What is summertime depression?
Many people experience depression during the warmer months of the year. Summertime depression is characterized by:
- Symptoms of major depression that start and end during the warmer months of the year, for at least 2 consecutive years
- No or little symptoms during the colder months of the year
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble Sleeping
- Weight loss
- Isolating yourself
- Feeling unmotivated
- Losing interest in things that typically gave you pleasure
But what is important to remember is that summertime depression (or during any season for that matter) is a common, treatable medical condition. Many people experience depression but also many fully recover after weeks to months. Managing depression with healthy strategies can help to decrease severity and shorten the time to recovery.
What can I do?
Acknowledge your emotions
Acknowledging that you are experiencing a very common and human condition should not be a shameful experience. Remember, your experiences are real. Since the summer is usually thought of as something positive, it’s easy to consider yourself oversensitive or emotional. This is especially true because seasonal depression is typically associated with the winter. Yet, its important to note that many people grapple with depression in the summer as well. Tell yourself that this is a valid emotion.
Establish a routine
Having a basic routine accentuated with positive, pleasurable activities can really improve your mood. As simple as it seems, following a consistent routine can help you feel better and more energetic. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as waking up, brushing your teeth and eating breakfast at the same time everyday.
If you feel like giving up, it may be helpful to break up the day into tiny tasks and see each one as a great achievement. Tell yourself initially that that single task is all you have to do for the day. Be sure to sincerely congratulate and thank yourself afterwards even if its for something as simple as getting out of bed.
Self-care is incredibly important to healing and feeling good. Choose self-care activities that are enjoyable, relaxing and comforting. But also remember to prioritize these activities everyday. Think of these as important meetings that you cannot miss. If you make time for yourself, and make sure to prioritize this time, you will feel like you have something to look forward to.
Ask for help
It’s also important to know when to seek help. If you are struggling to manage your depression by yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. It can be intimidating to take this first step, but seeking support can be immensely helpful.
Interested in learning more?
- Read our list of 5 self-help books for your fight against anxiety and depression
- Check out our article explaining the physical symptoms of depression
- Here’s our blog on what to know about self injury