christmas

Starved for a Cure

ABC Radio National have produced a fascinating radio documentary piece looking at the experience of eating disorder recovery and looking at a new treatment approach from Hawaii.

You can download the this current affairs documentary in full at the following address:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/currentaffairsspecials/radio-current-affairs-documentary3a-starved-of-a-cure/5159108

Eating Disorder Festive Season Checklist

Festive season checklist

We understand Christmas and the holiday period can be a difficult time for some. It is important to remember planning and communication is the key. To help you cope with the stresses of this busy season we’ve come up with a check list you can follow to reduce the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.

In the lead up to Christmas and New Year:

  • Don’t be scared to say ‘No’ to invitations if you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Socialise with trusted friends & family prior to Christmas.  Where possible, do this over a meal or snack to help prepare you for Christmas gatherings.
  • Discuss with someone you trust how to cope with family interaction by predicting and preparing for social activities.
  • Predict likely questions from family and friends you haven’t seen for a while and prepare some responses.
  • Plan what you will do to give yourself ‘time out’ from the crowd – perhaps listen to music, going for a walk with a friend or family member, sitting in the sunshine.

When eating out

  • Take time to plan and to think about who will be present and what food is likely to be served.
  • If you don’t know what food will be served ask the person who will be preparing the meal, or ask a family member to find out for you to reduce your anxiety.
  • Offer to take ‘safe’ food to share so you feel comfortable knowing there is something you can eat.
  • Focus on enjoying the company of companions rather than what you are eating.
  • Many people overeat on Christmas Day and often comment on the quantity they have  so remember these comments are not aimed at you.

Communication

Communication reduces holiday stress.  We all know how busy life gets in that hectic period around Christmas each year. For many families the changed routines and extra day to day activities means less time to talk and listen to one another. Ironically, effective communication is a perfect coping mechanism for families to deal with the holiday season’s increased stresses.

  • Effective communication requires
    • Concentration
    •  Tolerance
    •  Rephrasing
    •  Sensitivity when listening and
    •  Ability to express your own thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself how you feel so that you can state your message as clearly, honestly and constructively as possible.
    • Take the time to talk. Whether you’re driving, wrapping gifts, or doing household chores it is important to maintain communication in order to help create a memorable and pleasant holiday experience for the entire family.

(Adapted by Mary P and Lisa H, from Eating Disorders Victoria December 2011 and 2012 Newsletters)