Eating Disorders and Managing Summer Triggers

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Sarah Schwartz

Sarah Schwartz

The summer months are coming up, and while they can be a time of great fun and relaxation, they can also be an extremely triggering time for those in eating disorder recovery. There are certainly many reasons why sustaining eating disorder recovery can be difficult during these months, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Relying on people who you care about and who are willing to listen can help make these summer triggers much more manageable. 

1. Summer Attire

The summer months typically result in wearing attire that is more revealing, which can be extremely triggering for body image and body dysmorphia. It is important to remember that clothes are meant to fit YOU, not vice versa. 

2. Spending Time With Triggering People

The summer brings more time to be surrounded by people that may be triggering, say triggering things, or have mentioned triggering ideas in the past. Be conscientious of who you are spending time with this summer, and reach out to your support team when things get hard. There are people who want to support you and they are on your side! Don’t forget to use them.

3. Summer Foods

Summertime brings a lot of events that typically involve food, such as the Fourth of July, weddings, birthdays, etc. Don’t forget that these events are meant to be enjoyed, and food is just another part of that great celebration! Food does not have to be the focus of the event. Try to enjoy what is happening and take it in for what it is. It is so much more important to remember the moments, not the food that was consumed at an event.

4. Free Time

The summer months usually mean more free time for people. While this can be a great thing, it can also be hard to manage an abundance of free time while in recovery from an eating disorder. Try to plan events that are enjoyable but still leave room for nourishment. Sometimes, it can be useful to plan out different activities on a more specific schedule so you can be sure to fit nourishing your body into your day to day life.

Sarah Schwartz is from Baltimore, Maryland, and is a full-time high school teacher in Baltimore County. She was a dancer her entire life and was directly impacted by the ways in which the dance world influenced her outlook on food, body image, and nutrition. She attended The University of Alabama and graduated with degrees in Dance and English in 2020, moving back to Baltimore to start her teaching career right after. Currently, she teaches dance several days a week at her local dance studio and is an ambassador for Project HEAL, a nonprofit company that works to provide eating disorder treatment for those who cannot afford it on their own or do not have the resources to attend treatment programs. Sarah aims to bring a positive outlook on movement and food with both the school and dance students she teaches.