Let’s talk about something unexpected - feeling down in the summertime. We've all heard about the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But did you know SAD can become activated for some people in the summer instead? Yes, you heard it right. Some people find summer to be their toughest time of the year, mentally speaking.
Surprised? Well, you're not alone. Researchers are still doing their detective work to figure out exactly why this happens, but we've got a few leads to follow.
What's Going On? Why Does Summer-Onset SAD Happen?
The truth is, we don't have all the answers yet. But there are a few things that could be causing you to feel blue when the sun is out.
The Picture-Perfect Summer Everyone has an ideal summer in their mind, right? But when reality doesn't match up to this mental snapshot, it can contribute to feelings of stress and dissappointmnet.
Wallet Worries And then there's the financial strain. Summertime expenses like vacations, concerts, and parties can stretch your budget and lead to anxiety.
The Social Pressure On the other end, if your social calendar isn't jam-packed, it's easy to feel a bit isolated or left out.
Body Image Blues Summer means more skin on show, and if you're already feeling self-conscious, this can amplify those insecurities.
Routine Roulette Summer also tends to disrupt our routines. This sudden change can throw you off balance and create an underlying sense of instability.
What Should I Do? Tips for Navigating the Summer Slump.
The most important thing to remember if you're experiencing any of this? It’s okay to not be okay… even in summer. You're not alone, and there are strategies to help:
Get Up, Get Out, and Get Moving Your physical well-being is important. Try to incorporate regular exercise into your routine and ensure you're eating well and getting enough sleep. Additionally, make it a point to leave your house a few times a week, even if it's just for a short walk.
Practice Self-Love Remember: Every Body is a Beach Body- so celebrate yours! Additionally, be mindful of your self-talk and remind yourself that it's okay to have bad days.
Create Your "Summer Normal" Long days can turn your routine upside down. Start by creating a new structure that suits you. Begin with small changes like a morning or nighttime routine and build from there. I created the 5-Step Morning Routine Checklist for anyone dealing with depression to help lift your mood and start your day on a positive note. You can get a copy of it below.
4. Reach Out for Support
Don't hesitate to reach out if you get stuck. There are professionals that can provide you with tools and strategies to manage these feelings. If you’re interested in working with a therapist, I invite you to schedule a consultation with me by clicking here.
Summer-Onset SAD can be tough to navigate, but you don't have to do it alone. Reach out, get help, and take it one day at a time. You're stronger than you think, and there are resources and people ready to help.