As we celebrate the holiday season of 2021, it is easy to remember the holiday season of 2020, our first holiday during the pandemic. When COVID-19 became an issue—a deadly issue—for our country and our clients, we were all aware of how many things in our lives turned upside down or stopped completely. All our daily lives have changed more than we ever could have imagined. Many have lost loved ones or had their own health significantly impacted.
Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’
Talking about gratitude is generally something we associate with the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, but gratitude can be useful all year round. For someone with an active eating disorder or in recovery from an eating disorder, the already-hectic holiday season can be even more challenging. Because Thanksgiving is centered around food, you might feel like you have no control; this is normal. Practicing self-care, self-acceptance, and gratitude are all great tools for coping with the stress of the holidays. In this article, we will cover the benefits of a gratitude practice in recovery, how to create your own practice, and how to apply that practice to the holiday season.
Kezia Reeder is a former Emily Program client and staff member, as well as a continual advocate for eating disorder recovery. In this episode of Peace Meal, she joins host Dr. Jillian Lampert to describe her holidays with an eating disorder. Kezia’s insight is valuable not just for those currently struggling, but also for parents and others supporting loved ones who are.
For those who celebrate, the holidays can be a hard time for individuals with eating disorders. Not only do Western holidays often center on food, but they also often bring stressors related to seeing people for the first time in a while. This year, as collective anxiety surrounding COVID-19, vaccinations, and variants lingers, the holidays may be especially challenging. Reflecting on holidays past with an eating disorder, our guest Kezia says she struggled at first without any outside support. She hid her disorder from family and friends, suffering in silence amid food- and body-related conversations and a lack of routine around meals. During her recovery, Kezia explains that she used trial and error to navigate the holidays successfully. The more present she was in treatment, she says, the more present she could be outside of it. With the help of her treatment team, she learned how to enlist family support—a key element to her recovery—develop a meal plan, and approach holiday food as just food.
For people with eating disorders, the holidays—the eating, the socializing, the changes in routine—are often an annual stressor. Intensifying the challenges again this year are the still-high levels of anxiety, discomfort, and fatigue hovering over this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether your family’s 2021 holiday plans are virtual, in person, or some combination of both, supporting your teenager with an eating disorder can be a meaningful part of them. Consider these suggestions to help your teenager navigate the holidays ahead in recovery.
Navigating holiday conversations can be challenging in even the best of years. In a year of a pandemic that has dominated our lives and interactions with others, it may feel even more so.
What is there to talk about with family, friends, and acquaintances this year? How can we meaningfully engage in yet another video call, or make new conversation among our small, in-house pods?
When the goal is connection—and it often is, especially for those struggling with the isolation of an eating disorder—the topics of conversation ought to be thoughtful and appropriate.
Global pandemic be darned, the holiday season has arrived! With the festive spirit and cheer of the holidays often come stress and anxiety, especially for those in eating disorder recovery.
We hope that this season brings you connection with friends and family (even if you won’t physically be in the same place!) or time for reflection on growth or goal setting for the coming months or years. May these few recovery ideas help you successfully navigate this year’s holidays in recovery.