The holidays are not so merry for someone suffering from an eating disorder or any form of disordered eating, for that matter. The same things that bring many of us such joy around the holidays – Christmas feasts, cookie exchanges, and candy-stuffed stockings – can be incredibly stressful and even terrifying for someone who is struggling. And given the pervasiveness of eating disorders in this country, chances are you have a loved one who falls into this category. So many of us are at a loss when it comes to knowing how to “handle” a loved one with an eating disorder, especially during the holiday season. This feeling of helplessness can cause everyone additional stress, which tends to exacerbate the situation. Well, you can breathe a sigh of relief. These 3 simple tips will help you support your loved one like a pro this holiday season:
By Jessica Betts, MS, RD, LD
REbeL Program Director
I love the holidays. Hot cocoa, snow, seeing extended family, listening to Christmas music on the radio, and driving around my neighborhood looking at Christmas lights – these are just a few of the things that bring me joy during this time of year. However, as is the case for many, I have had to learn how to navigate my expectations. I have had to make changes so I can enjoy the holidays because this can be “the most wonderful time of the year” or the most stressful time of the year.
Here are a few things I have learned:
May your holiday be calm, simplified, peaceful, and filled with things that are most important to you and your family.
Kori Hintz-Bohn, MA, LCPC, CEDS
Senior Program & Clinical Consultant
McCallum Place Eating Disorder Treatment Center, Kansas City