We know you want tips and tools to help you cope with life’s situations without using food or unhealthy eating behaviors to cope – because you tell us.
While many of our posts delve into your deeper story, we also want to support you with your daily challenges, especially through the holidays. So as our gift to you, we’re presenting a 10-week series of brief, practical concepts you can apply now and throughout the year.
After all, that’s what you’re looking for in recovery – long-term change. It’s not something you pull out of a box just for special days, but something to wrap yourself in all year round. These upcoming holidays are just another day – flow right through them and into the New Year by practicing self-care, mindfulness, and compassion.
The trigger: Being at someone else’s house for meals or other social gatherings
You may be worried about what food you can eat, what food you shouldn’t eat, and making those decisions in the moment. Will you be able to stick to your healthy eating?
You may also be worried about other people – will they encourage you to eat foods you don’t want to eat, or comment on what you’re eating? Will watching other people indulge in certain foods create uncomfortable feelings in you?
The tool: Gratitude
The big phrase to remember on these days is “thank you.” So that’s “no, thank you” if someone is pushing food on you. The firmer your voice and demeanor, the fewer times you will have to repeat your message. If you sound wishy-washy like, “I really shouldn’t,” you’re inviting people to keep trying.
“Thank you” can also be your inner mantra, as you focus on your gratitude for opportunities to grow in your recovery; for the nutrients that support your body and mind; for being with your loved ones; for being aware of your triggers so you can plan ahead to deal with them.
“Thank you” may also come from others, when you get out of yourself by giving to others – help the hosts, ask others about their lives and really listen when they talk, and do what you can to be a positive presence and add to the joy of the event.