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Anxiety about food at christmas

im really scared for christmas . i dont think i can do it. sitting down at that big meal is making me want to cry .its not even what im eating its just cos i have to eat in front of other people and its a big day . and i keep thinking im going to have a panic attack and ruin it for everyone and i dont know what to do . ive tried deep breathing and all that but it doesnt work . my heart is beating so fast and i feel sick even thinking about it

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Different celebrations at this time of year often involve food in some way. This means that anyone with an eating problem might feel anxiety about what it's going to be like. There can be a lot of pressure to be around other people which can make facing those anxieties even harder. Trying to cope with it alone can make it harder handle - if there’s someone you can trust to share your feelings with, like an adult, that could make a big difference.

Anyone who has an eating problem knows how difficult thinking about mealtimes is. For some people food can take over every part of their day - with anxiety about it starting the moment they wake up. Having anxiety over something that other people take for granted is extra difficult because it's harder for others to understand.

It might be difficult for someone who doesn't have an eating problem to understand but this doesn't mean they can't help. The important thing is that you feel like no matter what happens over Christmas, you have the freedom to take things at your own pace and have space if you need it. To make sure you can have that space it might help to talk to someone you really trust who will be there. Having someone else who knows what's going on can help to make sure you have the support you need.

Talking to someone about your worries ahead of time is really important because it means you might feel less anxious. If you try and cope on your own then your anxiety might just build and build, until it becomes too much. Preparing ahead of time can take that stress away.

If you need to talk and want to with someone anonymously then Childline is here for you throughout Christmas. We’re open all of the time and our counsellors will be ready and waiting to listen to you.

Thank you for sharing this with me, I hope it has helped.

Take care.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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