Eating Disorders

Making Summer Your Own in Eating Disorder Recovery

Making Summer Your Own in Eating Disorder Recovery | Libero Magazine 2
Summer doesn’t have to be about swimming-related activities and showing lots of skin. In fact, there are many outside-of-the-box activities free from pools.

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So many people hear the word summer and immediately begin to think about tank tops, bathing suits, heat, and beaches. But summer doesn’t have to be about swimming-related activities and showing lots of skin. In fact, there are many outside-of-the-box activities free from pools, lakes, oceans, flip-flops, or sun exposure. Plus, as a result of doing nontraditional activities, you may expand your horizons as well as eliminate stress.

Here are a few ideas to get your brain thinking:

Try horseback riding. It happens outside, and it can be relaxing, athletic, or both. It’s also much more about what you’re doing rather than what you’re wearing and doesn’t involve water at all.

Experiment with photography. Have you ever considered mapping out a route and trying to find the best scenes? Sometimes you can send yourself on a mission to tell a story through pictures. Others times you can just see where your mood and travels take you. The summer has lots of opportunities for beautiful discoveries.

All summer activities don’t have to happen during the day.

Enjoy the outdoors at night through some of the following options:

  • Perhaps a drive-in movie will be something special and different for you and your friends and family members, or even by yourself.
  • Simply planning some time before bed to lie outside and look up at the stars is peaceful too.
  • You can also host a bonfire with S’mores or other treats to enjoy what the summer has to offer once it’s dark.
  • Having a picnic dinner somewhere is also a great idea, and it can be tailored to your needs (menu, the number of people, location, etc.).
  • What about attending a nighttime concert during the summer? They are a lot of fun and again, you can pick and choose the who, what, when, and where.
  • If music, food, and movies aren’t in line with your interests, you can always museum-hop during the summer. When it’s sweltering outside, museums can be some of the nicest places to find tranquillity and diversion.

Summer doesn’t have to make you wildly uncomfortable or give you an awful feeling of dread.

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We have been conditioned by society to think the only thing beautiful in the summer is a thin, tanned woman showing off lots of skin, but this is false.

Summer isn’t about looks, and it shouldn’t necessarily be about putting more effort into your appearance. It should be about going with the flow, being yourself, and being natural. If you like what you’re doing and are filling your time with things you enjoy, this will be easy!

If you look at the summer as this scary thing waiting to make you miserable, it will. But summer can be wonderful.

Okay, so it’s hot and you need to wear less clothing to keep cool. Understandable. But here’s a small trick to keep you feeling a little better when you’re wearing shorts, your bathing suit, or your tank top: wear one thing you feel really good in.

When you get dressed and you’re already practically itching with angst and disgust, put on one thing that makes you feel either brave, cheerful, confident, or preferably, all of the above.

A favorite summer scarf can feel like a light shield, keeping you a little bit more covered so you’re more comfortable. Or you could wear a really unique necklace someone gave you that makes you feel special. Something with meaning; something to take away from the negative way your outfit makes you feel.

You may have to put some thought into this. If you’re completely at a loss, you may have to make a plan and take a shopping trip to buy some interesting mood savers, like going on the lookout for a special belt. Something you absolutely love and can wear with all those pairs of shorts that make you want to hide away at home. Get creative. Think about what can improve your sense of self and your opinion of your attire.

Sometimes the little things are what really makes a difference and allow you to plan your days and do what makes you happy, whether it’s what everyone else is doing or an activity unique to you.


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Arielle Lee Bair

Arielle Bair is an MSW, LSW, blogger, ANAD eating disorder support group leader, speaker, and widow. She is also a licensed Hospice Social Worker, adjunct instructor for Marywood University, and loving cat momma. In addition to her MSW, Arielle has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and in Women’s Studies. Hope is Arielle's favourite personal value. She writes on many topics including eating disorders, mental health, grief, loss, and women's issues.