Holiday Tips: Part 1

By Dr. Renae Norton 

The holidays are upon us and they are not easy for anyone. Even people who love the holidays can admit to moments of exhaustion and stress. For many of my patients that are in treatment for obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, or binge eating disorder holiday gatherings are typically anxiety inducing. This is because for most of my patients, the holidays are highly food centered. To help combat this I’ve created a list of useful tips on reducing holiday stress and each week I will be sharing a few of these tips. Here are four tips to get November started off right.

  • Plan ahead when it comes to the food. If you know that there will be no food there that you can eat without getting triggered or sick, then take some of your own food. The safest thing to eat is turkey, especially the breast meat. Take a side dish to go with the turkey that you can share and you are all set. You can also take your favorite snack for before dinner. Popcorn that has coconut oil and sea salt on it is awesome and way better than the chips or pretzels dipped in who knows what. Take your own drink and if you are inspired, your own desert. Bring something that you love and that reminds you of a time that you enjoyed. As far as people being offended that you brought something else, I would be more prepared for them to be offended if you don’t share.
  • Discuss any specific concerns with your treatment specialist. Try to role play situations that you suspect may arise (such as comments about your weight, about your food choices etc.). Be as prepared as you can be to avoid counter-productive coping behaviors.
  • Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for a stressful holiday season by over-scheduling yourself. You need to be your own #1. Make sure you leave some time to focus on yourself, allow yourself to get an adequate amount of sleep, engage in activities that make you feel good (exercise, relax or meditate).
  • Emergency Plan. Have a plan in case you find yourself in a stressful situation. Get some fresh air, go to another room and practice some relaxation or deep breathing exercises, arrange for a close friend to be “on-call” in case you need someone to talk to.

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Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available