How to deal with christmas food anxiety. Christmas is a merry and joyful time of the year. However, for those who don’t have a good relationship with food it can be a stressful and a horrible experience. I suffered with an eating disorder for 6 years and my anxiety towards food heightened around the festive season. Even though I am in a well-recovered, healthy mental state of mind now, Christmas can set off a few alarm bells.
That’s why I have put together my personal helpful tips on how to deal with christmas food anxiety. I am sharing my experience with you in hopes to inspire yourself or someone you may know who has an unhealthy relationship with food.
Don’t starve yourself
Something that I used to do on Christmas day was to save my calories for the evening. I was going to the extreme by having little to nothing throughout the day until my main christmas dinner. This never worked because after dinner I would end up binging in sugary treats. Even building up to Christmas day I would do this, thinking that it would equal to weight loss. It doesn’t.
Please enjoy your food as you would any of other day. Try to keep your breakfast in proportion to how you normally would. Load your dinner plate with vegetables and tuck into the treats that make your soul feel good. That way you aren’t restricting yourself and you will be reluctant to binge.
Teach yourself a new lesson
It’s time to teach yourself a new lesson. When you have an eating disorder or anxiety towards food you are constantly teaching yourself to suffer. You teach yourself to suffer when eating food, overindulging, putting on ‘weight’ and not having any control. Now it’s time to tear off that lesson, throw it in the trash because that is NOT needed in your life at all.
Instead, teach yourself to be grateful. Be grateful for the nutritious food that is on your plate. Be grateful for your health. Be grateful that you can fuel your body with delicious food. Look around and be grateful for your loved ones who are with you.
Be in the moment
You eat to live. If you’ve been feeling wrapped around the goal of eating “for” anything but living, for example guilt, then take a step back and be in the moment. It’s true that food brings people together. When you are eating your meals take away your phone or any other distractions that are going to interfere with you creating memories with your loved ones. When you are in discussion with others, interacting, laughing, making jokes, you are going to feel so special. This happiness will calm your food anxiety down.
Speak to someone
If you have somebody to talk to about the way you feel towards food then please keep them in the loop with your emotions. I cannot express how important it is to be able to speak to someone. You are not alone. Someone is always going to be there to listen to you. It’s like checking in with your diary. Doesn’t matter how silly it may seem, the best thing you can do to reduce food anxiety is letting somebody know exactly what’s going on inside your head.
If you don’t feel like you have anybody to talk Beat Eating Disorders have an amazing helpline that is available to you. Please feel free to drop me an email as well if would like some friendly support however I am not qualified to give any professional advice.
Journal, journal, journal
Writing my thoughts on paper is therapeutic to me. It helps me calm down, evaluates my feelings and resets my mind to think more positively. I highly recommend grabbing a notepad this Christmas and start jotting down your thoughts and feelings. Start by writing down what makes you anxious towards food. What are the triggers of this. And ways to ease the anxiety to make the situation more joyful for you.
Exercise to clear your mind
I was a bit apprehensive whether I should include this tip or not. However, this is my personal list and exercising definitely helped me during Christmas. I’ll admit a few years ago I would over exercise before and after eating my Christmas meal. This is not healthy. However, going for a brisk walk can help clear your head with any negative thoughts that you may be feeling. I always like to get myself out early boxing morning for a run. You’ll be surprised with how many other nutters do the same.