It’s That Time Of Year…
Everyone is joyful and laughing, yet you’re so anxious it feels you could crawl out of your skin. Others are planning trips and visiting family, yet you can barely get yourself out of bed to face the mirror. People send holiday greetings with picture-perfect lives captured with a smile, yet you have not smiled since you don’t know when. You need some survival tips, but don’t know where to start.
The Holidays Are Hard
There is something about a holiday that can either escalate the highs or accelerate the lows…
If you’re recovering from an eating disorder, the struggle during the holidays is real. All the change in routine, forced family fun, and feelings of lack make using a behavior seem like the best option… but I want to encourage you to use these survival tips to take a stand and to take care of yourself today.
Here Are Some Go-To Survival Tips For The Holiday
? Take A Time Out
There is no shame in walking away from a situation that is causing you stress or anxiety. You do not owe anyone an explanation- just get up and walk away.
? Get Fresh Air
There is scientific evidence that a change in temperature or scenery can alter your mood. Simply get up, walk outside or even to a different room, and take a deep breath.
?♀️ Take Time to Breathe
Breathing can help calm nerves and clear your mind. Take the time to take deep breaths and let them out slowly. You will be amazed at the clarity oxygen to your lungs can bring!
✔ Fact Check
When your eating disorder mind begins to run wild, slow it down by fact checking. Take the fear that ED has brought to your attention and simply ask yourself- is this my wise mind or my ED brain? Even double check with a trusted support person.
? Stick With The Plan
If being around food and/or people outside your normal routine is triggering for you- make a plan for the day. When you are going to a place where food will be an issue, eat before you go. Maybe you are going to see someone who makes your ED scream louder. Then have an exit plan.
You’re allowed to put yourself and your recovery first.
? Text/Call A Friend
When you are in a situation where you feel panicked and want to use a behavior, reach out to a trusted friend. Sometimes it is hard to admit we need help, but when you reach out instead of holding onto your struggles in, the darkness can’t win.
? Snuggle Your Furry Friend
Nothing calms an anxious heart down like the soft purr of a cat or the sweet tail wag of a dog. Where people seem to fail us, animals step in and save the day. Allow yourself to give in to the love of a pet.
?♀️ Ground Yourself
There is just something about grounding that can make all the anxious energy melt away. Find a place/way that you can ground your thoughts and feelings so that your ED won’t have a chance to win. Going on a mindful walk, meditating with music, lying on the floor, or tapping away the stress are all good places to start!
? Write It Out
Journaling can be a life saver in times of panic and pain. If you cannot talk out your feelings, write them down. You never know where the pen and paper will take you!
It is just one day out of the year.
Tomorrow you can go back to your normal routine and life, no problem.
Give yourself grace; you are meeting parts of yourself and your past that you use to be at war with, and the exposure can bring up a plethora of emotions. Be kind to YOU.
And we at Recovery Warriors wish you a Happy Holiday.