Ways To Show Yourself Kindness During Food-Focused Holidays
Updated: Apr 21
The holidays can be a difficult time, especially if you’ve struggled with an eating disorder. Holidays are very food-focused and it can be so easy to get caught up in consuming thoughts of food and calories.
Years ago on Halloween, the only way I would allow myself to eat some candy was if I promised myself to participate in “No Eat November.” A term I coined myself. How horrific. Not that I literally wouldn’t eat during the month of November, but I decided to cut out A LOT and severely restrict my diet not only in variety but calorically as well.
Just because the holidays like Halloween are food-focused, doesn’t make it a bad thing. Food/candy can be enjoyable, social, fun and memorable. Food and holidays can not only fuel the body but fuel the soul.
Doesn’t mean they might not be difficult to get through. With holidays comes along people talking about food, weight, calories, “good” food, “bad” food and of course the “oh I shouldn’t be eating this” and “this is going to make me so fat.” With other’s commentary and thoughts of your own, holidays can quickly turn into a negative experience. But not this year- it’s time to shut everyone’s bitching out and time to shut your own thoughts out.
Show yourself some kindness during the holidays, especially today where everyone is candy crazy!!
Allow yourself a little indulgence
Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite candy or favorite goodies or have that extra cocktail/beer at your Halloween party. Remind yourself that your body will be okay with extra calories and extra sugar and that the amount of memories will far outweigh the calories. If Halloween candy is a fear food, possibly use this time to challenge yourself if you feel strong enough and have the support you need. Challenge yourself to the notion that indulgence once in a while is okay and you’re body will be just fine!
Surround yourself with supportive and comfortable people
During the holidays, it’s important to hang out with close friends and family, especially those you feel comfortable enough to share your feelings with if you’re on edge or anxious. If you’re challenging yourself this Halloween, be with someone who you can talk to and allow you to express your feelings. One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to be surrounded by people who lift you up.
Go for a walk and get some fresh air
Taking a walk around the block and getting some fresh air can really help get prospective and clear your thoughts. If you’re feeling stuck and caught up in negative thoughts, take 20 minutes to walk outside and redirect your thoughts. Get some positive juices flowing, take a couple deep breaths, and return to the party or trick-or-treat festivities.
Write down positive affirmations
If you don’t have a moment to take a walk, grab a piece of paper (or think in your head) some positive affirmations and compliments for yourself. Sometimes it’s easier to repeat compliments to yourself or write them down in order to silence the negative ones. If you’re struggling with Halloween candy or other’s commentary, take a few seconds to write down things you love about yourself- like how smart you are, how you’re a good friend, a good cook, or passionate about your hobbies.
If you need, take yourself back to positive memories of Halloween and remember the moments you shared with friends and family through trick-or-treating, late night candy eating, and college Halloween parties with your friends giggling and stumbling home drunk from the bar in your costume. Positive memories can keep you grounded and remind you that it’s more than the food and indulgences.
Even though Halloween isn’t as grand of a holiday as Thanksgiving or Christmas, it can still be super social with trick-or-treating or parties at college. Forgive yourself and be kind to yourself and allow yourself to enjoy the moment. Nobody got time to be caught up in thoughts of calories or weight. You’re strong and beautiful and deserve to enjoy Halloween (and the holidays) the fullest!