Most people equate Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, with autumn and winter when the sky is grey and the weather is cold. It is even referred to as the “winter blues.” But there is another, less common type of seasonal affective disorder that rears its ugly head in the spring and summer seasons.
This form of SAD disorder is called summer depression and it may have something to do with the changes in the amount of sunlight the body is soaking up or even the fact that your normal routine has been disrupted by school ending. Here are four tips on how to cope during a time of the year when it seems like everything is supposed to feel sunny:
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is vital when it comes to combating depression and other mental illnesses. Find a time of day that isn’t too hot or a basement or cellar that’s nice and cool. You can also look into joining a gym for a few months to get you through the summer.
All the fun, games, and shorter nights of summer can make it hard to keep up with a sleep routine, but its healing effects for depression will make it worth the effort.
3. Avoid extreme dieting and fitness
Diving into a suddenly restrictive diet and a more intense exercise routine to fit into a summer wardrobe can be harmful to both the body and the mind. Instead, eat and exercise in moderation. This will stave off anxiety rather than creating it.
4. Be kind to yourself
One of the hardest things about summer depression is that it can feel lonely. It’s the time of year when it seems almost everyone feels happier and more relaxed. Avoid comparing yourself. Don’t let the calendar dictate how you should feel and focus on healing.
As with all mental illnesses, it’s important to get help when you need it. We have many different resources available to you here at Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute. Don’t take signs of depression lightly. If Seasonal Affective Disorder has been making you miserable this summer, then we’re here to help! Reach out to us for yourself or to refer a family member.