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Summertime Blues

Summer is here and for some, it’s not met with squeals of delight.  This can be hard for summer lovers to imagine. As I was looking for matching pictures for this article, it was hard to find “sad” pictures that weren’t wintry looking too! Summer is supposed to be fun! How can someone be sad?

There are a number of reasons people might be sad in the summer.  Some have actually a form of Seasonal Affective Disorder much like the winter blues, where too much light and warmth actually depresses their mood.  If you notice this effect every summer, you may want to get it checked out by your doctor.

For others, there are a few other reasons why summer isn’t so enjoyable.  One, there’s the “expectation gap.” Because so many expect so much FUN to be had over the summer, when there isn’t much planned or less money to do things or people in your life are so busy with their own summer plans, you might feel even more disappointed than you would during other times of the year.  In the winter, it’s easy to curl up with a book and tuck in for the night. During the summer, it’s noisier and lighter and everyone seems to be outside doing something!

For others, summer heightens insecurities about body image or loneliness if they don’t have a partner with whom to do all those “fun” summer activities.  For parents, summer can be stressful with either less time for themselves or constantly arranging activities to occupy the kids.

So, much like how to better approach the Holidays, if you find summer constantly disappointing, stressful or anxiety producing, it’s a good opportunity to shift either your expectations or how you approach the summer.  Do you need to build in more self care? Make more concrete plans to look forward to? Take mood enhancing supplements? Join an active social group? Take on satisfying projects around the house? In other words, how would you try to make yourself feel better any other time of the year?  See this article from Psychology Today for great natural treatments for easing depression.