Health & Wellness Articles

Is There Such Thing as the Summertime Blues?

Depression Doesn't Only Happen during the Winter

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Keep moving. Physical activity is one of the most effective treatments for depression—and also one of the first things that people tend to stop doing when they get depressed. If that's your pattern, line up an exercise buddy ahead of time, and give them permission to do what it takes to get you up and moving even when you tell them you don't feel like it.
 
Get enough sleep. Even though the days are longer, you still need a solid eight hours of sleep, especially if you're struggling with depression. Make sure your bedroom curtains are heavy enough to block out light if that's what's keeping you awake when going to bed at a reasonable time. If nagging thoughts are making it tough to get restful ZZZs, try writing them down in a journal right before bed. That way, you'll be able to calm your mind and relax enough to fall asleep.

Learn to say "no." Even if you "always" host the entire family for a weekend-long Fourth of July celebration, it's OK to ask someone else to take over for you when you're not feeling up to it. Putting extra stress on yourself won't make your depression better. In fact, this annual stress may be triggering your depression symptoms in the first place.

Ask for help. Finally, if you haven't talked to your doctor about your summertime blues, make an appointment today. A short series of visits with a qualified therapist could be all you need to manage your seasonal depression and enjoy the summer season.

Sources
Mayo Clinic, "Seasonal Affective Disorder," www.mayoclinic.com, accessed on July 15, 2013.

WebMD, "Tips for Summer Depression," www.webmd.com, accessed on July 15, 2013.
 
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • I have this problem EVERY summer - much less so this year bc of all the rain we've gotten. It's nice to have it validated by this article. I've narrowed it down to one of 2 things: Something about the lighting or heat outside when the sun is up, or allergies. Though I have 25 allergies - meaning allergies 10 months of the year, I believe that the allergens brought on during summer that intensify towards the end of the summer is associated with my mood. Hard to tell if it is lighting and heat or allergens, but those have been my observations. Would be interesting to see if others with the same issue also have allergies. - 8/17/2013 7:14:48 AM
  • "Well there ain't no cure for the Summertime Blues...." But seriously, I've been a little down this year, mostly due to some less than pleasant things happening in my life. I remember as a child/teen getting pretty bored by Aug 1, and ready for school to start again. Then as an adult, summer was a reminder that I'm NOT a kid anymore - no summertime breaks, and that's kind of a bummer. I don't know if that's SAD or normal, but it's something to think about. - 8/5/2013 11:07:11 AM
  • I don't get the blues but summer is definitely my least favorite season. I live in a tourist town (San Diego) and though it's beautiful here (believe me, I'm not complaining), summer is really crowded. I also hate being hot and don't really like the beach. I can't wait for fall! - 8/2/2013 5:02:46 PM
  • Great article. But I been great this summer even with the pain in my hip. - 7/31/2013 8:24:43 AM
  • I always thought it was just a song by the WHO. - 7/30/2013 9:04:46 PM
  • I have struggled with depression, mostly in summer months, so this article is very helpful. Thank you, SP! :) - 7/30/2013 1:17:14 PM
  • Thanks for this article. I've been having summer-time blues. Of course, trying to deal with the heat and humidity doesn't help. - 7/30/2013 10:26:55 AM
  • Thank you for this article. I actually just wrote in my journal yesterday about feeling so depressed this summer. Now that I look back I see it has been a bit of a pattern. I think a big part of it, at least for me, is the expectations that come with summer; similar to why people may get so depressed around the holidays. Summer is party and vacation time! We're all supposed to be having so much fun, getting away, taking a break from life. When you are not able to do that, it feels as if all of the world around you is living a life you are not. Add to that any changes in your daily routines you may need to make to accommodate school or work schedules and it can really through you off. I found making sure I am doing some "summer things" even if I can't take a nice vacation helps a bit. Making sure I am getting to the town pool to swim; taking a day trip to the beach to get my toes in the sand; eating breakfast, or doing some of my computer work, out on the deck can all make me feel I am experiencing at least a part of the season. - 7/30/2013 6:22:08 AM