Summer is finally here, and everyone’s thoughts are turning to backyard BBQs, days at the beach, and nights on the patio with family and friends.
While millions of Americans look into safety tips for staying safe in the upcoming summer heatwaves, there is another danger lurking: seasonal depression. Many people think that seasonal depression only strikes in the winter of the year when the days are shorter, the nights are colder, and everything in the outside world seems to shut down and go still. Unfortunately, that’s not true.
There are many people who suffer from seasonal depression in the glorious summer months as well. If you’re one of those people, we have a few tips to help you cope with the feelings that come along with this type of depression.
Take a Depression Test
One of the first things you should do if you’re feeling out of sorts is to take a depression test to determine the depth of your problem. This can help you figure out the best course of treatment. It’s really important that if you’re having feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of hurting yourself or others, you might have more serious depression and need to make an appointment with your doctor for help.
Drop Your Idea of What Summer Is Supposed to Be
Many people who suffer from summer seasonal depression have said that they have a hard time getting past their childhood memories of what summer is supposed to be like. For most people, summers as children were carefree, relaxed, and full of exciting adventures. If that’s still what you think summers are supposed to be, then continuing to go to work every day and do the same thing you do in the fall and winter can be upsetting.
While there are many amazing things about summer to love, that doesn’t mean that the whole season is full of nothing but excitement. Remember, you’re an adult now and that comes with responsibilities that probably don’t change with the season. It might help you if you work on your FOMO (fear of missing out). Try staying off social media for a little while if you are feeling depressed. Also, remember that what people post there is the best part of their lives. They aren’t generally posting about the terrible, boring parts of their summer. Take what you see on those platforms with a grain of salt and move on with your day.
Believe it or not, extreme heat can trigger summer seasonal depression in some people. While there is no scientific proof, heatwaves have been said to be responsible for anxiety, anger, and depression in people.
Hotter temperatures also contribute to poorer sleep, which can trigger depression as well. Make sure to stay cool during the summer months as much as possible to help mitigate the seasonal depression symptoms.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Just as with a winter seasonal depression, the last thing you need to do is isolate yourself from your family and friends when you’re depressed. Summer is the time to get out and take walks around the neighborhood, go out to dinner with friends, and just enjoy a BBQ around the pool on a humid summer evening.
Instead of isolating yourself, make plans with friends. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel after a night on the town or even a day at the beach with your family.
Know When to Seek Help
If the tips above don’t work for you, or if you just feel that you need to talk to someone, it’s best to seek help. You need to know when your depression is just a temporary thing and when it’s becoming something serious. There are many therapists, online support groups, and other things available to help you get through this period in your life. You may feel more comfortable with a female therapist, an LGBT therapist or someone of the same racial background as you. There are plenty of different therapists out there, the important thing is to keep meeting with new ones until you find someone that is a good fit for you. If you feel that you need help, know that it’s out there for you.
These are just a few tips to help you stave off summer seasonal depression. Remember, even though summers aren’t as magical as they were in your childhood, they can still be fun no matter what age you are.