6 Tips for Handling Summer Depression
The HealthCentral Editorial Team | Nov 20, 2012
Take it seriously
If thoughts of summer fill you with loathing rather than longing, you may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s true that most SAD sufferers endure their symptoms during the winter, but experts say that even if only only 1 percent of people in the country suffer from summer-based SAD that’s still over 3 million people. This year, resolve to talk to a doctor about your yearly depression.
Identify your symptoms
If you have Summer SAD then you probably know which symptoms return yearly. Maybe you’re irritable, stressed, unproductive, or unusually moody? Identifying your symptoms is a first step toward treating them.
Mark your calendar
The only good thing about seasonal affective disorder is knowing well in advance when your symptoms will show up. Approach your summer schedule with your mental health in mind. Schedule kids’ activities, family vacations, and other obligations with plenty of prep time in advance, and enough time to recouperate afterward.
Know your triggers
Financial pressures, body image problems and having kids out of school can all contribute to feelings of summer depression. Many health conditions also involve heat intolerances, so it’s important to understand what parts of the season trigger your symptoms. Once you know what bothers you, it becomes easier to avoid problematic situations.
Protect your schedule
Longer daylight hours can mean later nights, but experts recommend paying rigorous attention to your schedule to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Even if it doesn’t help speed the summer, a good night’s sleep goes a long way toward making it bearable.
Rethink your diet
Showing more skin during the summer months inspires many people to embrace dieting in order to slim down, but cutting too many calories may leave you feeling frustrated and, let’s face it, bitter. Eating a healthy diet is always a good idea, but try keeping the bulk of your diet the same as it is during other times of the year.