Reading the title to this article may make one scoff at its seeming absurdity. We all know of winter depression, when the prevailing weather forces us to stay indoors, and there are few outdoor activities that give as much fun and contentment as summer outings. But, believe it or not, summer depression is real. In fact, the condition has its own name – reverse seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
As its name implies, summer depression is seasonal. Just when one should be out on picnics, enjoying the scenery, or participating in outdoor activities, the symptoms of summer depression manifests itself in you. These symptoms include loss of sleep, lack of appetite, anxiety and even weight. Some therapists in Victoria BC have even weighed in that summer depression has a biological basis. Whatever the reason, here are some ways on how to deal with depression during the summer:
- Accept that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a thing. Just as it can occur in winter, so can it affect a person in summer. Accepting that you can be affected by SAD is already a positive step in dealing with it. Depression is depression, whenever it occurs. The fact that it is affecting you during summer should give you valuable insight on the factors triggering it. If you already have been to therapy for depression, consider scheduling an extra session or two if the summer is affecting you negatively.
- Don’t be fixated on what summer is supposed to be like. Your memories may be filled with fantastic childhood vacations, carefree activities, and back to back parties. Now that you’re an adult, there may be a subconscious expectation that you need to continue with these traditions for yourself and your family. Don’t be pressured to sending your kids to summer camp or taking your significant other to that destination he or she has been gushing about. Financial concerns are a real worry when you’re an adult, so don’t spend what you currently can’t afford.
- Having said that, do maintain contact with friends and peers when you’re feeling down. If your budget is tight, picnics in the park with your kids, hanging out in public places, or volunteering for social work are great activities for combatting loneliness and depression.
- Stop comparing your life to what you see on Facebook and other social media sites. Seeing those photoshopped sexy bodies in exotic locales does make one feel envious – specially if you have nothing comparable to post on your own accounts. Do realize that all those posts are not always representative of the actual lifestyles of those people, and they’re not actually having their best summer ever. A series of pictures or short videos is just a selection of glimpses into one’s good moments. As you and I know, life is a series of ups and downs.
Contact Strength In Heart if you are looking to deal with your depression this summer.