So you want to be supportive of your loved one’s eating disorder recovery this holiday season….but at the same time, you don’t want to be insensitive or triggering. Trust me, I get it: those of us in ED recovery can be a tricky bunch to shop for, as many of the typical gifts – like candy or clothes – are a no-go.
But, hey, good for you for recognizing the challenges of eating disorder recovery! If you’re reading this, you’re already ten steps ahead of the rest of the crowd that’s getting their teen cousin a box of chocolates in an attempt to “fatten her up.”
This holiday, get your loved one something meaningful to aid their recovery, without pushing them or putting pressure on them to get better ASAP. My suggestions are specially geared toward those of us in eating disorder recovery. (If you’re looking for more general suggestions for mental health recovery gifts, comment below and I will write a post if there is enough interest!)
Remember: gifts are lovely, but the best present of all is your patience! If you listen to and understand your loved one’s struggles and concerns, you’re already on your way to winning best partner/BFF/family member of the year anyways. Still – no one ever says no to being spoiled now and again! 😉
Body-Positive Reading Material
Source: SURFACE 85
If you want to support your loved one on their recovery journey, give them a book that will inspire them and motivate them to keep pushing through the hardships and triumphs of the process. Having body positive role models who don’t talk about weight loss or dieting will give your loved one a beacon of light to aspire to when times get tough.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Fully Functioning Human (Almost) by Melanie Murphy
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat by Michelle May, M.D.
Source: Creating to Love
Therapists recommend journaling to people in eating disorder recovery for a reason: it helps you process your thoughts and feelings about your body, your meals and your life. However, journaling can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. A guided journal will help your loved one process their emotions without feeling overwhelmed.
Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel
Present, Not Perfect by Aimee Chase
One Question a Day : A Five Year Journal by Aimee Chase
Holiday Hometown Gifts
Source: The Funny Beaver
For whatever reason, it may not always be possible for someone in recovery to go home for the holidays. Whether it’s the cost of travel or emotionally draining family members that deters your loved one from heading home, they might find themselves missing where they came from a little more this time of year. Getting them a thoughtful hometown-themed gift brings a little home to them when they can’t be there themselves.
The Home T
Alex and Ani Collegiate Collection / MLB Collection
DIY Craft Kit
Source: Lost and Found in the City
One of my favorite ways to center myself and be mindful (without having to sit and meditate!) is getting a little bit crafty. From bullet journaling to Pinterest DIYs, getting creative allows ED warriors to remember all the amazing things their body can do – like work with their hands!
Brit + Co DIY Kits at Target
MakersKit DIY Kits on Amazon
Strapped for funds? An inexpensive way to treat your loved one to a night of self-care is to make these homemade spa treatments. All you need is a little bit of sugar, coconut oil, peppermint essential oil and food coloring to whip up a homemade body scrub that smells good enough to eat. While using it, your loved one can mindfully rediscover their body and everything they love and appreciate about the vessel that gives them life.
Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil
Sugar in the Raw
Plant Therapy Peppermint Essential Oil