I have a confession to make. I feel very grumpy and well, depressed during summer time. I’ve been this way pretty much since I was a child–the heat and humidity really bear down on me, making me feel lethargic and irritated. And it’s made worse by the pervasive idea that summer is fun, and that I should be having extra fun too instead of acting like a crotchety old woman.
Thankfully, I’ve realized that I’m not alone. About 4-6% of people in the U.S. experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and about 10% of those people get the blues in summertime, not winter. Now that this melancholy feeling has a name, I feel vindicated that it’s not my fault for wanting to stay inside until the weather turns crisp. If you also fall in that 0.4-0.6% of the population, try these tips to calm yourself down:
1. Embrace the routine: There’s a lot of social pressure to stay out late, drink more, and act all spontaneous during summer. If all that stuff is causing you anxiety instead of joy, feel free to embrace the routine to keep up your physical and mental stamina. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping enough, eating healthfully and drinking moderately to keep your mood stable.
2. Plan your vacation around you: Vacation shouldn’t be a cause for a headache, but it often ends up being just that. Whatever you end up doing, make sure it’s planned to please and relax you. If that means taking out vacation days to just relax at home, treat yourself to a nice dinner and a spa day, that’s fine too.
3. Don’t feel opposed to having fun–or not having fun: Summer is a season like any other. Keep your mind open and don’t feel pressured to be either happy OR unhappy–just embrace yourself as you are.