Health

5 Common Reasons for Summertime Blues

It’s pretty common to feel excited for summer. The dull and drab feelings associated with the chill of winter are out, and warm feelings are the new normal. But what happens when the winter blues decide to stay? Summer doesn’t always feel like rainbows and butterflies. Take a moment to look over these reasons why you may be experiencing the summertime blues.

Can people have the winter blues during the summertime? | Ohio State Medical Center

1. High Expectations

When you’re a kid, summer is the most treasured part of the year because school is over. The weather is warm, no responsibilities, and the possibilities and free time are endless. As you grow older, the lines start to blur as you start working and having other responsibilities. But summer’s allure doesn’t fade. You might just have fewer chances to enjoy it.

People often expect winter depression to end when summer starts, but when it doesn’t, it can leave you feeling worse. This is a common reason individuals tend to seek mental health treatment at this time. You’re not alone if this is something you experience, and it can be managed with some help or personal effort.

2. Altered Day/Night Hours

After experiencing shorter days throughout the winter, it can be a shock to see the sun longer as summer approaches. The difference in duration can be as long as four extra hours in the continental United States! More daylight after work can be a boon for your schedule but can also provide pressure to do more. Maybe you used the early sunset to wind down, and it’s harder to do that as the days get longer.

The changes in the sun’s shining have also been proven to have a marked effect on an individual’s biological clock. People usually stay out later in the summer, but even if you don’t, extra light won’t help you sleep. Society’s schedule doesn’t shift too much with the sun, therefore it’s harder to get a full night’s sleep. It’s very natural for the light changes to have this effect, so don’t fret — just let yourself sleep in more.

3. Poor Work Benefits

Time off work isn’t any easier to get during the summer than any other time, if your job isn’t seasonal. And that means you can’t go out and enjoy some extra free time like others might. Your need for a job is likely the primary reason you don’t have the freedom you did as a kid. It can become truly intrusive if you are needed or forced to work outside of regular hours.

The daily grind is difficult during any season, but winter and summer can bring you down in that regard. It goes without saying that winter can make you feel cooped up, but summer can surprisingly have a similar effect. When you have to spend all of your time working, the outside feels ever more enticing. It may be worth discussing with your superiors because if you can rest more, your work can also benefit.

4. Less-Predictable Routine

On the level of personal comfort, summertime is likely to throw a wrench in your routine at some point. More events and outdoor activities mean less time doing your regular thing. If you consider yourself to be routine-oriented and get stressed when it is disrupted, then you surely know the feeling. This can be particularly difficult for neurodivergent people, such as those with autism or OCD.

Routines become even more complicated if you have children because of the change in schedule from the school year. Once school ends, you suddenly have them all day, every day — and need to focus on their wellbeing more often. Even if your children have camp, the schedule usually isn’t usually the same as a school day. Weekends may be dedicated to activities rather than relaxation, putting you without any recharged energy on Monday.

5. Unrealistic Lives of Others on Social Media

For some, nothing is as much of a cause of depression as social media’s effect on their self-worth. Social media has become a foundational aspect of socialization in recent years, but with it comes inflated mental health issues. Almost everyone tries to look their best in each post or demonstrate an exciting life to others. Truth is, these posts are just momentary snapshots, but their very nature draws comparison — even if it isn’t valid.

Everybody lives differently and nobody is constantly feeling or looking how they do in their posts. However, when that’s all you see online, you’re naturally going to believe that, at least subconsciously, to be the case. Don’t compare yourself to others online because it’s not fair to put your nuanced self-perspective against someone else’s curated persona. Just do your best to enjoy things how you enjoy them, and stay confident that you know what you need.

Don’t feel bad if summertime brings you down while others seem to be happy. Emotions are different and equally as valid for everybody no matter how it manifests. The most important thing is that once you have an idea of what’s making you sad, be patient with yourself. Your emotions won’t last forever, and getting help and addressing the underlying issues can help you feel better.

About author

Social media fan. Unapologetic food specialist. Introvert. Music enthusiast. Freelance bacon advocate. Devoted zombie scholar. Alcohol trailblazer. Organizer. Spent 2001-2004 merchandising ice cream in Mexico. My current pet project is getting to know walnuts for fun and profit. At the moment I'm writing about squirt guns in Salisbury, MD. Spent childhood donating toy planes in Suffolk, NY. Gifted in managing jack-in-the-boxes in Miami, FL. Spent high school summers supervising the production of foreign currency in Libya.
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