We know that holidays are a tricky time of year for those in eating disorder recovery. Stress and anxiety may increase with the constant presence of food and the extended amount of time spent with family. To make the upcoming holiday a bit easier, we’ve constructed an easy-to-follow dos and don’ts list for this holiday season.
Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’
We are in the middle of the holiday season, which means that you’ve most likely endured some degree of familial stress. From the commotion of cooking large meals for the extended family to body and food-centric dinner table talk, it’s easy to see why the holidays might just be the most stressful time of the year. For those in eating disorder recovery and those who are support people, it’s essential to know what stress is and how it functions. With an understanding of the nature of stress, we can move forward compassionately and mitigate anxiety-inducing moments by utilizing positive communication skills.
One thing that makes eating disorders so difficult to live with and to treat is that they often do not exist in isolation. A very large number of people suffering from eating disorders may also suffer from another illness. For instance, it is extremely common for someone with an eating disorder to have significant anxiety—and there is likely a biological relationship between eating disorders and anxiety symptoms. Depression is also extremely common in relation to eating disorders. This may be related to biological traits that are similar; however, it may also be related to the change in brain chemistry that occurs with starvation, binging, purging, and/or other eating disorder behaviors. Or it may exist as a completely separate diagnosis.
I recently came across an article in The Mighty called, “37 Memes That Might Make You Laugh If You Live with ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety,” and let me tell you, I did laugh and immediately forwarded the articles to three of my friends that I knew would relate. While hilarious, the article also highlights the reality of anxiety and, specifically, that anxiety isn’t just everyday stress.
We live in a society that’s always on the go, and this constant activity can often lead to stress and anxiety. When anxiety creeps up, we may feel overwhelmed, stuck, or out of control. We may get distracted, hyperfocus or avoid responsibilities. While severe anxiety should be addressed with a therapist or medical doctor, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
By Nicole, a former Emily Program client
As I have grown up and entered the new chapter in my life that has begun my years as a young adult, I have had many obstacles thrown my way before reaching the age of 21. I am happy to say that I am living a happy, healthy, productive, and recovering life in my house up north with my mom and dad. However, it took many years of therapy, medication adjustments, and support from my loved ones to get to where I am today. Things weren’t always promising for me.