From Triggers to Tools in 10 Weeks #3 – Needing Things to Be Perfect

perfect holiday lights

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We’re continuing our look at some common holiday triggers. Click here for previous posts or subscribe to receive them by email.

The trigger: Needing things to be perfect

With all the movies, TV commercials, advertisements, memories, and stories, it’s easy to build up an unrealistic idea of what the holidays should look like. You can quickly get stuck in the mindset that there are only two options – perfect or bad.

You may already struggle with perfectionism with what you’re eating, but the holidays bring even more challenges. There’s the food you’re preparing to serve to others, decorating your house just so, or organizing your travel plans to the finest detail. And of course buying the perfect gifts.

The pressure to live up to these ideals can trigger unhealthy eating behaviors like eating excess food, restricting food, over-exercising, or weight obsession.

The tool: Let go!

Relief comes from accepting that things are just a little off kilter, maybe not as you planned or exactly how you wanted, but still okay.

The thing about control is that it ends up controlling you. If you’ve struggled with food you’ve seen this firsthand. Instead of trying to control your eating, and everything and everybody else around you, recovery is about meeting a person or situation where it’s at and leaning into that. It’s what you do in relationships (where no one can ever be perfect), and what you need to do in your relationship with food.

When you come from a place of compassion for yourself and others, you can calmly watch situations unfold without needing to give up and start again. You can pick right up with the next meal, or the next conversation; you don’t have to miss a beat.

It’s this kind of consistency that really fuels recovery and strengthens the recovery muscle, while disruption and inconsistency can weaken recovery and set you back. So just keep moving forward. If there’s a bump on the road, don’t turn it into a big end and restart.

It’s easier to stay in recovery than to get into recovery.

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