THE SUN DOESN’T LIGHT THEN: WHAT IS SUMMER DEPRESSION AND HOW TO OVERCOME IT
The onset of warmth does not please everyone: some people, instead of the warm sea, plunge into the abyss of their own melancholy and sadness. Summer depression may be the cause.
We often hear about the winter depression, which is associated with the onset of cold weather and a decrease in daylight hours. Winter days lead to a decrease in serotonin and, as a result, a decline in mood. It turns out that winter depression has a twin sister – summer depression. It occurs in about 1% of people. Most often, it affects young people between the ages of 18 and 30. Its main symptoms are irritability, anxiety and insomnia. Until now, scientists cannot unequivocally agree on the causes of the seasonal illness, but several main factors can still be identified.
Long daylight hours
With the onset of darkness, the brain begins to produce melatonin – a hormone that is responsible for sound and healthy sleep, as well as emotional state. In summer it gets dark later and, as a result, it is more difficult for a person to fall asleep. Sleep disturbance, in turn, can lead to a whole bunch of negative consequences, including depression.
Someone else’s happiness
In summer, we can afford entertainment that is not available at other times of the year: go with friends for a barbecue, sunbathe on the beach, ride a yacht. But not everyone can afford such a pastime. Some are forced to work all summer, the second do not have the financial opportunity to rest, the third simply have no friends. Looking at how others have fun, a person begins to feel “not like that”: inferior or even flawed.
Dissatisfaction with your own physical form
In winter, the body seeks to warm up and actively stores energy. Together with improper diet and a sedentary lifestyle, this translates into extra pounds by spring. And if in the cold season the “fat layer” can be easily hidden under clothes, then in the summer such a trick will no longer work. Buns and chocolates eaten on long winter evenings peep treacherously in summer from under a tight top or jeans. Looking at himself in the mirror, a person experiences anger, disappointment and guilt for the extra pounds.
Send children to camp, buy clothes for the season for everyone, make home repairs … Three summer months can destroy financial reserves that have been carefully collected for a long time. In addition, spending money on “compulsory items of expenditure,” a person from year to year cannot afford the vacation of his dreams. Realization of this fact does not add joy and good mood. Money problems affect us throughout the year, but in the summer, coupled with other factors, can cause depression.
What to do
If you find one or two signs of summer depression in yourself, this is not a reason to see your doctor right away. But you shouldn’t let things go by themselves either. It is important to take a responsible approach to your condition. The main principle in the fight against depression: rescuing drowning people is the work of the drowning people themselves. Currently, there is no universal method that would allow you to get rid of summer depression once and for all. Here are some basic tips to help you overcome the seasonal blues.
Normalize your sleep patterns
Even in the summer, it is important to adhere to a certain daily routine. First, try going to bed and waking up at the same time. Also in summer, blackout curtains will come in handy, which will block out the daylight, and it will be easier for you to fall asleep. If it is not possible to hang curtains, use a sleep mask.
Make a plan for the summer
So that at the end of the summer “it will not be excruciatingly painful” from the fact that you have not gone anywhere again, write a list of places you want to visit in advance. Add here a list of entertainment that you will delight yourself with. And most importantly – make a financial plan: determine in advance the amount that you can afford to spend “for the summer.” Then the summer depression will not turn into autumn due to a huge hole in the family budget.
Do what you want
You don’t have to visit your relatives in the village every summer just because it’s customary. Listen to yourself: what do you really want? To wave to the sea? Fine! Going to the dacha and not seeing anyone for two weeks is also a good option. Going to an amusement park and jumping on trampolines is great! Allow yourself to get high out of life, and you will see that it doesn’t take a lot of money. Summer is too short to deny yourself the pleasure.
Take care of your body
In the summer, sports such as roller skating, cycling, and skateboarding become available. Going to the gym can be replaced by morning jogging. In summer, the body is more prone to dehydration, so make sure to drink enough water. Eating well is also an important factor in combating depression and apathy. Eat lightly and in moderation. Summer is the time to eat vegetables and fruits. It is better to replace dinner with a glass of kefir, a cup of berries or a light salad. Remember that poor physical condition is one of the main causes of seasonal depression.