Hi all,

Here is the Holidays and Eating Disorders Caregivers Tweet Chat we held on December 23, 2019 with Monte Nido and Affiliates Clinical Director of The Woodlands in Texas, Bridget McCauley and Monte Nido’s media specialist, Cassie Sullivan.

12:10 pm Q1. How can families facing #eatingdisorders prepare for #HolidaysandED? What have you seen that helps? 

A1a. Bridget: Family Caregivers can try to not add pressure and expectations of #holidays. Keep doing what works. Don’t lose sight of track you’re on. And don’t throw out what is working. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A1b. Becky: family caregivers need to release expectations, amp up to EXTREME #selfcare, keep doing what is working, cope ahead with planning, discussion & support. 

12:20pm Q2. What are some tools family caregivers can employ to reduce additional pressure & holiday expectations? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A2a.Bridget: Family Caregivers of those w/ #eatingdisorders can reduce additional pressure & expectation of holiday via connection, joyful moments to find the balance we might not have on a random day. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A2b.Becky: Family Caregivers of those w/ #eatingdisorders can reduce additional pressure & expectation of holidays by holding the belief that joy & sorrow can co-exist. Grieving ahead & having gratitude for micro moments of joy. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

12:30 pm Q3. How can families supporting a loved one with an #eatingdisorder decide what traditions to keep & which to let go of this year? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A3a.Bridget:  Giving one’s self permission to do what is in alignment with  values helps with decision making. We can ask ourselves, what are we being true to? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A3b. Becky: Acknowledging how hard it is to let go of or put traditions on hold is a good place to begin deciding what #holiday traditions will happen this year. Asking, “What will best support my loved one’s recovery?” can help along w/tips Bridget shared. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

12:40 pm Q4. Family #Traditions are such a big part of any #holiday, what are more ways caregivers can create new traditions during a loved one’s eating disorder? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A4a.Bridget: Family caregivers can ask themselves & other family members, “What’s our attachment to the tradition? Are we just doing it because we always have?” This can help connect w/our purpose. It may be time to examine what they are doing. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A4b. Becky: Its overwhelming for exhausted family caregivers to take time & energy to consider new traditions. Try giving oneself permission to do it differently & have grace to try something simpler & easier that is more conducive to a loved one’s recovery.  #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

12:50 pm Q5. How can family #caregivers of someone with an #eatingdisorder cope w/sadness, fears, family pushback of changing #holidaytraditions this year? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A5a.Bridget: It helps to look at one’s beliefs; was it a rat race we were stuck in? Why are we doing what we are doing? What is in alignment with our values? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A5b.Becky: It’s vital for #familycaregivers of those w/ #eatingdisorders to practice #selfcare especially during #holidays. Getting support to cope with the; sadness, fears, grief & family pushback will help too. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

1:00 pm Q6.How can family #caregivers balance needs of loved one with an #eatingdisorder & expectations of family & not be consumed with guilt for feeling they are letting people down? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A6a.Bridget: Guilt can be reduced by being intentional about what we are choosing. ie-going to party because we know the person would be upset if we didn’t. Take extra emotion layer out. 

A6b. Becky: Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving in so many ways…sticking w/your values & what will best serve your loved one in #eatingdisorders recovery is priority #1. U can usher guilt out the door along w/relatives who R unable to be supportive. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

1:10 pm Q7. Food. This is the minefield that terrifies family caregivers. Holidays include special foods no matter what holiday is being celebrated. How can families prepare and cope? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

A7a. Bridget: Start by managing expectations and check in w/your loved one. Planning ahead is the best preparation! Special foods may have stories and emotion attached. Being nourished is most important. Follow the meal plan you have & enjoy it!  

A7b. Becky: It’s just another day, let it be simple, easy, different. Talk w/your family member ahead of time & make a plan for what supports their recovery. If they can’t answer, ask their dietitian for tips. If U want a specific food, do that for YOU. #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

1:20 pm Q8. Any last thoughts?

A8a. Bridget: This time of year is about spending time with loved ones. Focus on connecting with each other and not connecting through food. Slowing down this year will allow you to enjoy future holidays together! 

A8b. #selfcare It’s not optional or selfish. It is essential, vital & will help your loved one in recovery. Doing your own work on U changes everything. How will U practice selfcare during this holiday season no matter if or what you celebrate? #ChatwithMNA #HolidaysandED

1:30 pm End comment: Thanks for joining for #ChatwithMNA! We loved hearing from everyone. We hope you’ll join us again in January for a webinar with Becky and Bridget. Happy Holidays!

You can do this! You know how to do hard things.