Coping with Christmas and Eating Disorders

Coping at Christmas

Christmas is a particularly difficult time for families and sufferers of eating disorders, with celebrations often centred around food. Covid-19 restrictions may mean you have additional worries about the festive period.

If you are feeling anxious, worried or stressed about the upcoming festivities – it’s completely normal and you are not alone in feeling that way.

Here are some tips and strategies to help see you through.


Remind those who know about the eating disorder not to comment on appearance, or what/how much food is being eaten. 


Provide family and friends with information to help them understand more about eating disorders.


Remember the level of anxiety an eating disorder provokes in the person with an eating disorder and you as care giver. Support each other in a non-judgmental way. 


Actively avoid talking about dieting, making weight or appearance related comments (about anyone). 


Avoid those New Year weight loss goals especially, instead model acceptance and enjoyment. 


Try and achieve a relaxed, normal environment, which will help the person to remember that mealtimes are a healthy part of everyday life and social celebration. 


The information, resources and links below are to help support some concerns you may have and support you to make plans to take care of your wellbeing.

  • Our city centre drop-in service Pause can provide information and advice about eating disorders. You can also have an informal, confidential chat with one of the team about how you're feeling.
  • We have a dedicated Community Eating Disorder team, which provides a range of specialist evidence-based treatment and support options.
  • We would always recommend making an appointment with your GP if you have concerns about your dietary intake, low weight, or physical symptoms. Your GP will be able to assess how you're doing both mentally and physically and pick up any potential risks to your physical health straight away.
  • You can also visit the BEAT website for additional resources and their dedicated section – Christmas with an Eating Disorder