Getting Through the Holidays with an Eating Disorder

The holidays can be stressful for anyone…but especially if you struggle with an eating disorder. Read below for some of my top tips for staying on course during this busy holiday season.

1. Stick to regular, consistent eating – continue to follow your meal plan. 

We know that regular, consistent meals and snacks is imperative for eating disorder recovery. It helps maintain blood sugar levels (which keeps our mood and energy levels more stable), helps us stay satisfied throughout the day, get enough nutrition, and helps us continue to fiight the ED. No skipping meals to “save up” for a holiday meal, it only backfires!

2. Continue foundational self-care.

What are your regular habits that make you feel good? Journaling? Taking hot baths? Going for walks? Be sure to continue your foundational self-care to help you feel your best. If it’s harder to remember these tidbits during busy season, maybe try scheduling them in your calendar as a non-negotiable.

3. Set boundaries.

Give yourself permission to say “no” when needed. Feeling overwhelmed at a family event? Take breaks if needed and give yourself a time-out from big social gatherings if that’s helpful. Communication is key – let your family and support system know how they can best support you.

4. Prepare and game plan for diet and weight talk.

Everyone always has that one Aunt who comments on food and weight…have a plan and some responses ready to use! Maybe you change the subject, maybe you keep it short and sweet, or maybe you plan to face it head on with a response such as, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t comment on my food choices. I’m working on my relationship to food and it doesn’t help. Let’s enjoy the holiday.” Do what works best for you to handle these situations.

5. Add in some fun activities!

Focus on the fun part of holiday season – fun activities, friends, time off from work or school, etc. 

  • Try ice skating

  • Go look at holiday light shows
  • Go to the park
  • Go on a hike 
  • Make hot cocoa with a loved on
  • Build a cozy fort and have a movie night in
  • Build a gingerbread house

6. Continue to lean on your support system. 

Maintain your regular therapist and RD appointments, and lean extra on your support people during this time. Remember, it’s OKAY to ask for help if you’re struggling!

7. Be aware of negative thinking.

Negative self-talk can ramp up during this time. Be aware of these thoughts and have a plan to navigate them – whether it’s to write them down and restructure them, accept them without judgement, or by using affirmations. Also pay attention to triggers and aim to minimize them. For instance, social media can always ramp up the negative self-talk, so maybe set limits and use alternate activities when you find yourself scrolling.

8. Plan ahead

Especially with traveling, it can be hard when we’e off our typical routine. Especially when it comes to following your meal plan, make sure you plan ahead to ensure you have adequate meals and snacks planned. Planning ahead ensures you’re more likely to roll with the punches.


Needing support this holiday season? Sign up for my Online Intuitive Eating Course!

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