundaries in conversations and interactions. For instance, don’t be afraid to shut down a conversation where someone comments about your weight. You should also feel empowered to take a break from a high-stress situation, even if that means leaving the room or removing yourself from a dangerous trigger.
The last way to tackle disordered eating triggers is to be okay with saying no. If you know too many holiday commitments or social events will only build stress, take some off your calendar to make it easier on yourself. Take time to care for yourself, relax in ways that you find healing, and prioritize time spent with loved ones who support you and fill you up.
Find Treatment at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
The type of disordered eating treatment you receive will depend on the condition in question and what your individual needs are. Typically, it involves therapy, medication, and education. Perhaps the most important component of disordered eating treatment is therapy. The goal of methods like cognitive-behavioral therapy include:
- Creating healthy eating patterns
- Achieving a healthy weight
- Monitoring eating habits and mood
- Developing coping strategies
Disordered eating treatment also equips patients with education to help them understand their disordered eating and how they can sustain healthier habits. Medications are another option that can be used in combination with therapy. Medications cannot cure disordered eating. However, medications like antidepressants can aid in addressing disorders like bulimia and binge eating as a complement to therapy. At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, we are here to help you manage your disordered eating. Contact 855.773.0614 to better understand the range of disordered eating treatment options and how they might benefit you or a loved one.