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Tips to help keep the Christmas season in perspective.


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1. Celebrate in your own way. 

Food can play a significant role in festive celebrations. Find ways in the lead-up to the day itself to catch up with people outside of food events and celebrate in your own way. If Christmas has spiritual significance for you, what can you do to honour or express this?

2. Make eating regular meals and snacks a priority.

You’ll feel better able to deal with and enjoy celebratory activities if you’re well nourished (we know this is hard, but it helps a lot!)

3. Avoid the temptation to skip meals or restrict prior to a special event.

It may make you feel irritable and anxious. 

4. Let a trusted person or people know how you’re feeling.

Tell them ways they can support you leading up to Christmas Day (or another special event) and on the day itself.

5. Write down your strategy. 

If you have been learning strategies to make your supportive voice louder and stronger, in order to quieten your eating disorder voice, use them when you can. At times it can be hard to call upon these strategies, particularly in the moment when your eating disorder voice is loud,  it can be useful to have a list of helpful tips written down to refer to if needed. If you don't have strategies, our support staff can help you develop them. You can contact our Helpline to get in touch (details below.)

6. Keep in touch with health care providers. 

Stay in contact with your therapist, dietitian and/or GP in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve events. Find out when they will be around over this period and ask them to help you work out some supports if they’re going to be on holiday.

7. Be gentle with yourself. 

If you’re too unwell to participate as you would like in celebrations this year, give yourself permission to take it easy. Visualise what you would like to be doing next year.

8. Write down and practise conversations that may arise. 

If you’re worried about people commenting on what you’ve got on your plate, write down a few responses and practice them with a friend beforehand. “I’m doing my best at a hard time; please be gentle with me” or “I’d rather not talk about it right now” might be good responses.

9. Remember that it’s normal to eat differently at this time of year.

Food is social and celebratory as well as being nourishing for our bodies.

10. Be extra kind to yourself.

What can you do to care for yourself in the lead-up to Christmas and the day itself? What Christmas gift could you give yourself?

Reach out for support. 

Remember that if you, or if someone you know, is experiencing an eating disorder or body-image issues, you can talk to us. Call our National Helpline on 1800 33 4673, or chat to our support staff via our online webchat (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm AEST.)

The Butterfly National Helpline Opening Hours over the holiday period are:


Opening Hours

Saturday 23 December 


Sunday 24 December 


Monday 25 December


Tuesday 26 December


Wednesday 27 December

8am to 9pm AEST

Thursday 28 December

8am to 9pm AEST

Friday 29 December

8am to 9pm AEST

Saturday 30 December


Sunday 31 December


Monday 1 January


Tuesday 2 January

8am to 9pm AEST

Wednesday 3 January

8am to 9pm AEST

If you need urgent assistance or support, please ring Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

Worried about a friend or someone you care about?

It can be extremely difficult raising the subject of eating disorders with a friend or loved one. To be supportive one needs to learn what to say and what not to say.  


We can help you with knowing when to talk to your friend and what to say. ›

Concerned parents & carers

Communicating your concern with your child about eating and dieting behaviour can be extremely difficult. Butterfly offers a range of services that can provide you with skills and information related to communicating with your child.  


We can help you with recognising issues and what to do. ›

Teachers & Professionals Working with Young People

Teachers and those working with young people are often the first to become aware of dis-ordered eating behaviours.  Butterfly Education provides early intervention and prevention skills for professionals working with young people. 

We have a range of advice & resources ›