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5 Tips from an Eating Disorder Therapist in Scarsdale, NY: How to stay on track in the summer

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

eating disorders, disordered eating, mental health tips, eating disorder recovery

Summer is here! And as fun and exciting as it is to have the warmer months, vacations planned and being done with school, summer can be a difficult time for those struggling with eating disorders. Things like: not having as much structure, many activities revolving around food and having to be in a bathing suit are just a few things that someone with an eating disorder might be having some anxiety about as summer starts.

If you or someone you know is struggling check out the 5 tips listed below to stay on track:

1. Monitor Your Thoughts

Summer can bring a huge boost in mood for many people. Better weather, more plans, upcoming vacations,etc., so it's not unusual for there to be an uptick in mood and a decrease in worries. However, it does not necessarily mean that you should stop paying attention to your thoughts. An eating disorder voice does not take time off just because it's summertime. Continue to monitor and challenge your eating disorder thoughts; continue to share them with your treatment team so they can help and that everyone is on the same page.

2. Prioritize Self-Care

Make sure that you are taking care of yourself! Even with a boost in mood we still need to be prioritizing self-care. Make sure you are following your meal plan, getting enough sleep and doing things you enjoy; keeping as much of a routine is helpful as well. As tempting as it can be to cancel sessions, make sure you continue to keep appointments with your treatment team!

Many summer acitivites can be triggering and it is good to have conversations with your therapist about what to do if you are triggered. BBQs, swimming pools, the beach are all activties that someone struggling with an eating disorder can be vulernable to. Talkings things out and processing the worries can be helpful .

3. Don’t Skip Meals or Snacks

Unless changes have been discussed with your dietitian/treatment team, do not skip meals or snacks. Our bodies need food consistently to thrive and especially with more movement and hotter weather, we need to stay on top of meal plans so our bodies run as smoothly as possible. I know it can feel easier to skip meals in the summer because of different activities and being a bit busier, however, symptom interruption can stall overall progress.

Being in a bathing suit and struggling with body image distress can be something that makes eating consistently difficult. This is something to talk about with your treatment team. Tackling body image distress in the summer, although challenging, is extremely necessary.

4. Spend Time with Supportive Friends and Family

Summer is about connection. We tend to have more plans in the summer so remember to make and keep plans with the peeps in your life who keep you motivated and encouraged in your recovery journey. Eating disorders can be isolating, so keeping people around us is the best antidote.

Summer may also be the time where you attend a more intensive treatment program or support groups. Treatment centers are typically busiest during the summer months, however, many companies have support groups whether they are eating disorder related or skills related that can be helpful to do during the season.

5. Try Something New

Trying a new hobby or activity can be the perfect thing as motivation for continued recovery. It is important to challenge eating disorder thoughts with exciting new things the world has to offer. Eating disorders can keep an individuals world small due to fear, so remember exploring all the great things, can be excellent motivation and a reminder that there are more things in life than an eating disorder.

Summer can be about a time of giving back to yourself and expanding upon hobbies you already have as well. This can also be a great opportunity to introduce some fear foods by heading to cool outdoor restaurants in your town or trying new foods altogether.

Recovering from an eating disorder can be a tough journey but I promise you, it's worth it. This summer can be a beneficial time in your recovery if you talk open and honestly with your treatment team, are open to new foods and excited for new experiences.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please reach out for help. You are kind, you are worthy and you deserve a full life!


eating disorder therapist, mental health, eating disorders, disordered eating, trauma therapy

Stephanie Polizzi is a licensed psychotherapist (LMHC) in Scarsdale, NY at Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, serving clients living in NY, NJ and FL.

Stephanie specializes in working with children, teens and adults struggling with anxiety,eating disorders, behavioral challenges, life transitions and trauma.

Stephanie uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, and EMDR Therapy in her work with clients.


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