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Coronavirus Mental Health

Keeping Your Eating Disorder Recovery on Track at Christmas

Christmas can be a challenging time in your eating disorder recovery. There is a lot of pressure to socialise, eat in front of others, and a large focus on meals and snacks in almost every home. It is not something to fear though, and you have already come this far in your recovery journey. 

This year, coronavirus restrictions on socialising and meeting in the home may mean you have additional worries about the festive season. Whatever you are feeling, we are here to help. 

Dealing with the focus on food

During this time of year, it can feel impossible to escape food. If you feel like you are struggling try some of these tips to avoid triggering situations: 

  • Send family or friends to do the christmas food shopping for you, and order your presents online
  • Avoid excessive exposure to food adverts by using an adblocker when you’re online.
  • Tables full of food can be very overwhelming, so you could suggest that meals are dished up in the kitchen. 
  • Talk to your family or whoever you are celebrating with about the anxieties you have, and come up with a plan together for the days over the christmas period. 
  • Being expected to sit at the dinner table for hours, as some meals can last that long during this period, can also be overwhelming. Consider seeing if you can set a period of time for the meal to last. 

Dealing with not celebrating how you want to 

The coronavirus has had an undeniable impact on all of us this year, and the festive period is no exception to that. We are all having to adapt how we would usually celebrate in order to follow government guidelines on managing our safety and the celebrations. 

We understand that not being able to celebrate as you would want to in your recovery, and potentially not seeing people you care about could make recovery more difficult during the festive season. We do advise that you should continue to follow government guidelines, and tweak how you celebrate. There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself on track, however. 

  • If you won’t be able to see someone who has been central to your recovery, make sure you book in some time for a video call, where you can catch up, laugh, and talk about your anxieties.
  • If you are in counselling, then continue to book socially distanced or online sessions as far as you can. 
  • Think about what parts of your festive routine are critical for your mental wellbeing and growth, and which parts can be changed or lost this year, and come up with a plan. 

Dealing with loss of control

With more food on the table and routines out of place, there is a sense of loss of control over christmas. This is nothing to worry about – and is something that all of us deal with around this time of year. 

For tips on how to deal with loss of control, read this. 

We have lots of other resources on eating disorders, from how to tell someone, to common myths busted and more. Check out these articles for more information. 
Life after an eating disorder – with Nelly London
Six Things You Can Do If You Are Worried You Have an Eating Disorder
Busted: Seven Eating Disorder Myths that are Not True
How to Tell Someone You Love About Your Eating Disorder

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