The idea of being sad in the summer seems counterintuitive. Being sad feels associated with dreary winter days and no sunshine. However, the reality is that feeling a kind of seasonal sadness in the summer is perfectly normal. During the summer kids and teens are thrown off their normal schedule and routines. They might mess up our circadian rhythm by staying up too late and sleeping through the afternoon. There can be a sense of purposelessness in the summer without a school schedule to think about.
Can you relate to this feeling of summertime sadness? If so, you aren’t alone. We have some suggestions for how you can battle the summertime blues:
1. Keep a consistent eating schedule
Don’t confuse your body with a weird eating schedule. Set yourself a consistent schedule so that you aren’t experiencing a blood sugar drop in the middle of the day. The schedule can be as simple as wake up at 9, eat lunch at 12, eat dinner at 6. When we let ourselves be inconsistent about eating our blood sugar will fluctuate and can impact our moods.
2. Don’t confuse your circadian rhythm
Being awake during the day is important for our bodies natural rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is an internal biological clock that controls our sleepiness and wakefulness. If we stay up all night and sleep all day our circadian rhythm is thrown off which can cause us to feel moody or sad.
3. Give yourself purpose
Give yourself some (fun) summer goals that you can accomplish. Set your sights on reading five books this summer or learning a new skill. Just because school is out doesn’t mean that there can’t be a sense of purpose about your days.
4. Get out of the house
Take a shower! Put something on other than your pajamas! When you live in PJs and don’t brush your hair you are more likely to feel sad. Give yourself a reason to put on some normal clothes and take a trip to the park.
5. Turn off the TV & phones
Having your face glued to a TV screen for hours upon hours can seem tempting. TV helps pass the time quickly and numbs you to anything else. But watching so much TV and numbing yourself out of feelings leaves you feeling empty and bored at the end of the day. Turn off the TV and put down the phone for a little bit of time and take a break from the screen.
Summer can be a time of fun and relaxation! It is also the perfect time to find some balance and keep working towards healthy habits that lead to a well rounded life. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the summertime sadness. If you are feeling a sense of sadness this summer that can’t be solved by these suggestions, please seek help from a professional therapist. Some things we need help to work through and that’s normal and okay!