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Navigating Eating Disorder Recovery As You Transition Into Summer

Summer break is a wonderful opportunity to reset and unwind after a long and demanding school year. However, for those struggling with an eating disorder, summer break can be a source of anxiety due to a change in routine and lack of structure. 

Here are a few tips on how to stay grounded and recovery-oriented during summer break.

Plan Ahead To Keep Yourself Accountable 

A key component to lowering anxiety levels during a time of uncertainty is taking the time to plan ahead. What do you foresee will be the most challenging part of the day? Are there environments or people that you will be around that will raise your anxiety levels around meals? Plan ahead for meals and snacks to ensure you are accountable for your meal plan. 

Ask For Support From Loved Ones 

Reach out to trusted friends and or family members for extra emotional support as you recover during the summer. Extra accountability will help combat behavior urges and keep you recovery focused. Speak to loved ones beforehand and discuss ways that they can best support you. For example, a loved one can support you by eating with you during meals or being a point of contact throughout the day if you struggle with eating disorder cognitions. Send a text or call a loved one if you are having difficulty throughout the day.

Advocate For Yourself 

Surround yourself with people who align with and support your recovery goals. If you find yourself in situations with family or friends who do not align with your recovery goals, advocate for yourself by asking them to refrain from speaking about diet culture and negative comments about food or their body around you.

Set Interpersonal Boundaries to Protect Your Recovery

If you are struggling with what to say to a family member or friend, write out what you will say beforehand to feel more comfortable setting a boundary.

Practice Self-Care 

The lack of structure during summer break can be anxiety-inducing for many in eating disorder recovery. Make time to practice self-care and engage in activities that you enjoy and that are recovery-oriented. Listen to music, read a book, journal, watch your favorite movie, or spend time outdoors. Make a list of small activities you can do each day that bring you moments of joy.

At BALANCE eating disorder treatment center™, our compassionate, highly skilled team of clinicians is trained in diagnosing and treating the spectrum of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, and other disordered eating behaviors and body image issues. 

If you are struggling with eating disorder recovery and feel that you or a loved one could benefit from recovery support over the summer, BALANCE offers PHP, IOP, and outpatient nutrition services to help guide you through your recovery journey this summer. Click here to learn about our Summer 2024 Eating Disorder Treatment Program.

Our admissions team would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our programs and services. Book a free consultation call with our admissions team below, or read more about our philosophy here.

This post was written by BALANCE Admissions Intern Julianna Frank (she/her).

Julianna is a Clinical Social Work Intern at BALANCE eating disorder treatment center™ and a second-year graduate student at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Julianna is passionate about de-stigmatizing eating disorders and intuitive eating practice, which was sparked by her recovery journey. She is interested in somatic therapy and how our bodies are affected by trauma. In her free time, Julianna loves to read on the beach in the summer, go on walks with friends, watch movies on rainy days, and travel to new places. 

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