Updated: Apr 6
With the holidays just around the corner, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. From the overwhelming abundance of holiday foods to difficult social situations, the different triggers and temptations can present new challenges to navigate through.
Fortunately, Live ED Free has written a guide not only to recovery during the holidays, but to help keep you focused on the good things in your life.
Staying true to your purpose is an important part in your journey to recovery. One of the ways you can do this is by establishing boundaries for yourself over the coming weeks. When dealing with social events, family members, triggering situations, or the overwhelming focus on food and alcohol, you have to exercise your boundaries, and amplify your “recovery voice.”
Learning to say “no” to the things that hinder your recovery and “yes” to the things that help your recovery is an empowering first step towards setting healthy boundaries. If your friends and family care about your well-being, they are sure to understand and respect these boundaries. Remember, you aren’t in control of how others respond when you set your boundaries, but you are in control of the things you do. Once you set your boundaries, stick to them, regardless of how others react. Recovery is a time for you to give self-care to your Self, first and foremost.
Expressing Gratitude During the Holidays
There is no better time than the holiday season to express your gratitude for the little things that fill your life with hope, cheer, and happiness. Gratitude helps us focus on the good in the world and allows us to take more control of our thoughts and actions — this is especially important while in recovery.
Expressing gratitude can be practiced in all sorts of ways. From journaling, meditating, or simply showing your appreciation towards others through gift-giving and service, there are endless ways to express gratitude. And remember, no matter what you choose to do to show your appreciation towards others, it will improve your happiness, boost your mental health, and help you adopt more self-control over the holidays.
Recognize and Appreciate the Gift of Recovery
Taking gratitude a step further, it’s also very important to take time to recognize and appreciate the gift of recovery. The most important way we can give gratitude towards our Self, is to remain in recovery, stay on track, and to practice Self-care. While you’re in a state of thoughtfulness and positive thinking, it becomes difficult to simultaneously dwell on negativity or selfish cognitive patterns.
An excellent way to help you recognize the gift of recovery is by reading out positive affirmations. Here are some examples you can use.
- “I am grateful to be sober this holiday season.”
- “I am so proud of myself for making it through this year in recovery, I’ve truly come a long way.”
- “I am thankful for my friends and family who support me on my journey to recovery.”
- “All of the things I love about my body are…”
- “Even though my body is changing, I choose to accept it just as it is. I choose to be soul-led, instead of thought-led.”
- “Some of the best qualities about myself are…”
- “This is a great time to manifest new dreams for the upcoming year. What are my biggest dreams, and how can I make them happen?”
Putting it All Together
Keeping with the mindset that your recovery is a priority, no matter the time of year, will help push you past any triggers and temptations. While recovery looks very different for everyone, establishing firm boundaries, expressing gratitude, and appreciating the gift of recovery are all important methods that will help you at any phase of your journey.
Wishing you a safe and healthy recovery,
BA, CEDRC, PsyD Student
Founder & CEO, Live ED Free
Extra Support During the Holidays
If you need extra support on your eating disorder/addiction recovery journey, I would love to help you. If you'd like to schedule a complementary 30-minute video/phone call, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.