Summer is often associated with happiness and carefree moments. However, for some individuals, this season brings forth a unique challenge known as the "summer blues" – a real phenomenon that can affect people of all ages.
First off, what are the “summer blues” and how can we recognize the signs?
The summer blues, also known as summer sadness or summer depression, is characterized by feelings of restlessness, irritability, fatigue, changes in appetite, and difficulty sleeping. Unlike seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which usually occurs in the darker winter months, summer blues can strike when the temperature rises.
It's essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of summer blues to address them effectively. If you find yourself feeling down, unmotivated, or struggling with emotional shifts during the summer, it might be the summer blues at play.
Understanding the causes and triggers of summer blues can help you navigate the season better. Factors like excessive heat, disrupted routines, feelings of isolation due to summer schedules and vacations, or body image issues related to summer attire can contribute to these feelings. Here are 11 signs you may be experiencing the summer blues.
So what can you do? Consider these 7 tips.
Practicing Mindfulness in the Summer:
Mindfulness and meditation can work wonders in combating the summer blues. By promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and increasing self-awareness, these practices can help you navigate the challenges of the season.
Creating a Summer Self-Care Routine:
Developing a personalized self-care routine for the summer is crucial for maintaining well-being. Focus on proper hydration, balanced nutrition, and ensuring you get enough rest during the warmer months.
Social Connections and Support:
Stay connected with friends and family during the summer, even if schedules vary. Social connections are vital for mental health, so make an effort to nurture these relationships.
Balancing Work and Leisure:
Maintaining work-life balance during the summer can be challenging, but it's essential to prioritize leisure and relaxation. Set boundaries and allocate time for activities that bring you joy and rejuvenation. Our “How To Write a Self-Care List” blog is a great place to start.
Setting Realistic Expectations:
Avoid falling into the comparison trap of others' seemingly perfect summer experiences on social media. Embrace your unique journey and set realistic expectations for the season.
Gratitude and Positive Thinking:
Cultivate gratitude and positive thinking to boost your mood and resilience during challenging times. Focus on the positive aspects of summer and appreciate its little joys.
Embracing Seasonal Hobbies:
Lastly, embrace seasonal hobbies or creative projects that bring you joy and a sense of accomplishment. Whether it's gardening, photography, or painting, find an activity that sparks your passion.
If you find it challenging to cope with the summer blues, remember that seeking professional help is a valid and courageous step. Clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers are here to help.