June 9, 2016 by Castlewood Treatment Center in Body Image, Eating Disorder Treatment Maintaining recovery from an eating disorder is a lifetime journey and an around-the-clock job. You do not get to go on vacation from your recovery. In fact, vacations can be some of the toughest times to keep a focus on your health.
Take the summer season. This is a difficult time for those who wrestle with eating disorders because of the cultural focus on “swimsuit readiness” it is difficult not to focus on body image. Vacations and road trips, meanwhile, disrupt whatever rhythms you have developed through meetings with your therapist and nutritionist. Finally, while a break from school stress can be quite welcome, having free time can make it all too easy to dwell on your eating disorder struggle, and perhaps to grow a bit disillusioned.
Now here is our message of hope: Summer does not have to be a time of relapse or even of treading water. You can keep moving forward in your recovery. It will require some thoughtfulness and some commitment, of course; consider starting with some of these quick suggestions.
Sticking to Your Recovery Plan
Have a food plan in place. Schedule a meeting with your dietitian now to learn how you can stay committed to good, normalized nutrition over the summer break. Come up with a good meal plan for the summer, and also talk about some general strategies for staying committed even when you may be travelling or simply outside of your norm.
Sign up for our Summer Refocus program. Castlewood Treatment Centers offers a Summer Refocus Program for those in recovery or those seeking recovery for the first time. This program allows men and women to get the support necessary to make healthy changes in their lives.
Stay active. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day or two to veg out and rest up from a hard year of school obligations, but sitting around and doing nothing all summer is not healthy. Make sure you do something to keep yourself active and engaged, even if you just go for a walk each evening or spend some time playing disc golf or throwing a football with some good friends.
Get some sleep. Even if you are travelling, working a summer job or simply trying to take advantage of the off-season, you need to get plenty of rest. This is essential for maintaining your overall health and your recovery. Find a balance between working hard and getting the shut-eye that your body requires.
Develop a plan to cope with change. Sometimes life does not work out the way we hope it might. Your travel plans may fall through. The summer internship you had hoped for might not pan out. These things happen, and it is important to take them in stride. Work with your therapist to develop a good plan for coping with the unexpected—breathing techniques, yoga, mindfulness, exercise, or whatever else works for you.
Learn something new. Engaging your mind and body is a great way to stay on track with your recovery. Therefore, even though you may be out of school, you can still take some time to develop new skill sets. This summer, why not learn to knit? To play an instrument? To draw? To speak another language? Or simply read some books or see some movies you might not be familiar with. Do something this summer to expand your mind!
Allow yourself to have fun. That is what summer is supposed to be about, right? Recovery may be serious business, but that does not mean you have to prevent yourself from enjoying these sunny months.
There is no off-season for recovery—but by following these tips; you can make your summer a great time for maintaining healthy habits.
What’s your plan for the summer? Connect with us today!