Embracing Recovery: Facing Eating Disorders over Summer Break

May 06, 2024

As summer approaches, individuals struggling with eating disorders may experience an increase in anxiety. With summer comes holiday gatherings, a focus on body image and food, and plenty to compare ourselves to on social media. This time of year also coincides with more students seeking eating disorder treatment in their months off from school. This may stem from a variety of factors, including the stress of the loss of routine and moving back home or elsewhere to a new setting altogether.

Considering a change of plans

The pressure to conform to summer standards can exacerbate feelings of insecurity and comparison and might even make the idea of seeking treatment seem too overwhelming. It can be difficult to make the choice to step away from a summer that you may have imagined, to a summer spent in treatment. Investing in mental health during time off from school, sports, social obligations, and other commitments can help lay a strong foundation of healing for the year to come.

Individuals and their families may have been struggling with navigating eating disorder symptoms during the school year, prompting them to reach out for help when there is a break in rigorous studies, sports, and social calendars.

Since no two eating disorders are the same, it’s necessary to recognize that the duration of treatment varies for everyone. Some may find the summer months are sufficient to set themselves up for success in the fall. While others may require longer stays in treatment and ongoing care into the school year.

Encouraging ourselves or our loved ones to seek treatment during this available time can be a good idea, and still, it’s crucial not to impose rigid timelines on healing. Recovery is a complex process, and progress isn’t always linear. Finding a treatment program that focuses on individualized care is the recommended approach regardless of the season.

Signs to watch out for

If you’re a parent wondering if your student may be struggling with an eating disorder, pay attention to these signs and symptoms:

  • A focus on dieting
  • Increased levels of exercise, especially if it reaches a point of obsession and excess
  • Stealing, hiding, or hoarding food
  • Eating with rituals
  • Increased focus on weight and body image
  • Spending less time with friends and family, avoiding social activities
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Evidence of purging
  • Changes in mood

Any of these behaviors may be a sign to ask for help.

A message to students

A message to students considering eating disorder treatment this summer:

We understand how scary this decision can be. Following a path that is different from your peers might feel lonely and like you’re missing out on the summer fun filling up your social feeds.

Everyone deserves recovery, and beginning or recommitting to your journey can help you to find the full and meaningful life that you deserve. Remember that help is out there if you are ready to take that step toward healing this summer.

We are here for you

Early intervention is crucial for eating disorder recovery. If you are interested in exploring treatment this summer or have any questions, we are here for you. Monte Nido provides both in-person and virtual treatment with programs in all levels of care and in-network with many major insurances. We know that pursuing treatment takes courage, and we are committed to supporting you in this journey.

If you are seeing signs of an eating disorder in yourself or someone you love, please don’t hesitate to visit our website or call us at 888-228-1253 or email Admissions@MonteNidoAffiliates.com to connect with a member of our Admissions Team.

Monte Nido & Affiliates delivers clinically comprehensive, research-backed treatment to adults and adolescents with eating and co-occurring disorders, within a healing environment. As a Miami, FL-based company, Monte Nido & Affiliates has over 50 programs, offering a full continuum of care. Founded in 1996, Monte Nido & Affiliates specializes in the treatment of eating disorders for all genders and includes four distinct clinical programs: Monte Nido, Walden Behavioral Care, Clementine, and Rosewood Centers. For over two decades, our tenured and expert staff — which includes recovered professionals — has delivered treatment that leads to full recovery. For more information, please visit: montenidoaffiliates.com.