Embodying Experiences with Nature in Everyday Life Recovery for Persons with Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can be understood as attempts to manage a problematic relationship with one’s own body. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore and discuss perspectives of embodying “experiences with nature” related to recovery in everyday life for persons experiencing eating disorders. The study was carried out in the context of a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Eight participants with an interest in nature and friluftsliv (outdoor pursuits), and with experiences with bulimia nervosa and/or binge-eating disorders, were interviewed twice. Interviews took place in nature, in combination with a “going together” method. The results reveal how the participants highlighted experiences with nature as accentuating feelings of calmness and an engagement of the senses. Participants described nature as a non-judgmental environment that also provided room for self-care. This article explores the implications of everyday life perspectives on nature in recovery, as well as of an integrated focus on body and mind in experiences with eating disorders. The article concludes with an emphasis on how participant’s embodying experiences with nature enabled a (re)connection with one’s own body.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082784