Coping with the Holiday Season

Christmas is less than a week away.  Yes, less than a week!  I can hardly believe it either.  That means, for many of us, a lot of stress and anxiety.  Christmas means our providers are on holiday, our schedules/routines are changed, family will be present, and there will be food and a lot of it.  It is hard.

Here are a few of my favorite coping skills for this time of year:

1. Plan ahead.  Discuss your worries in advance with your therapist.  Come up with a game plan for the things that you know will be an issue for you and work through some of the other anxiety that you may have.

2. Find your own space. By this I mean find space for yourself to go when/if you need a moment to yourself.  It is okay to need a break and to take a break, so make sure that you have a space already planned out so when you need it, you already know where to go and do not have that additional stress of figuring it out or feeling trapped.  My favorite spaces include my room (when I am at home), a bedroom in the house I am at, the car we drove in, and going outside (if possible).

3. Have an ally.  If possible, have a person whom you trust present that you can confide in when you are anxious or need someone to talk to.  If you do not have a person present, have a friend you can text or call.  Having a supportive person there can mean so much.

4. Avoid known triggers.  Everyone has different triggers.  If you know certain things will trigger your eating disorder, avoid it.  For me, that means avoiding alcohol (for the most part), getting tons of sleep, taking enough time for myself, and taking very good self-care.

Make a holiday plan for yourself.  What works best for you?  What do you need to do to prepare for the holiday?  What do you need to do to have a good holiday season?