Need a cure for the summertime blues?

It’s hot. It’s humid. You just don’t feel like it. It almost doesn’t matter what “it” is.  You’d rather do just about anything than wear shorts, sandals, or a bathing suit in public. Going to a BBQ does not sound like fun and neither does making your signature pot luck dish. If one more person tells you they’re bored, you might snap, but you kinda feel same (#same) because you’re bored, too.  The BLAH feeling is overwhelming. You’re also tired of spending all that extra summer money — the vacations, extra utility costs, eating out (it’s too hot to cook!), and childcare expenses add up.

If that weren’t bad enough, it looks everyone else on Facebook is out there living their best lives, splashing around, having fun with friends on their wonderful vacations, looking fabulous in their breezy clothes with their hair in loose beach waves, rocking their tan summer bodies and pedi-perfect toes in the sand. UGH. But you’re not having any fun. Just about everything seems like too much effort and if you were honest with yourself, you’d rather take a nap in the AC. But there’s the Infinitely Long List of Things To Do (TM) that is staring you down.

We’ve all heard the classic song, “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran. Wait. Or have we? It’s from 1960, so I’m guessing I’ve lost many. Anyway, “back in the day”, there was this catchy song:

“Sometimes I wonder
What I’m-a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure
For the summertime blues”

…or is there?

The Summertime Blues

The summertime blues are a real thing. Most of us already know about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); about 4-6% of Americans get the blues in the winter when the days are short, there’s less light, and the weather is cold and dreary. But about 10% of those people suffer from it in the summer. Whether or not you’re experiencing a full blown seasonal mood disorder, you need to know it’s perfectly normal, you’re not alone, and there’s help available.

Symptoms of the Summertime Blues

While the Summertime Blues isn’t an official diagnosis of a mental health disorder, the symptoms can start to look a lot like depression and can include:

  • Feelings of anxiety, agitation, hopelessness, sadness
  • Loss of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced interested in your usual activities
  • Withdrawl

Reasons for the Summertime Blues

It feels a little off to feel sad during the summer. After all, summer is full of those shiny happy days we all long for. Right…? But, if you think about it, there are many reasons why summer can feel oppressive.

  • It’s hot. Really hot. And Humid.
    The heat of summer and the bright, hot sun, and all that swampy humidity can physically drain you really quickly.
  • The pace of summertime is different.
    The schedule is completely different. Different people are going different places at different times. The routine that saves you through the rest of the year has crumbled and it’s hard to get into a new routine (and why bother, it’ll be different every week).
  • Summer isn’t really all that fun and relaxing most of the time.
    Everyone else seems to be living it up and even the things you built up in your mind as your Big Summer Fun that you looked forward to for your fun magical times were kinda disappointing. It feels like summer is a lot of extra work on top of all the regular work.
  • Summer is expensive.
    That summer vacation, those clothes, the bathing suits, the shoes, they all add up. If you have kids, it can mean camps and extra daycare. Even if you don’t, the utilities cost more (but the air conditioning is a non-negotiable, amiright?) Then there’s the cost of eating out more (who wants to cook everyday when it’s hot out?) All that “fun” costs.
  • The longer days really can be more boring.
    I know, if you have kids, you are probably ready to scream if one more person says they’re bored… yet, you’re kinda bored, too. The days are so long, it feels silly to go to bed while the sun’s still out, even though the clock says it’s bedtime. The kicker is that even though you can think of things to do, it’s hard to muster the energy because of the heat or the expense.
  • Showing off that summer body.
    Not all of us have a “summer body. Even if we once did, those days are past, or we may never have had one of those magazine bods (OK, I’m aging myself again — these days, it’s Instagram instead of magazine, right?) For those of us with just plain ol’ regular bods, we may not look forward to wearing shorts or going sleeveless or wearing a bathing suit or even sandals out in public. It can be a lot to muster that much self confidence.
  • It’s hot. It’s really hot. Especially in Texas or Florida. Super Hot.
    I know I mentioned it already, but it’s really hot. Did you see that town in Alaska had record high temps in the 90s? It’s even hot in Alaska.

Curing the Summertime Blues

Rest assured weary traveler, that old song got it wrong. There are many cures for the summertime blues — maybe “cure” is too strong a word, but often all it takes is a few little tweaks and nudges to start feeling better.

  • Talk to someone.
    You don’t have to face this alone. Friends, family, and maybe even professional folks can help normalize what you’re feeling, help you talk through what you’re dealing with, and help get you back on track.
  • Structure your days.
    Set regular bedtime and wake-up times, have a plan for mealtimes, carve out time for things you enjoy, carve out time for chores you need to do, plan date night with your person or friends, or set aside time to just have “down time”. Structure helps keep us moving forward and also gives us some distractions and enjoyable times. Something as simple as gardening in the morning, or taking a walk in the evenings, or going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings can get you moving and focusing on something other than the blues.
  • Care for yourself.
    Now’s not the time to skimp on taking care of yourself. Most of us know the self-care list of things we should do, but those are often the first to go when things start to slip out of alignment. Get good sleep, eat good healthy food, take baths, get a haircut, do your nails, take a walk, go for a swim, spend time with friends, play with your pets, and take a nap.
  • Practice good boundaries.
    Often when we feel unhappy and anxious, it can be related to feeling stressed and overloaded. Limit your commitments. Practice saying no. Don’t feed drama. Stop trying to read other people’s minds. Spend some time to understand what your priorities are for this season and spend your energy accordingly.
  • Look forward.
    Ask any kid: summer is short. It will be back-to-school time before you know it. Come up with some ideas to do during the fall and sketch them out loosely on your calendar.

All of these ideas are a starting point — customize this to match what you need. The overall idea is that you don’t need to just be sad or anxious, there is so much you can do. If it does get to feeling unmanageable or you’re feeling stuck, or what you’re experiencing is way beyond any catchy summer song, let’s talk! We offer free 20-min phone consultations to new clients that you can schedule in the link below.

4411 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 450
Suwanee, GA 30024

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