As a former teacher, I often longed for sweet summertime by the beginning of May. I could not wait to relax by the pool, take my children on summer adventures, and sleep in until at least 8 AM! However, by mid-summer, this feeling of “freedom” was replaced by feelings of anxiety and depression. The unstructured schedule of summer turned into something that I did not anticipate. I would often wonder, “What is wrong with me?”
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many are surprised to learn that summertime blues affect many individuals across the country. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder in which people who have relatively normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or the summer months. This mood disorder is also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression. Symptoms of SAD may include difficulty waking up, feeling physically sick in the morning, over sleeping, over eating, and having an overall lethargic feeling for much of the day.
First step in beating SAD is to have a plan. Think carefully about what you want out of your season (whether it is summer or winter). You do not have the luxury of going with the flow. Structure is on your side my friend. Plan things to the best of your ability to allow yourself the same structure you would at other times of the year when you are not experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Next, take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep and exercise. Eat well, rest when you can, and make a point to participate in activities that you know you will enjoy.
Lastly, if you need someone to talk to, please reach out! There are counselors that could assist you in dealing with the symptoms of anxiety and depression brought upon by SAD. There is also group therapy, animal assisted therapy, and other forms of therapy that could be very beneficial for you. Please do not hesitate to explore these avenues.
For more information on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or any other issues related to mental health, we are here for you! Please do not hesitate to reach out by calling us at 832-421-8714 or contact us here.