5 signs you have the “summer blues”

5 signs you have the “summer blues”

Feeling sad?

SAD, known as seasonal affective disorder, is often associated with winter months and affects roughly 5 percent of the population. It occurs when there is a change in seasons and typically results in depression.

However, those 1 out of 10 people who experience SAD in the summer are often forgotten, because who could be sad in the summer, right?

Nonetheless, those who are experiencing SAD in the summer know that it can be difficult to cope. Many who suffer feel they’re supposed to be having fun, but their symptoms prevent them from doing so, leading to isolation.

Maybe you’re one of these people. Maybe you know someone who seems to be in a particularly foul mood this summer. While everyone is at the beach, taking walks outside and having backyard barbeques, you’re sitting there thinking, when will summer just end already?

But are you feeling “SAD,” or just sad?

Dr. Rian Rowles, a psychiatrist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, lll., shares five signs you might be suffering from seasonal affective disorder this summer and tips on how to work around the blues.

  1. You feel like the sun is draining your energy

While the sun may not literally be draining your energy, it can decrease melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a vital role in mood regulation, so any increase or decrease can be a direct result of why you might be depressed. To help keep your melatonin production from pit falling, try to keep the sun at bay. Wear sunglasses, carry an umbrella, keep the shades drawn and spend your time outside when it’s overcast.

  1. You’re having trouble sleeping

Remember our friend melatonin? Well, while those who experience SAD may have less energy during the day, at night, they’ll experience a surge due to the sluggishness of their morning and afternoon. The best thing to do in this situation is to give yourself time to wind down. Turn the lights off and establish a routine such reading or meditating, which will signal to your brain that it’s time for bed.

  1. You’re constantly cranky or upset about something

The cause of your crankiness is most likely a result of the summer atmosphere. One of the most noticeable changes in summer is the heat and increased humidity. Do your best to stay cool as often as possible. Keep to air-conditioned places, carry a portable fan, have a cold drink in your hand or take cold showers often.

  1. You’re anxious

There are many factors that could be contributing to your anxiety. Crowds of sweaty bodies, kids everywhere, endless summer parties, etc. To limit your anxiety, plan around the things you know will make you anxious. Choose social events that will have smaller crowds or that will take place at night. Get to the party later rather than earlier. You can’t eliminate everything in your summer, but plan accordingly to reduce the time you may have to spend in agitating situations.

  1. Loss of appetite

Consistently feeling stressed or anxious about summer can cause your hormones to get out of whack and may decrease your sense of hunger. Nevertheless, just because you’re not hungry doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need nutrients. Schedule times to eat during the day and stick to them. It may help to add reminders to your phone calendar or to set up a routine where you’ll plan to eat meals at a certain time each day.

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  1. It’s helpful just to hear this mentioned since it isn’t a popular topic – everyone has fun all the time in the summer, right!? Some helpful info here; thank you.

  2. I often feel judged if I mention I have problems with summer. I feel like I have to keep this guilty little secret. The truth is I find it too hot, I suffer With a/c Too loud, too many people, my anxiety level rises. Thank you!

    • Just read this article. I despise the onset of summer! I live in the northeast and actually love the winter. I have no energy in the summer at all – have a beautiful home, inground pool – doesn’t matter. I have no interest in entertaining anymore. It just seems to be a lot of work in the summer. If I had a place on the water with little maintenance, I could possible tolerate it. Not a fun way to be. Glad to see others that feel similar.

  3. I take homoeopathic remedies…the blues seem related to daylight length. At the end of August it is like spring, with the return of energy and feeling of well being.

  4. And heres me thinking I am a misery guts for hating summer. Its been 23 degrees off and on for the last two weeks in UK now and I hate it. I hate how everyone is like ‘ooh it’s gorgeous’ and I am like this is shit. Having anxiety and low moods the bright sun makes me feel worse, I try to be out in it but after ten minutes it makes me ill. I am trying to get another job just to distract me but everything is twice as loud in summer and people stay out usually until 10pm where I hide away, closing my curtains for the brightness late aftrnoon just winds me up. I use wireless headphones for the TV which are a great help. I feel I isolate myself because I just find it draining. I used to bike ride early morning and come back sweaty and annoyed with the amount of people around. I guess if I lived in an area no people just me I might appreciate summer more. I can’t wait until least end of July when it starts to wind down. I find I miss wearing my jumpers and coats and tshirts are okay with a thin jacket but I feel self concious seeing women and younger girls wearing very little. I just miss winter for wearing normal things. Sorry for going on but helps me knowing that other people do feel the same too, hope we all enjoy early autumn by September. Cant wait to put my heating back on. Id get a dirty look if I said, oh it wasn’t that hot, at 23 degrees u don’t need your heating on lol.

  5. Cindy L Capone June 15, 2021 at 11:20 am · Reply

    The sun is bright, calling me.
    But I don’t want to go.
    I go because it’s expected.
    Every moment that the breeze is soft.
    That the sun shines.
    That the temperature is kind.
    We’re expected to be out.
    The train in the distance causes a stirring.
    A yearning for something unseen, unknown.
    I get no sense of peace from the warmth of the sun.
    The yearning I feel is for clouds.
    Dark gray clouds.
    Having to wrap a sweater around me to feel warm.
    Never as warm as a summer day.
    But that’s OK.
    There’s a level of peace in the coolness, in the clouds.
    It’s OK to sit and just be.
    Not simply pretending to be.
    Not feeling guilty sitting inside.
    And not basking in the glory of summer.
    As days pass and the August heat falls upon us,
    I look towards the sky.
    Waiting for what pleases me most.
    October comes. Along with coolness. Crips evenings and
    Leaves change color, and fall.
    And dark gray clouds.
    I feel fulfilled. Cozy.
    A feeling of inner strength stirs.
    The same train in the distance is now a comfort.
    Not a yearning for something unknown.
    A few short weeks, then the deep darkness.
    It surrounds me.
    As the days of summer pass, I do what’s expected.
    I swim, sit along campfires, and eat BBQ.
    One more day closer to where my soul is at peace.
    In the gray clouds, in the chill, in the falling leaves.

  6. I feel the same. When the heat comes I hate it. As a kid I used to hate summer winding down, but now I love it. I love a thick comfy robe in the morning with my coffee, the TV with a big blanket, the cooking of soups and stews enjoyed in the winter time. No pressure to be doing something. I don’t like to sweat and I feel so bad for people that have to be working outside, whatever the profession in the stifling heat and humidity! Not to mention my hair always looks tired lol.

  7. I live in Texas where we have Summer 6-9 months out of the year. I admit I’m the Goldilocks of weather because I want it “just right”. I remember feeling this way even as a child, I hated Summer. Yeah, sure, everyone else was excited to be out of school. I chose to stay busy and asked my Mom to enroll me in Summer classes. It is only in the last few years that I’ve been able to put my finger on why I’m depressed in the Summer. Being depressed isn’t my nature but Summer throws me for a loop every year. I would love gardening but it is always so freaking hot here. October can’t get here soon enough. Best wishes to all, I hope we can all hang on for a bit longer.

  8. I feel so much better after ready these comments. The summer makes me lazy, depressed, anxious and I sleep a lot. I feel like there is no escaping the summer except my bedroom where the air is cooler. I have no drive to do anything. Every year I’m counting down to when summer will end.
    I’m in Texas and cannot wait for September to get here

  9. It’s good to not feel alone in this. I used to love summer as a kid..break from school, some freedom but as I’ve gotten older (now 46) I can’t wait for it to be over. The sun just seems to drain me and I feel annoyed that I can’t enjoy a nice run or hike without the sun beating down on me. It makes me sad, frustrated and anxious. I feel trapped indoors. If I could afford it, I’d spend my summers in Seattle and the winters here in Texas. Having a bad mental health day with the heat today.

  10. As a kid, I hated the weather of summer. Only reason I liked it, was because it got me out of that hell hole known as school. I always loved winter, because there was many breaks for school. I liked the cold and short days. I’ve noticed at least for years.

    Summer days are just too bloody long. Stupid DST. Doesn’t get dark until 9:20. I think saying on standard time would help with that. I hate it’s bright out way to late. I get jealous of countries that don’t have it and it’s dark by a reasonable time.

    I am more a evening early night person. I don’t like the heat. Sunny days in summer just bring out sadness. Yet when it’s cloudy and rainy, my mood feels a lot lighter.

    For me I think summer SAD, it’s more people who a bit more introverted. Also it doesn’t help if you are a person who likes it between late fall to early spring is your time. I just think there is a lot of people that just can’t stand the warm/hot. They just grin and bare it.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.