With the warm weather and summer activities, it can be easy to forget to take time to yourself over the summer. The Emily Program knows how essential taking time to care for yourself during recovery is, so we reached out to our community and staff to see how they practice self-care. If you aren’t sure where to start, try using one of their ideas!
“To practice self-care I force myself to lay down, even when and if my eating disorder tells me that I’m lazy, and I watch my favorite show—Grey’s Anatomy!” – Kara
“My favorite way to practice self-care in the summer is to lay in my hammock and read a good book in the evening, while the world is settling in for another night. Of course, I need plenty of bug spray!” – Maggie Meyers
“I make a glass of tea and I take a nap on bad days.” – C. F.
“I offer clients this handout to read. I also remind them that ‘self-care’ is not always bubble baths and pedicures, but it’s also nourishing the body, adequate sleep, therapy, etc.!” –Abbie Scott
“Maintaining my boundaries in the summer is absolutely crucial. Summer in Minnesota is fun and since it’s so short, I find that it’s easy to throw boundaries and self-care out of the window, all for the sake of clinging to this beautiful weather. So, I try to keep good (structured yet permeable) boundaries with work hours, family time, hanging out with friends, and sleep/wake times. Sometimes I miss out, but I feel a lot better physically and mentally when I care for myself in that way.” –Jamila Helstrom.
“I took myself out on a lunch date this week!” – Shannon P.
“My summer self-care is spending as much time in the sunshine as possible while still giving myself the grace of not feeling guilty for spending some time indoors. I tend to get ‘fomo’ while catching up on indoor tasks but I know they are necessary for my mental health in the long run.” –Dani V.
“I get 6-7 hours of sleep each night, spend time with friends, stay sober, spend time in the sun whenever possible here in the PNW!” – Jenna
“I practice self-care by doing stretches every morning and drinking lots of water. I also constantly encourage myself to feel happiness without needing a reason to feel that way.” – Dan F.
“Stay hydrated, soak up the sun, and take time to smell the flowers.” –Ariana Ward
“It’s hard because for me the heat gets me so sick and exhausted, so hydration and staying indoors is key!” –Stephanie Vitale
“Honestly, I just try to remember that my summer perfect body is just my body as it is, with no modifications. Summer is a hard month for me; the warmth means revealing clothing but whenever I want to cover up, I just remind myself that I fought so hard for years to be able to wear these shorts, regardless of if someone looks better in them.” –Dylon.
“Summer can be hard for me too, I feel conflicted sometimes on wanting to be cool and comfortable and wanting to cover up. I found I can wear my work out clothes and feel more secure, so I wear my sports bra to the beach! Why not! I go barefoot in the woods, too! As strange as it may sound, with the summer keeping the earth dry, it is a great time to connect and remember we are a part of such a beautiful area! It’s freeing to have your feet in some dirt! I also visit as many farmers’ markets as I can to try to come up with some creative, nourishing meals to make my meal plan more fun—everything is so fresh and vibrant! I love the PNW!” –Anonymous
“I go on a mindful walk or listening to a podcast on my desk, soaking up some Vitamin D to help boost my mood and care for myself! I always encourage my clients at AWH to step outside and soak up some sun and fresh air for a change of scenery.” –Bailey Weirens.
Are you struggling with self-care, body image, or food this summer? If so, reach out to The Emily Program. From taking an eating disorder assessment to starting treatment, The Emily Program is there for you every step of the way.
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