Recovery in the Summer
Summer can be a very difficult time for anyone who is recovering from an eating disorder. Summer is a time when you are more aware of your body because of the heat, clothes and constant talk of beach bodies. Activities are often centred around food and eating making it diffiuclt to stick to your recovery plan. While everyone is out having fun and enjoying themselves, it might become a very difficult and lonely time if you are struggling with an eating disorders. We have some tips to help you through this;
- Plan ahead
It is tempting to throw caution to the wind and go along with the summer; for some people this is okay but for others this might bring aboutn anxiety and stress. Know what you can and can't handle at this time in your recovery. If your treatment involves a diet plan don't let the summer throw this off or be an excuse to stop following it. By planning ahead for the unexpected and holiday plans you can be ready to keep on track of your recovery and treatment without letting the eating disorder creep back in by using the summer as an excuse to revert back to old habits.
- Acknowledge your stress and triggers
Summer ban bring around times of excess and situations that can be highly triggering when you might feel out of control. It is okay to feel stressed or triggered when going to a BBQ or festival but it is important that you don't allow these stresses to take over and stop you enjoying your summer!
Recovery isn't about being perfect all the time; it is okay to find this time of year difficult and triggering. Set backs happen and that is okay, but don't let it stop you on your path to recovery. By knowing your triggers and acknowledging that there are times during the holidays you will feel stresed allows you to prepare and be ready before they tirgger a relapse.
- Use support
You might think because it is the holiday season that all support services are closed and locked up for the summer, and that you are all alone during this time. This isn't true! Many services and support groups will still be running over the summer because we know how difficult and lonely the summer can be. Some treatment services and staff will off on holidays during this time, so make yourself aware of the other support around you if this is the case for you: talk to your family or friends, find a safe person to talk to who you trust who can listen when you are feeling triggered (for some people this is a family member, or a close friend, or it might be someone in a local chairty who you have spoken to before). You are not alone in this time. Many of us struggle during the summer and it is important to know you have support during this time!
Our helpline, email and drop in services will be running all summer for anyone who needs help or support during the holidays. Our support groups will also be running on the last Tuesday of the month at 7pm in Belfast over July and August.