Summertime Depression: What Are the Signs?
Summer is associated with beaches, lively outdoor parties and happy faces – however, for some people, it can be a less than wonderful time. For many, summer can make them ill and unhappy, the result of summertime depression. From feeling envious of other people on their holidays to a lack of body confidence and a genuine case of summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, there are many reasons why depression during the summer season could be killing your mood. The mix-up of circadian rhythms can be one of the main causes of seasonal affective disorder – in other words, the few less hours of sun each day. It’s more commonly associated with the winter months, but there is a summer version as well. Summer SAD is attributed to an irritability and agitation rather than lethargy, as it is in winter, but you may find yourself too jittery to eat, sleep or follow a regular routine. The way to combat this issue is to stay out the way of bright light and heat, and to take antidepressants. Your GP can advise you on this. It is rare to develop summer SAD but it can be dangerous, so seek advice if you think you’re suffering.
If you’ve built something up in your mind by over-thinking it, it can lead to a big distinction between expectation and reality. The gap that’s caused here can lead to disappointment, stress and even depression. You may end up feeling as though you’re missing out or not having as much fun as people you know, and that can be upsetting. The solution? Summer is no different to any other time of year – there will be ups and downs, but instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do! Make the most of your weekends and try to stay busy – meet up with friends, make an effort to tick things off your wishlist and stay positive. You will want to look back on a great summer where you had loads of fun, saw your friends and loved ones, and generally made lots of memories, so make sure that you relish each day and really make the most of the great weather.
Summer can be far more animated than the later seasons, with the kids shouting, bustling crowds and more parties. Even the outfits you see are louder! This constant noise can make you anxious and overwhelmed, leading you to feel as though you’re lacking in quiet time. The best way around this is to ensure that your factor in plenty of quiet time within each week, alongside your packed itinerary. This means time where you hand the kids over to your partner or a friend, relax and unwind. Limit your caffeine intake, switch off any electrical gadgets and really just revel in the peace. In the winter we make much more time for simply reading a book or taking a relaxing bath, but in the summer these activities seem to be replaced by a constant need to be out and about. Making this worse is the longer days, which can mess up your sleep pattern. You’re getting up earlier, staying up later, and generally becoming more tired with every passing week. Try to keep to a normal sleep pattern in the summer, even if it feels silly going to bed while it’s light out, as this will ensure you’re mentally and physically geared up for the lively summer months. Being overly tired can also worsen depression, so it will help you fight off this problem and stay healthy.