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Are You Suffering from Summertime Blues?

Here are some tips on taking control of summer depression.

Summer is upon us! And with the warmer weather comes the joys of spending quality time with family, outdoor activities and having fun in the sun. Summer is supposed to be fun and relaxing time right? Not if you are suffering from summer depression.

Here are some common reasons why people can get depressed during the summer:

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - More common during the winter months, about 10% of people with SAD get it in the reverse - the onset of summer triggers their depression symptoms.
  • Body Image - During the warmer months, wearing swimsuits or shorts can cause anxiety for those people who feel self-conscious about their bodies.
  • Disrupted Schedule - Having the kiddos home everday during the summer can change your every day routine. Vacations can also disrupt schedules.
  • Hot Weather - Not all people enjoy hot weather. The summer heat can become truly oppressive for some and can bring down energy levels. Some may avoid gatherings where they cannot escape the heat.
So is there anything you can do to make this summer better? Here are some tips on taking control of summer depression:
  • Plan Ahead - What will help prevent summer depression? What’s the best way to take time off from work? Would signing up the kids for summer programs or camp help relieve your stress?
  • Think About Why - Do you have a negative association with this season? What can you do to change your perception for this summer?
  • Keep Your Routine - Go to bed and get up the same time each day and keep your daily schedule of preparing and eating meals.
  • Exercise and Diet in Moderation - Exercise sensibly and eat moderately. If you try an insanely restrictive diet, you probably won’t be able to keep it up.
  • Protect Yourself - Don’t let obligations drag you down. If you always host a family event, this year ask a relative to host.
  • Go Easy on Yourself - Stop assuming that you’re supposed to be happy just because its warm weather. Instead concentrate on what activities make you happy.

If you feel that your depression is out of control, talk to your doctor or therapist.

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