Developing Healthy Holiday Traditions in Recovery

Developing Healthy Holiday Traditions in Recovery

There’s no denying that the holidays are food-centric, which can bring on a lot of stress if you’re in recovery for an eating disorder. But there are healthy ways to enjoy the holidays and alleviate food anxiety. Planning fun activities that don’t focus on food can help reduce triggers and bring family and friends together in a positive way.

Here are a few good ideas to help you create your own healthy holiday traditions—without food being the central theme.

Healthy Holiday Traditions

Get creative with holiday decorating.
Decorating for the holidays is a great way to lift your spirits and spend quality time with your loved ones. Take the extra time to make your home feel festive. Feeling crafty? Organize a holiday decorating party. Make your own wreaths or ornaments with family and friends. If you have kids, this is a great holiday tradition. You’ll enjoy the time you spend together creating decorations that you can enjoy for years to come.

Check out the neighborhood holiday lights.
Make a night out of taking a relaxing drive around the neighborhood to check out the holiday decorations and lights. Pile the family in the car, turn on some festive tunes and rate your neighbors on their decorating skills. This can be a holiday ritual that’s fun for the whole family!

Plan fun outdoor activities.
Go sledding, ice-skating, hiking or even just a relaxing walk or bike ride. Whatever the weather permits, make sure to get outside and enjoy some healthy exercise while engaging in a fun activity. Whether you grab some friends, family or go solo—staying active and enjoying nature is good for the body, mind and spirit.

Go caroling.
If you like karaoke, then caroling just might be up your ally. Singing is actually good for your health. Studies show that singing helps improve mood, lowers stress and can even boost immune system function. So get out there and organize a group, memorize some of your favorite holiday songs and spread some cheer!

Volunteer your time.
The holidays are the perfect time to give back—and it’s not all about the presents. Volunteer your time in the community, at your local church or a non-profit that addresses a cause that you care about. You can even start your own fundraiser. There are many ways to get creative with fundraising online and in your community.

Practice self-care.
Carving out some “me time” is one of the most important things you can do, especially during the holidays when things can get chaotic. Take a long bubble bath, head to a yoga class, do some journaling or book a spa day. Taking some time for yourself around the holidays should be a tradition you stick with year after year. You deserve it!