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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

How to Fight Summer Depression

How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression How to Fight Summer Depression

Though summertime is often a time of fun and excitement for many people, the summer blues are common to many others, as well. You may have difficulty coping with the heat, body issues, or perhaps memories of past summers that you can’t seem to forget. In any case, if you assess the causes, work to beat the depression, and focus on enjoying your summer, you can fight the summer blues.


[Edit]Assessing the Causes

  1. Assess potential causes. Many people suffer from sadness or depression during certain seasons of the year, particularly winter or summer. If you are suffering from depression, recognize that you are not alone and begin to consider the roots of your feelings. Consider if the following issues could be at the root of the problem:[1]
    Fight Summer Depression Step 1.jpg
    • Body issues—many begin to experience depression out of fear or anxiety of having to wear shorts or bathing suits during these months.
    • Financial issues—financial pressures can be more intensive in the summer when most are going on vacations, which are typically costly.
    • Heat—changes in weather can be at the root of your problem. The heat in many sectors of the world can be so intense that it can significantly lower your quality of life.
    • Loneliness—such as from seeing people around you go out and do things with other people.
  2. Journal your thoughts. Though thinking about these issues is a helpful first step in understanding the issue, you can take it a bit further by writing out your thoughts in a journal or a diary. Many people process their thoughts better when they are on paper; this will also give you the opportunity to revisit your thoughts later to see if your mood and depression have improved or worsened.
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    • Write out thoughts like “I feel like I am the only person who feels sadness during the summer and like I can’t share these thoughts with others. But the heat really affects me and makes me want to avoid the world.”
  3. Talk to someone you trust. Though you may feel like this depression is unique only to you, know that others may be undergoing a similar issue or may be willing to listen even if they are not. Take some time to discuss your feelings with a friend, family member, or other confidant. Be open and honest with them. They may be able to help you or find ways for you to overcome your depression. Let them know what they can do to help you, such as spending time with you, and then you can return the favor to them sometime.
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    • You might say something like “Hey, I wanted to talk to you about something. I know that most people love it but I tend to get a little blue during the summer. Do you ever feel like that?”
    • Even if they say no, you can say “I was just wondering. It’s just that I have some body issues and the summer is so beach and pool focused that I find it hard to cope with sometimes.”
  4. Develop a plan to address the problem. Fighting summertime depression can be multi-pronged. Perhaps it’s the heat and financial issues that are troubling you. Carve out ways to address these issues so that you can make it through the summer as happy as possible and overcome this depression.
    Fight Summer Depression Step 4.jpg
    • If your issues are financial, make a plan to save in the months approaching the summer. Consider getting a part time job if there are certain things that you must pay for, like summer daycare. Cut out any unnecessary spending and consult a financial advisor. They can provide you with advice on how to have more financial stability in general.
    • If you have body issues, work on being more body positive. There are body positive blogs out there as well as a body positive community. Know that nobody is perfect; we all have our individual hangups and problem areas. If it is bothering you at other times of the year, consider exercise and having a healthy diet. Seek out a professional such as a personal trainer to help keep you accountable.
    • If you have issues with the heat, try to stay indoors as much as possible. Wear light and airy clothing. Stay away from dark clothes. Keep your hair up or cut it short during the summer. Wear open toed shoes. Find enjoyable affordable indoor activities to enjoy during the summer, such as bowling, going to the movies, and visiting museums.
  5. Consider talking to a professional. Sometimes, the blues may be too hard for you to handle alone, and that is okay. Many professionals are trained to address SAD in others, so make a few calls to professionals in the area to see if they are trained to discuss this.[2]
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    • Remember that seeking help is never a bad thing; therapy has benefited millions of people.

[Edit]Fighting the Depression

  1. Get on a schedule. Sometimes, depression can arise because during the summer, there may be less or more to do than in the other months. Setting up a schedule for yourself can help alleviate either some of the lapses you have in time or some of the more overwhelming aspects of your schedule.[3]
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    • Try to fill your schedule with fun activities if you feel that you don’t have enough to do. Don’t wait to do this. Do it ahead of time so you will have plenty of activities lined up.
    • Take some unnecessary tasks off of your plate if you are feeling overwhelmed and work on prioritizing tasks or activities.
  2. Replace the triggers. Often times, people suffer from SAD because some negative experience or experiences occurred during that particular season in their life in the past. Though these issues may be difficult to get over, you should take some time to think about them, journal them out, and talk to others or a professional. In addition, work to create new memories during the summer to replace this old and bad ones.[4]
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    • Do fun things with friends or take a memorable trip. If you are dealing with the anniversary of losing a loved one, then see if one of these activities can commemorate them in some way.
    • Reflect on the positive memories that you have had in past summers.
  3. Sleep. Sometimes, people begin to feel depressed because they stop sleeping regularly and enough. You may feel that you have so much to do or so many things on your mind that it is affecting your sleep pattern. However, you should remember that you cannot be at your best unless you have gotten a sufficient amount of sleep. The recommended amount per night is eight hours.[5]
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    • Commit to going to sleep at the same time each night to assure that you are sleeping enough. Create a routine for yourself to help train your brain to know when to sleep. If insomnia goes on for a long time, then talk to your doctor about treatment options.
    • Make a sleep schedule even for the weekends. You don’t want to sleep your entire day away or throw off your schedule for the weekdays.
  4. Exercise. Exercise is a great home remedy to address depression and other mental and physical health concerns. Consider joining a gym or doing some simple exercises around your home. You can YouTube some basic workouts and watch them on your computer, phone, or TV.[6]
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    • Consider asking a friend to workout with you.
    • You can also walk around the neighborhood if it is not too hot for you.
  5. Say no sometimes. You may have commitments, but remember that it’s okay to say no. For instance, if you typically always host a cookout at the beginning of the summer, recognize that it is okay not to this year. See if another friend or family member will do it instead and offer to help out.[7]
    Fight Summer Depression Step 10.jpg
  6. Make tweaks to your home and diet. Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables that are best during the summer, like strawberries. Consider getting darker blinds if the sunlight bothers you or if you are looking for solutions to the heat.[8]
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  7. Practice yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation are great ways to relax and destress. Go to a yoga studio or take classes at your local gym. You can also find yoga videos online. Meditation is also a way to cope and to recenter yourself to positivity. Meditate on mantras or quotes that are salient to you.[9]
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    • Do yoga with a friend.
    • A mantra you might meditate on is “I will be happy. I will be positive.”

[Edit]Enjoying your Summer

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. You may be feeling frustrated with yourself for being depressed or for not having more ‘get up and go’, but remember that beating yourself up will only make you feel worse. Work to forgive yourself for this depression and also recognize that it is not your fault. Try your best to enjoy your summer, but also make time to take care of yourself.[10]
    Fight Summer Depression Step 17.jpg
  2. Plan something fun. Perhaps your depression is rooted in feeling that you don’t have anything fun to do during the summer. Plan a vacation with friends or even set up a few movie nights if you want to be more cost effective.[11]
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    • Many cities offer free and fun events downtown during the summer. See what your city offers and make plans to go.
  3. Hang out with friends. Spending time with friends is a great way to overcome the summertime blues. Keep in touch with your friends during the summer by calling and texting them regularly and making plans with them to hang out.[12]
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    • Accept their offers to hang out and resist the urge to stay home alone feeling blue.
    • Consider joining a community where you can meet people and make friends, such as a church or other spiritual group or special interest group in your community.
  4. Continue your hobbies. One sign or depression is when a person stops doing the things that they typically enjoy. Push back against the urge to quit or be reclusive; continue to do the things that you love so that depression doesn’t overpower you. Take breaks when necessary but don’t lose sight of the things that make you ‘you.’[13]
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    • If you enjoy certain sports that are typically played outside, see if you can find ways to do that inside, instead. For instance, there are quite a few indoor soccer arenas.
    • Be open to new activities as well. If people invite you to join them in activities, then say yes.
  5. Beat the heat. If you feel that your depression is associated with the debilitating heat that often comes with the summertime, work to stay indoors when you can and stay cool when you cannot. Make plans to hang out with your friends that will be indoors like going to the mall or to the movies. Stay in the shade when outdoors.[14]
    Fight Summer Depression Step 15.jpg


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