Feeling Isolated This Summer? You Are Not Alone

Summer is the time of year that many people look forward to. During the winter months, we are more secluded, staying indoors due to the cold temperatures and shortened hours of daylight. As summer approaches, many look forward to outdoor activities and hobbies, such as fishing, hiking, barbeques and day trips. However, research has found that 13 percent of people have experienced increased feelings of isolation during the summer months.

What is Summer Isolation?

Summer isolation is when your engagement with others and activities decrease during the summer. You are not alone if you’re feeling more lonely during this time. School is out and there are less structured activities, friends and family go on vacations, and you may not be receiving all the invitations to barbeques and summer parties that others will, especially when you have a smaller social group.

What are the Affects of Summer Isolation?

Summer isolation can be challenging to deal with, and in some instances can make you feel lonely and stressed. The affects of summer isolation include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite (increased or decreased)
  • Increased irritability
Why is Summer Isolation Prevalent?

Summer is a time when our schedules change, and routines shift. People are more likely to be in a bad mood because they spend time away from their families, friends, or other loved ones.

The fear of COVID-19 exposure also plays a role in leading people to experience summer isolation. With people self-isolating to escape the virus, the lack of social interaction can lead people to feel isolated and alone.

This can make it harder for them to feel like they have support in their community and challenge them to find ways to connect with others.

How Can You Overcome Feelings of Isolation?
  1. Take care of yourself first. Exercising, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and practicing yoga and mediation can help boost your mood and ease loneliness.
  2. Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and feel good about yourself. You can look into your local animal shelters, nursing homes, and soup kitchens to get involved in something meaningful.
  3. Join a local club. What are your interests? Do you like reading, walking, sports, or crafting? Look for a club near you that is geared to your interests. This is another way of meeting new people and staying involved.
  4. Spend time with your friends. No matter how big or small your social circle is, spending time with your friends is beneficial to your mental health. Set up lunch dates or play dates, if you have children, go to the movies, or just enjoy a nice walk outside to talk and catch up.
  5. Focus on your mental health. Ensure that you're taking care of your mental health. The summer can be difficult, especially if you're away from home or not in school with your routine. Try setting aside some time each day for meditation/yoga or find ways to talk about your feelings with someone who cares.

Everyone can feel lonely from time to time, however, feelings of persistent loneliness can cause stress on your mental health, such as feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self esteem.  Acenda offers many mental health services to help you or someone you love.