Navigating the Thanksgiving Holiday

November 18, 2021

Apparently it’s November again (Mentally: Still in March 2020), and we are approaching another holiday season. The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. Add in recovering from an eating disorder and living through a pandemic, and well… I’ll be under my weighted blanket if anyone needs me.

These past two years have not been easy and it’s okay if you are having a hard time. It’s even more important for us to give ourselves grace right now. If this time has taught me anything, it’s just how resilient I am, and I know that you are too.

So, however you are planning to celebrate this year, let’s talk about some ways we can cope through another unprecedented holiday season.

1. Fill up your cup.

We cannot pour from an empty cup. The pandemic has been emptying my cup faster than I can fill it back up. If you’re anything like me, taking care of yourself is not always easy. I find that scheduling in time to practice self care makes me more likely to actually do it.

P.S. Self care doesn’t have to be some extravagant event! I personally like to lay in bed and watch Schitt’s Creek.

2. Make a plan.

I thrive on structure and schedules, and the holidays tend throw a wrench in my routine. It may be helpful to make a plan beforehand (either with your therapist, dietitian, or other supports) on how to be flexible while still taking care of yourself. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect!

3. Don’t buy into the diet talk.

It wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving without someone bringing up their new diet. No, I do not want to hear about your Keto diet or juice cleanse #SorryNotSorry.

Even if you aren’t seeing your family in-person, you can still set boundaries around the diet talk. Whether that involves asking your loved ones to change the subject, removing yourself from the conversation, or muting them on social media, you deserve to put you and your recovery first.

4. Reach out for support.

The holidays may be really different from pre-pandemic times and that may bring up all sorts of emotions. Whenever you need to vent, need some accountability, distraction, or funny memes, identify who your supports are and actually utilize them!

5. Remind yourself what the holidays are really about.

Just as my eating disorder was never all about the food, neither are the holidays. I find it helpful to ground myself in gratitude and recognize the deeper meaning of the day. When you wake up in the morning, try to write down 5 things you are thankful for.

If all else fails, remember it’s just another day.


Laurie Yurchuck is the Administrative + Technology Coordinator at The Alliance. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree (B. A.) in Psychology from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. She plans to go on to get her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. In her role, Laurie manages, The Alliance’s interactive referral website, as well as The Alliance’s social media accounts. When she’s not working, you can probably find her playing with Annabelle (Johanna’s adorable little daughter) or drinking a nice cup of coffee!