How to support loved ones with eating disorders during the holiday season
November 24, 2021
The holiday season can be tough for the ones we love who suffer from eating disorders. When a loved one has an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating and is in treatment, it is important that you show support.
You can show personal support by:
- Showing and stating your love.
- Avoiding the temptation to control the person.
- Trusting that your loved one has developed his or her own high values, ideals, and standards.
- Offering support during times of discouragement.
When celebrating the holiday, it’s important to be mindful about language around food. Whether the person you’re talking with or around has an eating disorder or not, you never know what struggle some people might be experiencing. If a conversation centered around weight and eating habits begin, don’t be afraid to speak up or try and redirect the conversation.
Instead of: “Uh-oh, I’m going to blow my diet today!”
Try: “This food looks delicious!”
Instead of: “Are you sure you need seconds?”
Try: “Isn’t it wonderful to be together today?”
It’s important to create a safe space that is free from worry for your loved one. Check in with them throughout the day, but don’t overcrowd their space with worry.
Just one small action can mean the most to your loved ones and make them feel supported this holiday season. Be mindful, speak up where necessary and remember to enjoy the time you have with your family.