Timberline Knolls Offers Advice for Coping with Eating Disorder Symptoms During Summer

Summer Months Present Challenges for those Struggling with Eating Disorders

Chicago, July 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For many people, summer is the best season of the year, with a break from school, warmer weather, gatherings and fun vacations. However, for those struggling with an eating disorder, the summer months can present new challenges in managing symptoms and maintaining recovery.

Social media makes it easy to compare body shapes, appearances, and lives in general. Not only does social media show unrealistic body images, but it also portrays the highlights of the users’ lives. Seeing images of what others are up to, whether it’s attending parties or going on vacation, can lead to feelings of missing out, comparisons and depression.

“Social media can have a profound impact on an individual’s recovery. When catchphrases like ‘hot girl summer’ are used, many social media influencers will use it to discuss food and exercise choices in memes, tiktok videos and posts,” said Victoria Kupiec, RD, LDN, director of nutrition and eating disorder services at Timberline Knolls. “When these catchphrases or viral hashtags become steeped or saturated by diet culture, it can have some devastating effects on people that struggle with intense body dysmorphia.”

Body image concerns are one of the main reasons why summer may be a difficult time for individuals in eating disorder recovery. One potential symptom of eating disorders is negative body image. This involves dissatisfaction with one’s appearance and constant body checking. Individuals who have an eating disorder may obsess over the way their body looks, their weight, and their feelings toward their body. Because of negative body image concerns, outings to the beach, parties, or gatherings can be stressful. The thought of others seeing them in revealing clothing can lead to negative thoughts about the body, which could then lead to an increase in eating disorder behaviors.

Here are some tips for coping with eating disorder symptoms during the summer:

  • Shop for clothes that fit comfortably and that you feel good in
  • Cope ahead for what meals could look like ahead of time before attending summer gatherings
  • Spend time with family and friends you trust
  • Limit social media use and avoid posts about getting “bikini-ready”
  • Maintain a structured routine even if it’s summer break
  • Remember your recovery goals and your progress

The summer can be a difficult time for those in eating disorder recovery. If someone is struggling with eating disorder behaviors during summer, it’s important they reach out for help.

About Timberline Knolls:

Timberline Knolls is a leading residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls, ages 12 and older, with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. An adult partial hospitalization program (PHP) with supportive housing, is also available in nearby Orland Park, Ill., for women to step down or direct admit. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook – Timberline Knolls, LinkedIn – Timberline Knolls and Twitter – @TimberlineToday.


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