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Managing recovery during the holidays


In recovery, or struggling with an eating disorder, anxiety, or depression this holiday season? Here are a few tips to consider to help get you through those family gatherings.

1. Identify beforehand how you will know you need a break or to do some self-care (one of the following coping strategies); maybe you start to feel anxiety or overwhelm in your body, or you start mindlessly snacking, or notice an urge to binge. 2. Have an activity idea for when you notice #1. Some ideas include: take a walk, play a board game, puzzle or outdoor activity, or volunteer at a local event. 3. Being able to connect with others is key to recovery. Identify a person you can trust and reach out to them when you feel #1 happening. Who can you connect with? Can you ask someone to be a support buddy? Prepare ideas to talk about beforehand. If it’s not somebody at the gathering, can you call or message them? 4. Practice mindfulness. Check in with your body throughout the day. Be aware of the signals your body is sending before you’re too overwhelmed. For eating disorder recovery, check in with your body before and after eating. Are you still hungry or are you satisfied for now, and can have more later on if you become hungry then? 5. If you’re worried about certain things family members might say to you, have a response prepared. 6. Focus on trying to enjoy the day instead of aiming for “perfect recovery”.

For more eating disorder specific tips check out resources offered by NEDA here: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/5-recovery-tips-happy-thanksgiving