Why Do Symptoms of Eating Disorders Get Worse During the Summer?

We’re closing in on the summer as we’re making our way into June. So, it’s time for people who are living with eating disorders to learn some recovery strategies to use during the hot and humid summer months. Many people who struggle with disordered eating behaviors find that symptoms of their eating disorders are more severe during the summertime, which is why it’s important to develop more strategies as the summer months approach. But, why do symptoms of eating disorders seem to get worse as the summer months appear? 


Some of the reasons why symptoms of eating disorders may get more severe during the summer may include: 

 

Body Comfortability and Image

When the hotter months start coming, people tend to wear fewer clothes. It can be uncomfortable to wear long sleeves and pants when the sun is beaming down and it’s over 90 degrees outside. Furthermore, with more sunny and warm days comes more time spent in a bathing suit at the pool, lake, waterpark, or beach. So, swimsuits are commonly recognized as the hottest summerwear. However, for people struggling with eating disorders, wearing fewer clothes and feeling pressure to wear clothing that’s more ‘summer-accepted’ may come with body image issues. Living with eating disorder issues comes with not being comfortable in one’s skin, so going into summer months and feeling like one should wear fewer clothes to fit in can be a trigger for these individuals. 

 

Influences of Social Media

During summer months, people are bound to see others on social media flaunting their summer excursions, trips, and activities. This can include people hanging out with their friends, being comfortable in their bathing suits, and simply enjoying themselves doing what they love doing in the summertime. However, social media poses a big threat to people who are living with eating disorders and this can increase during the summer months with more people posting their bodies and their summer activities. Social media can promote feelings of jealousy as people tend to compare themselves, their bodies, and their lives with others, which can be triggering to people living with eating disorders. So, it’s important for people who struggle with disordered eating behaviors to be aware of how social media can influence their mindset.

 

Summer Activities

Everyone wants to plan summer trips, activities, and outdoor adventures as the weather is nice and kids are out of school. But, all of these activities during the summer months can also be a symptom trigger for people who are struggling with eating disorders. Many people with eating disorders struggle with nutritional deficiencies as a result of their disordered eating behavioral patterns. Thus, making getting the nutrition they need and participating in physical activity in the summertime a stimulating trigger. It’s important to eat enough and hydrate in order to steer clear of eating disorder symptoms, especially for a person who is in eating disorder recovery. Doing so can trigger other behaviors that may be negative for a person’s recovery. So, it’s necessary, as a person in an eating disorder recovery, to consider these factors during summer months. 

 

Getting Eating Disorder Help for the Summer Months

Summertime is a great time to get help for eating disorders and start the road to recovery, especially since eating disorder symptoms can flare up during this time of the year. Lotus Healing helps folks who are living with disordered eating behaviors gain control of their thought patterns and behaviors so they can establish better well-being of both their physical and mental health. Learn more about how we can help and our service from our website.

Dr. Dixie Brown is a PhD level Therapist, Integrative Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist with 15 years of experience working in Mental Health, specifically with trauma, eating disorders, and substance use.

Dixie Brown

Author

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Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.