Happy Holiday season folks! We took November off to give writers, editors, and translators a chance to catch up, rest, and self-care, but we are back and ready.
This Holiday season has been a bit different because COVID has kept many of us away from our normal celebrations and family interactions. Despite these obstacles many have still found ways to celebrate virtually, socially distanced, or with roommates. Regardless of the happy and positive parts of celebrating, being around friends, families and big meals tend to draw out unwanted comments, questions, and opinions without any regard for what might be happening in your life.
“Oh, you’ve gained some weight… been stressed at work?”
“You’re so skinny. Good for you, you look good!”
“You’re going for a third plate!?”
“Are you sure you want to eat all that?”
“Those clothes are looking a bit tight on you aren’t they?”
If you’re reading this, and this experience is resonating with you, I want you to know you are not alone. The holidays and celebrations are difficult for many, especially people who have a history of body image issues and struggles. For those who have experienced this struggle or are experiencing this struggle for the first time, below are some tips to help us enjoy the holidays.
1. Create a self-care plan
Have tools and plans to cope in the moment, but also have long term self-care plans. This may look like journaling, having time away from phones and screens, going on a walk, playing a video game. Whatever you need to do that helps you take care of yourself, plan out time for that.
2. Set boundaries
With friends, family, and loved ones, if there is a conversation that you don’t want to participate in, you have every right to say no and step away. You can also create that boundary beforehand by telling people that you are not comfortable discussing x, y, and z topics in a public celebratory setting. Finally, you can also create plans to change the subject by flipping the conversation off of body image and food.
3. Reach out to supportive friends, loved ones, and family members
This can be people participating in the celebrations or people outside of them. Have in mind people that you can buddy up with and have mini vent sessions when necessary. If you find yourself 24/7 reaching out for support and finding ways to getaway. There may be a bigger conversation around seeking professional support or setting boundaries around not being around (in person and distantly) friends and family the same way.
4. Connect with professionals
Reach out to professionals to develop and reinforce healthy coping and self-care skills. While also working on ways to deconstruct and process the core of your emotions and experiences.
Take care of yourself, and you got this!