Coping with Summertime Sadness
We’ve all listened to the song “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Ray, but who knew it was real? This year, more than ever, we’ve seen how the everlasting pandemic has turned our second summer in a row into one unlike any other. With the constant change, mental health has fluctuated leading to difficulties I haven’t seen before.
Recently, a friend came to me and opened up about her struggles this summer with depression, but I was confused. SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, is usually spoken about in the winter and rarely in the summer season. The truth is that SAD can occur in any season for numerous reasons. Here are some ways to help cope with summertime sadness and care for yourself.
- Understand that you are not alone. It can be hard to see everyone post online all summer long about everything they are doing. Social media doesn’t always show the truth and more people are experiencing the same thing as you. Just because everyone seems to be enjoying the summer months does not mean that they aren’t battling SAD.
- Reach out for help. Having a support system can make a huge difference and there is absolutely no shame in reaching out. Others can’t help you unless they know what’s going on. You have to let them know what you are going through.
- Believe that SAD is a normal thing to experience. Many people post about it during winter, but that doesn’t invalidate your feelings during any other season. Many different people have it during different months and experience their own symptoms. You are not alone!
- Take time to understand what you are experiencing. If you don’t take the time for yourself to understand what is going on then you won’t be able to find ways to cope with it. Writing down your symptoms and feelings is a helpful way to know how SAD affects you.
- Learn more about SAD and the causes for every season. There are numerous reasons for SAD to occur. Do a quick Google search to understand the types of SAD and read tips from others who experience the same thing.
- Seek help from professionals if it becomes difficult to manage. Finding time to speak to your doctor is incredibly helpful, but also can be hard to deal with. It does not make you weak, but instead shows your bravery and courage. You don’t have to struggle alone and there are ways to help manage SAD.
Summer is often shown as a time to go out and have fun, but that isn’t easy for everyone. The long break and difficulties that come with it can easily trigger depression. This is the time to take care of yourself and learn more about what affects you.
SAD affects people in different ways and each person experiences it through their own process. Self care is vital as you go through your own SAD journey. Summer can be hard, but not impossible to deal with. Remember that you are doing the best you can and that is enough.
Resources on SAD were found on Healthline, the Mayo Clinic, and Betterhelp.
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