5 Tips for Holiday Success

5 Tips for Holiday Success by Meagan Gunnip, MA, MHC, Clinician and Community Outreach Specialist

The holidays can be stressful enough as is—but when you pair the busy time of year with eating disorder recovery, it can be even more daunting.

Here at MEDA, we believe that everyone can make it through the holiday season with success, but we also understand that it can be difficult.

We’ve come up with five tips for holiday success to help support you through parties, gatherings, and celebrations alike.

  1. Be kind to yourself

It may sound simple, but offering yourself compassion in difficult moments can go a long way. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, find a helpful mantra or quote that can soothe your anxiety. Or, when it doubt, give yourself a bathroom mirror pep-talk about how much of a Rockstar you are. Beating yourself up or letting that inner critic voice get too loud won’t do you any good.

2. Reach out for support when needed.

Identify someone who can be a listening ear if you need to process a few things. Maybe it’s someone in your family, a trusted friend, or maybe it’s the “notes” app on your phone or a journal page until you’re able to process it aloud in therapy. Remember that you’re not alone in this!

3. Take care of yourself physically.

As stressful as the food part of the holiday can be, remember to stay adequately fueled throughout the various events you might be attending. While holiday food might be different from what you’re eating every day, it still offers nourishment and fuel to your body! Pack snacks if needed and make sure to listen to the advice of any team members. Get enough sleep and rest when needed.

4. Identify a few ways you can engage in self-care.

Maybe you need some alone time after a party. Maybe you want to take a nice hot bath at the end of a long day. Pick a few things in advance that you can do to relax, unwind, and handle any stressors/triggers that come up!

5. Set healthy boundaries.

Whether it’s walking away from a conversation with your family members about the latest diet trend or avoiding a gathering altogether, make informed decisions about what you do and don’t do over the holidays. Sometimes meeting up with triggering friends or family isn’t the best bet—especially if you’re already in a vulnerable place. Or if it’s unavoidable, have a good excuse to dip out of any conversation that feels uncomfortable. Try coming up with a list of topics you can bring up if the conversation veers off in a direction you don’t want to go! And don’t feel guilty!

MEDA is here to be a support, and we wish you all a wonderful holiday season! We are rooting for you!