By: Christy Tapocsi, RD, LDN at The Renfrew Center of Nashville
Summer is officially here and with it comes vacations, pool parties and cook-outs. While this is an exciting and much needed time for rest and relaxation, it can also be very difficult for those struggling with eating disorders. These events can cause anxiety, fear and overwhelm, and can even increase eating disorder urges and behaviors to isolate and avoid. Below are three tips to maintain those summer vibes AND recovery.
- CREATE AND MAINTAIN STRUCTURE
Eating disorders are very good at justifying all sorts of thoughts and behaviors, especially when out of the typical routine. It is crucial to recovery to create and maintain a structure and routine each day, including making time for all meals and snacks.
- PLAN AHEAD
Traveling, parties and school being out are times and places where there are many unknowns. Thoughts may include “what foods will be served?” “Where is the nearest restaurant?” and “What if they don’t have the foods I eat at a friend’s house?” Part of ED recovery is leaning into the discomfort and practicing tolerating the stress of the unknown and going with the flow. However, planning during the anxiety provoking times can be helpful to follow through with number one: maintaining structure and routine. Reach out to your support people to help plan where to stop while traveling for lunch and planning the best you can for when eating at others’.
- NOURISH THE BODY AND SOUL
Maintaining structure and planning are important ways to be able to nourish your body. In the summer, it is common to be more active due to the longer summer nights, extra time, and the variety of outdoor activities. This also increases our energy and hydration needs. Make sure to nourish the body with plenty of fluids and a variety of foods. Just as important is nourishing the soul by practicing social connections during this time of year. Maybe ask a friend to go to lunch one day or encourage everyone to pack food to share for the day on the river.
And most of all, enjoy and embrace the summer!
Christy is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) as well as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Christy has a diverse background in the field of dietetics from WIC to her current role at The Renfrew Center of TN, an eating disorder facility for women. She provides nutrition education and support through groups and individual sessions with clients as well as leads a weekly yoga group for clients to practice mindfulness, gentle movement and to connect to the body and breath. Christy believes all foods fit and uses a health at every size and non-diet approach to working with clients.