Getting through Christmas | Tips from Eating Disorders Victoria
Home ~ Find support ~ EDV blog ~ Maintaining recovery during the festive season

Maintaining recovery during the festive season

Home ~ Find support ~ EDV blog ~ Maintaining recovery during the festive season

EDV is on a Christmas break from Dec 24 – Jan 11

During this this time you will be able to send emails and leave voice messages via the EDV Hub, however they will not be answered until our return.

We’ve put together this page of resources for you to refer to while we’re away!

For additional support during this period, please contact:

The Butterfly Foundation National Helpline
PH: 1800 33 4673. You can also chat online or email

Carers and Support people can access Peer Support online through Eating Disorders Families Australia’s strive Facebook group.

For urgent support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or go to your nearest emergency department.


Things to read

Getting through the festivities with your recovery intact 

EDV Wellbeing Coordinator Amy has shared her key tips for preparing for and managing the challenges of the festive season.

“EDV might be closed for the holidays, but your natural supports aren’t! Lean on the people that care about you. Maybe you ask your parents to dish up your serving of Christmas lunch, or perhaps you play board games with your siblings while food is being prepared. Reach out, even if it is just to hold a hand under the dinner table.”



Christmas tips from Claire, EDV Lived Experience Ambassador

Claire went through many Christmases with an eating disorder, including one year as an inpatient at a Melbourne hospital. Now fully recovered, Claire and her family have reflected on what was helpful for them over the Christmas period.

“Four years into my eating disorder I was in hospital during the Christmas period. This was the saddest Christmas of my life. I was let out for a temporary visit during Christmas day and I remember being so sad the whole day knowing I was going home. It was also so stressful for my parents to monitor me and make sure I was adequately eating. I remember crying on the way home begging they would let me come home with them. Since this point I have only gone up and have luckily reached a stage of recovery. Christmas is so much more relaxed now and its honestly better than it was before.”



Christmas tips for families 

People experiencing eating disorders can start feeling anxious about Christmas weeks in advance. If you notice this in a loved one, it’s a good idea to have a conversation about it early.

“Let them know that you are aware Christmas might be causing anxiety and that you are available to help them in any way you can.”

From BODYWHYS (Eating Disorder Association of Ireland)



Managing your eating over the holiday period

From fears around binge eating to not having control over the food being served, there are many specific concerns around the holiday period. 

“If you do overeat or binge, do not try to compensate by skipping meals, restricting, “being good tomorrow” or burning off calories through exercise – this can increase overeating or binge eating again. We recommend to continue having regular meals and snacks (even something small if you aren’t hungry) as this helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, appetite and to reduce cravings”

From Talia Cecchele Nutrtition



What not to do after a binge

Dr Jake Linardon (Ph.D.)

“While many of us are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season, this period can be incredibly challenging for people who struggle with binge eating. Therefore, it’s important for you to be aware of how to effectively handle any binges over this period so that you can minimize its frequency and intensity.  I recently worked with the amazing Emily Program to publish an article covering the 5 things that you shouldn’t do after a binge. “

From Dr Jake Linardon (Ph.D.), founder of Break Binge Eating 



The Body Keeps the Score

“Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies.”

Recommended by Rosie, EDV Education Officer



Things to watch

Tips for the festive season with Amy, EDV Wellbeing Coordinator

In this short video, EDV’s Wellbeing Coordinator, Amy, discusses her top tips for navigating recovery during the holiday season. Amy discusses setting boundaries, managing difficult conversations, giving yourself permission to celebrate, and the importance of reaching out during this challenging time.

Tips for the festive season with Shannyn, EDV Telehealth Nurse

In this short video, EDV’s Telehealth Nurse, Shannyn, discusses her key tips for managing the festive season with an eating disorder. Shannyn discusses the importance of continuing to eat regularly, ensuring you have a support person to call on, making time for rest and how journaling can help you manage tough moments during the holidays.

Stories of Recovery – Preparing for the festive season

In this video we hear from EDV CEO Belinda Caldwell, Ambassador Claire and her father Rohan about the challenges of Christmas time, strategies for managing stress and anxiety and tips for dealing with difficult families members.


Things to listen to

Food Psych podcast by Christy Harrison

“In each episode, I talk with inspiring guests—including health and psychology professionals, anti-diet activists, and leaders in the body-liberation movement—about their relationships with food, paths to body-image healing and fat acceptance, and experiences of recovery from weight stigma and eating disorders. “

From Christy Harrison



Event restriction podcast by Tabitha Farrar

“In this podcast Tabitha talks about what she refers to as “event restriction.” Event restriction is when you anticipate eating more or resting at an event or time in the future, and therefore try to create a “buffer” by restricting more or compensating more via exercise in preparation. 

Event restriction never works. Most people find that is actually makes eating and resting harder, so ironically you struggle even more when you actually get to the big day. Most commonly people event restriction in preparation for Christmas and the festive season.”

From Tabitha Farrar



The Recovery Warrior Show by Jessica Flint

“Host Jessica Flint interviews recovery warriors and treatment professionals from around the world to get their unique perspective and advice on what it takes to heal your relationship to food and body. This show is for all types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and disordered eating “

From Jessica Flint



Don’t Salt My Game with Laura Thomas

“Laura talks to people in wellness, foodies, bloggers, entrepreneurs from cool brands, creatives, nutritionists, doctors, body positivity people, mindfulness experts, and anyone else who is shaking up the wellness world, to find out how they stay on top of their game – and to help you do you, but better. “

From Laura Thomas, PhD



Brain over binge podcast

“In my darkest days of binge eating, I vowed that if I ever found a way out, I would help others find a way out too, and since my recovery 15 years ago, I have kept that promise to my younger self.”

From Kathryn Hansen



The Light Show by Alex Light

This podcast will dive into topics that mean a lot to me – confidence, body image, beauty and self-acceptance. Ready to start loving the skin you’re in? You’re in the ‘Light’ place!

From Alex Light


Places to go

Community Christmas lunches

Christmas Day Lunch – Seymour 

11:30am – 1:30pm
25 December 2020 

Bookings essential. Contact us on: (03) 5799 2241 

The Salvation Army 10 Victoria St, SEYMOUR VIC 3660 – View on map 

Contact Details:
Ph: (03) 5799 2241

Christmas Day Lunch – Shepparton 

12:00pm – 1:30pm
25 December 2020 

Please call to make a booking. 

99 Nixon Street, SHEPPARTON VIC 3630 – View on map 

Contact Details:
Ph: (03) 5821 2666

Hobsons Bay Community Christmas Lunch – Altona 

12:30pm – 2:30pm
19 December 2020 

This year due to COVID-19 we will be holding this event outdoors in the park next door under marquees. Please call to make a booking by 17 December to ensure we can cater for everyone. 

108 Queen Street, ALTONA VIC 3018 – View on map 

Contact Details:
Ph: (03) 9398 1750 

Other community events

LGBTQI+ Support

Rainbow Door 

We will be mostly staying open throughout the end of year period. Please note we are open 7 days a week 10am – 6pm, however will be closed for Christmas day and the public holiday of the 28th.”

 Below is the specific dates: 

Christmas Day Friday 25 Dec 2020 CLOSED  

Boxing Day Public Holiday Monday 28 Dec 2020 CLOSED  

New Year’s Day Friday 1 Jan 2021 OPEN 



QLIFE is operation 365 days a year, 3pm – 12 midnight. QLIFE provides anonymous, free, confidential peer support, information and referrals to LGBTIQA+ communities, their friends and families Contact with QLife can be made via phone 1800 184 527.

For more webchat service and information about QLife:



“Our annual free queerspace breakfast on xmas morning will go ahead in a covid-safe way.”

Eventbrite Registrations necessary for attendees and volunteers!
For more info please email

Queerspace Free Breakfast on Christmas Day | Facebook 

Substance use support

Preparing for Holiday Challenges to Addiction Recovery

“December is here and opportunities for urges and cravings seem to be everywhere. SMART volunteers have put their heads together to offer some suggestions to help you navigate this month’s challenges.”

Preparing for Holiday Challenges to Addiction Recovery – SMART Recovery

Positive Choices

Where to Get Help for Drug and Alcohol-related Issues – Positive Choices


DrinkWise. | Support Services


Support Lines

 Please know that some of these phone lines might be operating at reduced hours over the holiday period. If you are unable to get through to a service, please try another! 




Phone                            Website 
Emergency Service   


Suicide Line 


1300 651 251 
Suicide Call Back Service 


1300 659 576 
Victorian Poisons Information Centre 


13 11 26 
Department of Health and Human Services (Child Protection) 


13 12 78 


1300 606 024 
Lifeline (24-hour crisis counselling) 


13 11 14 
Mental Health Foundation of Australia – Mental Health Helpline 


1300 643 287 
Alfred Health Carer Services (Carer Support and 24 Hour Respite) 


1800 052 222 
The Blue Knot Foundation (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse) 


1300 657 380 
Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic) 


(03) 9830 0533 
Beyond Blue 


1300 224 636 
Bullying Zero Australia 


(03) 9094 3718 
Butterfly Foundation 


1800 33 4673  
Cancer Council Australia (Victoria) 


13 11 20 
Cannabis Information and Helpline 
Carer’s Victoria 


1800 242 636 
(CASA) Victorian Centre Against Sexual Assault 


1800 806 292 
Dads in Distress 


1300 853 437 
Department of Health and Human Services(Victoria) 


1300 650 172 
Drug and Alcohol Information in Other Languages 


1800 888 326    
Direct Line (24-hour drug and alcohol counselling) 


1800 888 236 
Drought Information Line (support Information Counselling) 


13 61 86 
Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Services 


1800 812 804 
Family Relationship Advice Line 


1800 050 321 
Gamblers Help Line Victoria 


1800 858 858 
Grief Line (Support for grieving adults and children) 


(03) 9935 7400 


1800 650 890 
Heavy M.E.T.A.L Group(Mens counselling for anger and violence) 


0401 766 877 
Kids Helpline 


1800 551 800 
Maternal and Child Health Line 


13 2229 
Melbourne Homeless Services 


1800 627 727 
Mensline Australia 


1300 789 978 
Mind Carers Helpline 


1300 554 660 
Narcotics Anonymous – Victorian Area Helpline 


(03) 9525 2833 


1300 30 1300 
PANDA Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia 


1300 726 306 
QUIT (Support to stop smoking) 


13 78 48 
Respect (Victims of physical or sexual abuse) 


1800 737 732 
Safe Steps Home (domestic violence) 


1800 015 188 
Sane Australia Helpline 


1800 187 263 
South East CASA (Centre Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence)


1800 806 292 
Sexual Assault Crisis Line 


1800 806 292 
Victims of Crime HelpLine 


1800 819 817 
Wellways Helpline 


1300 111 500 
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