Going Home for the Holidays

Holidays and Eating Disorders

By Jessica Carter

The holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends, which can often be challenging for those struggling with an eating disorder. Going home for the holidays may feel overwhelming, bringing increased stress, anxiety, and sometimes fear. It is far too common for someone struggling with an eating disorder to feel triggered around the holiday season, especially when being surrounded by food, diet, and body image discussions.  

According to Mirror-Mirror, let’s discuss a few planning tips to make the holiday season more enjoyable when traveling home for the holidays. 

  • Consistently meet with your care team of experts and openly discuss your reservations about gathering this holiday season. From there, you can collaboratively generate healthy strategies for uncomfortable encounters.  
  • Commit to your meal plan and anticipate potential situations that might make that difficult, such as traveling, time change, conversations, etc. Plan ahead of how you can continue to maintain accountability in your recovery. 
  • If you are around people who make you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, plan ways to excuse yourself from their presence. Plan ahead with responses in case someone does make you feel uncomfortable. 
  • Set boundaries ahead of time by telling friends and families you do not wish to discuss your weight or eating disorder. Remember, your health and well-being are the most important. 
  • Refrain from counting calories and stepping on the scale. 
  • If you feel panic or anxiety because you have allowed yourself to eat perceived forbidden foods, remind yourself that it is perfectly acceptable, and it is normal to eat more during the holidays. 
  • If you engage in disordered eating behaviors, take a pause, engage in self-care, and forgive yourself. This is part of the recovery process. 
  • Take time for self-care. Remember, self-care is not selfish and is highly recommended during the holiday season. 

The holiday season can be overwhelming, but planning ahead with your care team and support system can make it easier for you. 

Hope, Healing, and Recovery

Toledo Center is the place that can help you or your loved one find hope and healing from eating disorders. Our team of experts provides evidence-based treatment for adolescents and adults of all genders suffering from eating disorders and co-occurring disorders. At Toledo Center, we believe that caring, compassionate, and comprehensive care in a homelike setting helps empower sustainable recovery. Our team can help guide you and your loved ones through the recovery process by offering the necessary evidence-based skills to encourage overall healing and transformation.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, we are here and ready to help. Contact our Admission team 24/7 by calling us or completing our online contact form