If you’re anything like me, picking an outfit for an important event can sometimes be stressful and can lead to an increase in body focus.
This doesn’t really happen to me so much anymore, but in early recovery, I knew that holidays meant an outfit freak out. I think this is really normal.
I learned pretty quickly, however, that one of the best ways to get through the holidays without an outfit freak out was to wear something COMFY as well as something cute. For me, if an outfit is comfy, I’m set. I refuse to wear an outfit that is cute but miserably uncomfortable. No thanks.
So anyways. I know most of you are probably thinking “but nothing looks cute one me!” but HELLO friends, that’s your ED sneaking in and ruining your life. Do you have a favorite shirt? Sweater? Pair of pants? I always try to incorporate something I KNOW looks good, even if I’m feeling really self-critical.
Because here’s the thing: yes, we all get super self-critical in those hot and sweaty “why-does-everything-look-terrible-one-me” moments. But, I would assume that MOST of us have at least an item or two that we know normally looks okay and is a pretty safe bet.
The key here is remembering that these emotions are temporary. You liked this sweater a few days ago, in fact, you wore it three days ago and felt fine. So is the problem really the sweater? My guess is that the actual problem is anxiety.
Let’s face it: the holidays are, realistically, the most
wonderful stressful time of the year. We have to see family we haven’t seen, we have to get/give gifts, eat in front of people, be social, etc. It’s freaking hard and can be awkward and scary and downright annoying.
As always, here are some ways I’ve gotten through rough holiday experiences:
- Wearing comfy clothes: this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looking good. But we all know the day will be easier if we aren’t wearing a shirt that is way too tight in our armpits (that feeling is literally the worst…)
- Have a recovery buddy: find someone who can be encouraging to you throughout the day. Maybe it’s a friend from treatment, from school, from work, or a family member. Doesn’t really matter who, just someone who can validate that it’s a tough time, but you’re doing great!
- Take a break: I am one to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes if I really need to. I’ll take this time to reach out to a friend, just breathe, or just take a freaking second away from people. Parties are stressful, me-time isn’t.
- Follow your meal plan: I’m at the point in my recovery where I don’t have a formal meal plan, but my informal meal plan looks like this: 3 meals, snacks when needed/wanted. If you’ve got a plan, stick with it.
- If people make a comment/ask a question about your ED/your recovery: DON’T FEEL BAD SAYING YOU DON’T WALK TO TALK ABOUT IT. Or just walk away, whichever is easier.
- If that doesn’t work: have a backup phrase. Mine normally looks something like this: “Thanks for asking how I’m doing in recovery, but I’d rather not talk about it.” OR: “Ehhhhh, I’d rather not talk about it.”
I’m sure there are a million other tips I could come up with, and if you have any questions about specific issues/things that come up, totally feel free to reach out.
My main point through all of this is: the holidays are stressful, and so is recovery, but you can take certain steps to set yourself up for success. I know, I sound like a mom, but it’s true.
If you don’t have a great holiday season, be kind to yourself. This time of year is hard enough for people without EDs. All you can do is try your best, be kind to yourself, and try to have a good time.
Good luck everyone!