Seasonal Depression Can Hit This Summer – Summertime Blues and How to Cope

While we tend to associate seasonal depression with winter months, this hotter season can also usher in summertime blues. Lucky for us, there are ways to cope and treat this rare, yet serious occurrence.

That’s right, summertime sadness isn’t just a catchy song to sing in the shower. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about seasonal affective disorder (SAD), including how summertime SAD can differ from winter SAD. Learn how you can use different techniques and tips to cope in the summer in order to live a healthier, happier life.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that relates to seasonal changes. For about 90% of individuals who suffer from this condition, the winter months are when symptoms of SAD tend to occur. Changes in weather, light, and events often lead to a wintertime bout of SAD, but it is not the only season with this condition.

While less common, about 10% of individuals who suffer from SAD get symptoms in the spring and summer. There are differences that are very important to take note of.

Signs of SAD

Some signs of seasonal affective disorder include a change in mood, energy, and behaviors. This seems very general, it is one of the reasons why SAD is difficult to diagnose. Taking note of when symptoms start and when they stop is crucial in identifying this condition. For example, if symptoms occur in the hotter months, and then resolve by fall or winter, you may be dealing with summertime blues.

Winter vs Summer SAD

There are key differences to take note of When comparing winter and summer seasonal affective disorder. In the winter, the symptoms tend to be a lack of energy, feeling tired, slowing down, lethargic, and sluggish. Individuals with winter SAD may be bothered by the dark and cold temperature, lacking motivation and purpose.

On the other hand, people experiencing summer seasonal affective disorder may seem more jittery, overactive, agitated, and extremely bothered by light or heat. At the end of the day, the best thing to do if you think you are suffering from seasonal affective disorder of any kind, talk to a medical professional about the symptoms you have.

Summertime Blues and How to Cope

After properly diagnosing summertime sadness, it’s important to take steps to cope. Feeling bad should never be the default, and sometimes it takes active work to improve. While not easy, it can be done with adequate support from individuals in your life who care about you. Always reach out when you need to. 

1. Blackouts

As opposed to Winter blues, which may be caused by a lack of light, a cause of summertime SAD may be too much light. Therefore, in order to combat this, reduce light a lot. This can be done by investing in blackout curtains, which can help block out a large amount of light from entering the home. Try to make your environment less irritating by investing in dimmer lights as well as cooling off the rooms.

2. Cool Off Always

Along that vein, try to cool the body down. Cold showers can be a super quick way to reduce the effects of heat on our core temperature. You can also drink cold water and stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces. This can help improve mood exponentially, reducing the symptoms of summertime sadness.

3. Stick to a Routine

A routine is a simple way to help you achieve small accomplishments throughout the day. Having a routine can help motivate you by giving you something to do. Happiness chemicals can be activated once you complete a task or goal, so routine is a good way to help increase them in the body. Sticking to a routine can also help you maintain stability and structure even through episodes of sadness.

4. Plan In Advance

Life can seem very monotonous. Making plans can give you something to look forward to. For example, if you make plans on Saturday of next week, you are looking forward to that as of now. Making plans is also a good way to treat yourself. Plans don’t have to be a huge travel trip. They could be planning to pick up takeout from your favorite cafe. Start making little plans that you can look forward to all throughout the summer. Even better, invite some friends and make it a big event.

5. Reach Out to Others

Establishing and reaching out to the connections you have built throughout your life is essential in combating loneliness that can occur during seasonal affective disorders. Make sure you reach out to people you care about and who care about you. This is vital. Sometimes to get help you have to ask for help.

6. Get Professional Help

At the end of the day, sometimes our actions need to include seeking medical assistance. Antidepressants that work for other types of mental illness can be used for summer depression as well. However, sometimes antidepressants interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, which is something to discuss with your doctor, especially in the summertime.

The Takeaway

Although seasonal affective disorder is most common in the winter, it could also occur in the hotter months. The summertime blues is not just something to sing about. It is a real phenomenon that can cause symptoms that are detrimental to your wellness. Finding out about seasonal affective disorder and your options can help you cope with more ease. Try to keep up a routine, reduce light, stay cool, and make plans. Reach out to the people you care about and be sure to get professional advice when needed.

Remember that health comes from within. Eat healthy, nutritious meals, exercise when you can, and take care of your mental health. Daily habits become the building blocks for emotional, mental, and physical health. Take care of your gut health too! Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here.

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