Summer depression is a very real thing that affects people all around the globe. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is typically associated with winter depression, often accompanying less daylight and cold weather. Summer can be a tough time for some as well. Depending on your specific situation, therapy, lifestyle changes and medication can help you get through it and come out feeling stronger and healthier in the long run. Keeping these five things in mind can help you find the skills you need to cope with your depression and allow yourself to have some summer fun.
1. Acknowledge It.
Depression often occurs in cycles — if you notice you often get depressed in the summer, acknowledging that it could be a seasonal thing can help you better deal with the symptoms. It may be a good idea to go to therapy more often and talk with your counselor about the best ways to address your depression.
2. Avoid Putting Pressure on Yourself.
It’s easy to idealize and put pressure on yourself to live up to the expectation of what summer should be. If your perfect summer involves sitting inside watching Netflix, working on a crafting project or curling up with a good book, do it. Although these things may be comforting, it’s also important to get some exercise. Put on a yoga video or take a walk in the morning to beat the heat, and keep your body moving. Also, remember to take social media with a grain of salt — it is NOT real life. For all you know, people posting “best summer ever” photos could also be suffering from depression.
3. Stay Cool.
For some people, being too hot can affect their mental state and leave them feeling lethargic, depressed, irritable, and agitated. When the days get longer, it can also be harder to sleep, which can have an impact on your mental health as well. Keep cool by turning on the A/C, sitting in front of a fan or catching a movie in a nice, air-conditioned movie theater.
4. Avoid Isolating Yourself.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family you trust to let them know what’s going on. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of attending a large family gathering, take some one-on-one time with loved ones instead. Knowing people care and spending quality time with them can often be the best therapy.
5. Seek Help
Although meditation, exercise, medication, and behavior modification can help ease the symptoms of depression, if you’re still feeling down, it may be time to seek therapy. If depression is keeping you from doing the things that make you feel better, seeking treatment can help you navigate depression and allow you to develop the coping skills you need to live a more joyful life. Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment today.