Holiday Stress?

We have some awesome advice from one of our partnering treatment facilities, Timberline Knolls. Take a look at what they have to say…….

Reducing Stress in the Holiday Season 

The holidays are just around the corner. Thanksgiving is only days away, and in the blink of an eye, it will be Christmas Eve, followed in short order by New Year’s.

What the holiday season is intended to be, and what it actually turns out to be, is often quite different. The season is typically defined by words such as peace, happiness, joy, warmth, and blessing. For an individual who had an eating disorder in the past, or struggles with one now, this time of year can be anything but joyful.

There are myriad reasons as to why this is so, not least of all the fact that food is such an extreme focal point of most holiday-related activities. Thanksgiving is nearly synonymous with food—an enormous turkey is traditionally flanked by an assortment of side dishes and pies. Christmas parties and events are rife with cookies and candy. Coping with this constant onslaught of food can prove extremely challenging.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the season is stress. This results from doing too much, whether it’s spending, shopping or simply expecting too much. Stress can lead to exhaustion and fatigue, which negatively impacts health. It can prove very triggering to those living with an eating disorder.

The following are a few tips for decreasing stress and increasing enjoyment of the season:

Take Care of Yourself

Do not use holiday busyness as a convenient way to relax onhealthy diflucan your commitment to healthy exercise, good nutrition and adequate sleep. Avoiding any one of these will disrupt balance.

Lower Expectations

Try to remember that Hallmark cards are created with magic in mind; they are rarely reflective of real life. Try to be realistic regarding expectations about friends and family members, celebrations or gifts. If you have an idealized version of how things will transpire and how people will behave, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Additionally, adjust the expectations you place on yourself.

Focus on the Reason For The Season

Cultivate and practice gratitude. Be intentionally thankful for all the good in your life. Look for the good, then tell someone about it.


Try to make peace in advance with the concept of holiday-related food. If support is needed, attend holiday celebrations with a friend who can be there for you.

Avoid Perfection

So often, those with disordered eating also strive to be perfect in any number of areas. The problem is, there is no such thing as perfect—it doesn’t exist. Therefore, if the Christmas tree doesn’t resemble a magazine photo, that is absolutely fine. Take the burden of perfection off of your shoulders. While you’re at it, eliminate guilt from your emotional playlist. If you can’t be all things to all people, if you can’t attend every holiday party, do not feel guilty about it. Guilt is counterproductive—serving no purpose.

Remember, the holidays are a season, not a lifetime. They come, they go. Do the best you can to make them a positive, stress-free experience!