The stress and anxiety around this time of year is tangible. For many reasons people are anxious, hurried and feel under pressure. It is a shame that the meaning of the holiday is lost in the maelstrom of shopping, feeding, entertaining and generally trying to please everyone. This is even more exaggerated if you are suffering from poor body image and low self-esteem and consumed with the preoccupation of food and weight issues.

Struggling with destructive eating behaviours is hard work and can be exhausting both emotionally and psychologically. The strain of controlling food portions, counting calories, working out nutrients, purging with vomiting, laxative abuse, excessive exercise becomes relentless and the individual exists in their world but must live in the outside world. It can create an inner turmoil that is difficult to move away from. It almost becomes the norm and amongst the festivities it can feel even harder to hide and even harder to wear the mask of wellness.

There is no magic wand to make everything happy and jolly, even though it may be like that with all the decorations and lights.


Consider treating yourself with compassion and remember your recovery does not have to be perfect. An imperfect recovery is progress. Accept that anxiety will be a huge part of your journey especially at this time of year and take time out to breathe, meditate and spend time in your own space. Stay in contact with your peers, particularly if they are in recovery themselves. Have a support network that you can turn to. Be gentle with yourself and follow your food plan the best you can. Remember to celebrate your successes and learn from all your experiences through your recovery journey.

Give yourself the gift of gratitude – which is truly the message of the holidays. Take it easy and be at peace.

Rochelle Craig

Dec 2019

About Rochelle

I am an accredited Drug and Alcohol Counsellor by the Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals (FDAP). I specialize in overeating/food addiction/eating disorders/obesity but have much experience of working with all addictions. Please see my website
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