Toward the end of each  year we see even more messaging than usual that we should be afraid of how we look and we should “manage” our holiday foods and therefore, our  size or our lives will be a disaster. Even when we have learned about Health At Every Size (HAES) and embraced its concepts as well as Intuitive Eating (IE) it can be daunting. Even when we have ditched ‘Diet Culture’ we can still be stymied by the messages that tell us our favorite holiday foods are going to kill us.

The multi-billion dollar diet industry wants us to be convinced that not only are our traditional holiday foods going to kill us, first they will make us the dreaded “fat” word and then “unhealthy” and then dead if we don’t follow their programs (for a small monthly fee). Talk about the most stressful time of year!

Instead of spending another moment stressing about the fun and yummy foods you’ve consumed and those you will enjoy, how about trying out some self care tools that won’t pressure you to go for a run, skip the treats or head to a local gym?

Here are ideas I’ve heard over the years on  what helps folks de-stress and get filled back up for life. I’m sharing some  here today so that you can have a list at the ready when it’s hard to think of something that might give you joy and fill your draining cup.

Antidotes to Body & Food Shaming Culture Stressors: (clearly not a complete list – feel free to add your own creative ideas in the comments)

  • Walk w/the dog
  • Nap
  • Yoga
  • Go on a Yoga Retreat
  • Travel to a friend’s home for a getaway
  • Look at Air bnb’s for fun
  • Adult Coloring Books
  • Tai Chi
  • Reading Buddhist Bootcamp
  • Listen to Motivational Speakers
  • Listen to guided meditations
  • Listen to Music
  • Dance to favorite Music
  • Have Hope vs. Goals
  • Notice Expectations – name them, ask self if they are serving us, replace with hope, put
  • expectations in a balloon and let them fly away
  • Ride a bicycle and feel like a kid again
  • Go for a swim
  • Play with a pet
  • Watch snowflakes fall from the sky

Now I can imagine what you might be thinking, ‘sure easy for you!’ 

Been there, said that! I get it. For those of you in the throes of caregiving a loved one with an eating disorder, it likely seems IMPOSSIBLE to set down the “shoulds” we talked about last week and embrace putting you on the list. The most helpful thing you might do to support your loved one in recovery may be to model self love. The ed does not allow them to love themselves. They need this modeled for them.

If you’re ready for help to take the IMPOSSIBLE and shift it to “I AM Possible!” let me know and I’ll share how we help family caregivers to do that. It’s going to help you and your loved one when you can set down the shoulds and start putting your needs on your “To Do” list.

PS. If you’re planning to register for my EDCC Training in February, remember my birthday special is 20% off in December. You can read more here and contact me for the discount.

Becky Henry, Founder, Hope Network, LLC