Coping with Christmas when you struggle with food

Christmas can be triggering when you struggle with food or body image; it’s a holiday which puts heavy emphasis on spending time with family, eating food and drinking alcohol.


It might be tough thinking of Christmas and the challenges that you will face but in asking yourself what you might struggle with you can take control of the situation and put in place a plan and/or communicate your worries with your friends and family.


Try asking yourself the following

1. What is it about Christmas that I find challenging?

e.g I am worried that I will end up binging

2. What has helped me in the past with these challenges?

e.g Planning my food ahead of time

3. What could be helpful when dealing with these challenges?

e.g Discussing my worries and a plan with family members. Asking if friends would be happy to speak on the phone on the day.

4. Is there anything my friends and family can do to help?

e.g  Helping to facilitate my food/ day plan


It may help to write the answers to your questions down and you can do this for each of your worries.


Quick tips

  • Try not to isolate yourself out of fear
  • Plan and discuss your meals in advance
  • Stick to a manageable routine
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment, e.g. swap mealtimes around
  • If you feel pressurized, you can say no
  • Christmas can be stressful, be kind to yourself and ask for help
  • Be aware that alcohol might exacerbate anxiety or feelings of being out of control
  • Remember Christmas is one day and it will go faster than you think



Extra Support

Beat Christmas Helpline

Adult helpline – 0808 801 0677

Youth helpline – 0808 801 0711


Opening hours

23 December: Normal hours

Christmas Eve: Normal hours

Christmas Day: 6pm -10pm

Boxing Day: 6pm -10pm

27 December: Normal hours


Final Note

Remember to breathe!

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