Eating Recovery and the Holidays

Minimizing Fear and Anxiety

For individuals in eating recovery, the holiday season can stir up feelings of fear and anxiety. From Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, to holiday parties and Chanukah traditions, this time of year is when memories are made around calorie-laden meals.

Often, fighting the urge to fall into old patterns and behaviors feels like an uphill battle for the struggling individual. At Sierra Tucson, our goal is to provide residents with healthy tools and continued support. Below are a few ideas that you can practice for a healthy holiday season – body, mind, and spirit.

  1. Create & Maintain Structure – We encourage you to put together a holiday food plan that includes regular meals and snacks, as well as healthy coping strategies that are unrelated to food.
  2. Eat Peacefully – Just like the mind needs time to unwind, the body craves stillness also. To help you avoid the temptation to binge at a holiday party, eat peacefully at home before the event – preferably with loved ones, if possible.
  3. Bring Along Support – There is strength in numbers, so the next time you are headed to a holiday gathering, bring a supportive friend.
  4. Tangible Reminders – No matter how much an individual plans ahead, unexpected triggers are inevitable. Keeping something small and tactile in your pocket or wearing a rubber wristband can serve as a gentle reminder to breathe and stay in the moment.
  5. Up the “Recovery” Ante – At Sierra Tucson, we recommend at least one recovery-related activity a day for residents who are completing treatment and returning home. We encourage you to boost your recovery routine with even more support during the holidays.

For more information on Sierra Tucson’s Eating Recovery Program, call our Admissions Coordinators today at (800) 842-4487.


Scott Frazier, MSC, Program Manager for Sierra Tucson’s Eating Recovery Program, identifies healthy ways to approach the holidays while maintaining recovery from an eating disorder. Watch online now.