How to cope with an ED at Christmas

Hey all! Hope everyone is doing okay. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged as last week was crazy busy. I had my graduation which was amazing and had some other exciting things happening too so I decided to miss blog day last week.

Anyway, I hope this week is being kind to you and I hope you’re feeling good. If I’m going to be honest, things with me recently have been really good. I feel in a good place right now, stable and happy and I am grateful for that every single day.

Enough about me…let’s get on with today’s blog.

This blog is a really important one for me and I hope someone struggling can take something from it today.❤️

First of all, as most of you will know by now, the term ED stands for an “eating disorder”. Having an ED is hard every single day but as I understand, it is especially tough at Christmas time. Imagine your worst fear being unhealthy food, gaining weight and eating around others….basically Christmas is our worst nightmare. Lots of fear foods, lots of gatherings surrounding food and the immense pressure to “enjoy” ourselves whilst we slowly struggle under all the anxieties. It’s a tough one. But I’m here to let you know that you will be okay…and here’s how.🙌🏻

1). Try to remember the reasons you are celebrating- Christmas is about a lot more than food and it’s important that you remind yourself that. Christmas is a religious holiday, it’s about doing good, spreading kindness, making memories and spending time with loved ones. There’s a lot of special things about Christmas, and food is not the most important one. Try to remember to reason you are celebrating, it reminds us that there is a lot more important things in life than how we look and what we eat.

2). Be mindful and present in the moment– When our minds are consumed by food, it’s all we think about, especially when there’s a room full of it. It’s a constant “Can I eat that, am I allowed?”, “What if I can’t control myself? I need to take this food away”, “Are people looking at me and thinking I’m fat?”. Take a step back and silence the noise. When you are chatting to someone, listen and process each word they say. When you are playing board games, concentrate on each move. When you are watching a Christmas movie, listen to each note of the background music. By becoming mindful and present in the moment, we distract ourselves from the anxieties in our mind. Remember, it’s time to enjoy yourself, so take back control.

3). Remind yourself of the child within- A lot of people mention this and I never knew it worked until I tried it myself. Over Christmas when you feel like speaking negatively to yourself and dismissing yourself of Christmas treats….try to imagine how your smaller/younger self would feel. Would the 8 year old you be worrying about their weight or thinking they are ugly? No..they would be so excited for Christmas and so happy that they are allowed to eat all the gingerbread in the world. Find that excited little you, and know that they wouldn’t want you to be sad at Christmas.

4). Let your family support you- The key to recovering from any disorder is to do it with people supporting you, because it’s much harder when you’re alone. Even if it’s just one person, let them know you might be struggling for the next couple of weeks and need a bit of extra support. When you are sat deliberating at the dining table, a little glance from that person can mean everything. That little “it’s okay, you’ve got this” look. You need that. Don’t suffer alone this Christmas.

5). Make plans– Make sure you have some exciting Christmassy plans this year. Don’t sit alone with your thoughts this Christmas. Go out with friends to Christmas markets, go out for a walk in the snow or go ice skating with your family. Keep those horrible thoughts at bay and keep that mind of yours busy with only GOOD things.

6). And finally remember that…This is not a relapse– Thinking we have gone back a few steps can make the cycle even worse. But just because recovery might feel a bit harder, it doesn’t mean you have gone downhill. Christmas is a hard time for people with an ED, whether they are recovered or not. There’s more triggers than ever so give yourself a break and remember that this isn’t a relapse, it just might be little tougher than usual. (Or you may not be affected by Christmas whatsoever. Everyone is different🥰).

Please also remember to buy yourself a little gift this Christmas. By doing a physical act of kindness, it reminds our brains that we need to be kind to ourselves mentally too. Trick your brain into loving yourself again, because you truly deserve it.

Okay guys…now let’s get excited for Christmas and make it the best one yet!!! You’ve got this💪🏻You are NOT ALONE.❤️

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