Christmas With an Eating Disorder: Have Some Me-Time
This is the fourth of a five-part series in dealing with an eating disorder over the Christmas period. Throughout this post, we refer to an eating disorder as ED. In the fourth part of the series, we talk about getting through Christmas when dealing with ED with a little me-time.
At points, I find Christmas overwhelming.
The relatives. The friends. The parties. The streams of people at Churchill Square. The baubles. The food... the food... the food...
Christmas is marketed as this wonderful celebration to eat, drink and be merry. A time of love and connection.
But sometimes it feels like too much food. And way too much connection.
This is where a little me-time comes in.
This is a time to hang up a massive STOP sign on life. A time to take a step back and a deep breath.
Plan this time in advance. Think about when it will be and how you will spend this time. As I’ve said again and again, planning is your best-yuletide-friend.
This could be at the same time every day. I tend to need it most in the afternoons to allow the clutter of the morning to settle. Are there times when you are more likely to be stressed and turn to food? Reflect and plan around it.
Or it could be as and when you need it. Times when your anxiety is waiting to pop and you need some time to deflate. Develop a signal with your buddy so they can cover for you.
How you will spend this time is purely individual and can include a variety of things.
I used to pretend I needed a nap when all I really did was hide under the duvet for a while.
You could listen to some calming music, have a bath, read a comforting book, watch an episode on Netflix. I do the washing up (sounds dull, but I find it really grounding). You could even find some plates to smash against the wall if that’s what needs to be expressed.
Don’t be frustrated if your self-care doesn’t ‘solve’ your anxiety. That’s not the point. The point is to give yourself a break. Anxiety doesn’t go away overnight, so all we can do is love ourselves as best we can in the meantime.
Whatever you do and whenever you do it, do it. Don’t let people shame you into giving up your privacy. Don’t feel you have to be queen social bee because “it’s Christmas.”
This is not a selfish act.
Because real peace and tranquillity begins with you.
The calmer you are, the calmer you come into potentially stressful situations, the calmer everyone will be.
Find your STOP sign. Put tinsel on it. After all... “it’s Christmas.”
Written by Victoria Hodder.