Summer time blues.
Believe it or not, some people do actually get depressed in summer time.
While it is rare, and people mostly get depressed during the cold winter months known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), some people really struggle in the intense heat of summer time, and struggle with a condition known as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.
If you wish to read up more on this disorder, please click here for a full blog post on it:
Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder
I can slightly relate as to how miserable a person with reverse SAD must feel, because even though I don't suffer from it, I do not enjoy the heat and find summer time quite frustrating to try and deal with, especially at night time!
So here are my personal tips and summer time hacks to help those of you who also struggle during those heat wave months!
Suck on ice cubes. One suggestion for why people get depressed in summer is because of the longer days resulting in boredom. This is an awesome tip for people who tend to overeat when they get bored and is a great alternative to sugar laden chewing gum and unhealthy snacks. It keeps you distracted and cool at the same time! For a cool twist, squirt some freshly squeezed fruit juice or stick small pieces of fruit in the ice trays before freezing them!
Eat frozen corn and peas. To follow on from the previous tip, if you want a bit of flavour and to eat actual food, then a great way is to snack on a small bowl of frozen peas and corn. It's really delicious and you can munch away without worrying about extra calories!
Make anti stress ice cubes. There is just so much you can do with ice in the summer time to cool down and this is another awesome tip that I have tried. Instead of drinking a hot tea, make them into ice cubes. All I did was take my calming tea's such as chamomile and valerian root and prepare them as if I were making a cup of tea. Once they had cooled down, I pour them into ice trays. When they set, add them to your water for a calming iced tea!
Keep a small battery operated fan in your bag. I have one of these and they have seriously saved my life at times. When you out and about and have no access to somewhere cool, then these little fans become your new best friend!
Something like this can make a big difference.
Soak a face cloth or hand towel in cold lavender infused water. Drape this towel or cloth around your neck. or put it on your face. I was surprised that it stayed cool for as long as it did and you get a hint of lavender in the air as well.
Use a sleep mask. I really battle to sleep at night because of the heat and it doesn't help that it only gets dark at 10pm. To combat this, I use a sleep mask, but I use a lavender infused sleep mask, so not only does it create darkness for me, but the lavender scent eases my frustration and helps to make me sleepy. To purchase a lavender sleep mask, click here.
Vitamin D. One thing the summer time does offer us that is of great use is Vitamin D! Take full advantage of the sunshine in order to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is very important for the absorption of calcium - an anti stress mineral. The best way to do this is to eat your breakfast or lunch outside and don't spend longer than 20 -30 minutes. Once you have gotten your daily dosage - get out the sun and go inside. I am quite sure I don't need to tell anyone that as important as the sun is for us, it is also highly damaging - so please use common sense!
If you don't want to sit in the sun for whatever reason, then you can use a vitamin D spray, which I personally find absorbs better than a tablet.
I use the Better You Vitamin D spray.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor! This article is to provide information only, and any advice followed is to be done at your own risk.
Any links provided above are either products that I have personally used myself, whereas some are just there to give you some ideas as to what is out there.
None of these suggestions are guaranteed!
I do earn a small commission on some of the products that are linked in this article.
As we roll on into the summer time here in the Northern Hemisphere, a lot of people start rejoicing as it means sunshine, flowers and picnicking!
However, as beautiful as nature can be when it's seasons change, it can unfortunately bring with it a range of problems that can affect humans physically and mentally.
For most people, these problems seem to arise mainly in winter which is more commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Winter SAD, but as surprising as it may be, an estimated 10% of SAD sufferers get depression symptoms with the onset of summer time.
This is referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, Reverse SAD or Summer SAD.
What causes Reverse SAD?
Reverse or summer time SAD is less common and therefore we can only speculate what may cause it.
Too much sunlight: Melatonin which is the hormone that is stimulated by darkness and helps us to sleep is reduced. This is because of the longer days and the sun setting at a much later time - which causes disturbances in the body clock and sleep cycles. People are also more likely to stay up later because of the longer days, thus getting less sleep than usual.
Heat intolerance: People who suffer from heat intolerance find that they experience anxiety like symptoms such as dizziness, dry mouth, sweating and palpitations.
Because these symptoms are mimicking actual anxiety symptoms, it can cause the person to become extremely panicky.
Longer Days, shorter nights: Longer days could bring about feelings of boredom. It is also thought that stay at homes mothers may become agitated trying to occupy children who might experience boredom during their summer holiday.
Allergies and insects: Some people can experience allergies when summer time comes along. This is because the pollen count is at it's highest. The summer also brings with it all the bees, flies and other insects. If you are allergic to bee stings or are intolerant of insects and bugs, this can bring on anxiety for you.
Body Image: Summer time means less clothes and for people who struggle with negative body image, they may feel embarrassed at the thought of having to wear less clothes. Another thing to bear in mind is that a person with a negative body image may feel envious of someone wearing shorts or a bikini - someone who they think has a nice body. This can lead to feelings of shame and self hatred.
How does Reverse or Winter SAD differ from Summer SAD?
How can you treat Reverse/Summer SAD?
Again, Reverse SAD is not very common, but here are a few suggestions:
Stay cool: Stay indoors when the sun is at it's hottest, and go outside when it's cooler and the sun is not as intense. Keep a fan or air conditioning on in your house and buy a small battery operated fan to keep in your bag when you go out. Take cool showers and put ice blocks in your drinks.
Keep hydrated: Lack of fluids can aggravate you and lead to headaches which can lead to feelings of anxiety. So make sure you drink lots of water.
Keep your skin moisturised: Some people experience itchiness, dryness and tightness on their skin in the summer. If you find this happening, opt to use a very natural and simple soap made of something like vegetable glycerine or oatmeal, and moisturise your skin with a natural body lotion or something like coconut oil. Stay away from products with Sodium laurel sulphate in them as this causes dryness and itchiness in the skin.
Try to go to bed at the same time each night: At the peak of summer, the sun only sets at 21:30 which can really upset the body clock. So eat your dinner the same time every night, and get yourself a sleep mask and wear that over your eyes in order to try to get you to sleep at the same time every night. If you struggling to sleep at night because of the heat, install a fan in your room and open the windows to allow in fresh air. You could also try sleeping in light cotton clothes or even naked! :)