Summertime is the best time of the year, but not for everyone. For many, the summer months represent potential obstacles in the path to recovery. As we grapple with deep-rooted emotional eating challenges, summertime can be anything but carefree. The summer months may affect recovery, but it should do so in a positive way.
During recovery, we have learned the value of routine. Staying on schedule with meals, exercise, and other positive activities helps keep us focused. Summer tends to disrupt many routines. We can overcome this challenge by exploring new ways to create or maintain positive ones. Think about taking an early morning walk each day, you may be surprised and energized by what you find.
When it is hot outside, we are unable to obscure our body shape by wearing bulky clothes without drawing attention to ourselves. On the other hand, if we don shorts or a comfortable tank top, we may feel that others are making judgements about how we look. It may be easy to get depressed about this dilemma, which can lead to unhealthy eating episodes, followed by guilt about one’s body image.
However, there is good news. Summer does not have to include another cycle of negativity. There are ways to cope and strategies for continuing on a successful recovery. Put on the shorts or tank top at home first and enjoy the feeling of freedom without thinking that others are making judgements. Next, invite a trusted friend to go outside with you when wearing summer clothes.
Give yourself a little time. Remember you do not need to be perfect to wear summer clothes. No one is perfect. Counteract the negative self-talk and go outside to discover the unique, great person that you are. The world needs you and your talents. If you have the financial means, donate to food banks, follow up with elderly neighbors, or petition elected officials about causes that matter to you.
During the summer months, stop the cycle of guilt and negativity by replacing it with talents that only you can bring to your community. Joanne Gerr, L.C.S.W. has helped many people stay on track on their road to recovery during the summer months. To meet with a Highland Park or Manhattan therapist, contact us online or give us a call at 212-750-8130. Located in Manhattan and Highland Park, New Jersey, Joanne helps individuals throughout New York and New Jersey, including Manalapan Township, Marlboro, and Westfield.