Summertime is often portrayed as a season of joy, relaxation, and endless fun in the sun. However, for some individuals, the reality of summer can be quite different.

I vividly remember a vacation in Honolulu with my best friend, where the intense sun and high temperatures made it a challenge to simply walk on the hot sand without passing out. Despite the picturesque setting, the expectations of spending time on beaches, smiling artificially, and appearing outwardly happy felt like a burden.

Tazim Damji - Vancouver holistic nutritionist for holistic women's health personalized nutrition coaching
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on it and make a purchase I'll receive a small commission at no cost to you.

The Pressure to Be Happy

As we strolled along the beach, a man lying on the sand looked up at us and said something along the lines of, “Smile, be happy you’re in Hawaii!” While his intention may have been to spread positivity, his words had the opposite effect. It reminded me of Taylor Swift’s lyrics:

“Every time you call me crazy, I get more crazy. What about that? And when you say I seem angry, I get more angry.”

Mad Woman by Taylor Swift

The pressure to conform to societal expectations of happiness during the summer months can be overwhelming, especially for those struggling with their mental health.

The Summertime Blues

For many people, the arrival of warmer weather, longer days, and a sense of freedom is a cause for celebration. However, some individuals experience feelings of sadness and anxiety during this time of year. If you’ve ever felt this way, know that you are not alone.

Experiencing the summertime blues can be a real challenge, and it’s crucial to recognize and validate these emotions rather than keeping them hidden or disregarding them. By acknowledging and addressing these feelings, we can take steps towards coping with and managing our mental health during this time.

summertime sadness

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the Summer

One contributing factor to summertime blues is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is typically associated with the winter months.

However, a subset of people experience SAD during the summer due to factors such as:

  • Too much light

  • Disrupted sleep patterns

  • Increased social pressures

  • Changes in routine

Individuals with summer SAD may find themselves feeling low on energy and struggling with their mental health during a time when they are expected to be full of joy and have a vibrant amount of energy.

Coping Strategies for Summertime SAD

If you’re experiencing summertime SAD, there are several coping strategies you can try to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being:

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

  2. Create a comfortable sleep environment (e.g., blackout curtains, cool temperatures)

  3. Engage in activities you enjoy, even if they don’t align with traditional summer activities.

  4. Practice self-care and prioritize your mental health.

  5. Seek professional help if needed.

Remember, it’s okay to not feel okay, even during the summer months. Validating your emotions and taking steps to care for yourself is essential for managing summertime SAD.

Breaking Free from Summer Stereotypes

The societal pressure to have a “perfect summer” can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to enjoying this season. Instead of succumbing to the expectations of others, focus on what brings you joy and peace.

Some ideas for breaking free from summer stereotypes include:

  • Finding indoor activities that you enjoy (e.g., reading, crafting, gaming)

  • Exploring new hobbies or interests

  • Spending time with loved ones in non-traditional summer settings

  • Practicing mindfulness and self-reflection

  • Volunteering or giving back to your community

By embracing your unique needs and preferences, you can create a summer experience that is authentic and fulfilling to you.

summertime sadness flowers

The Importance of Support and Understanding

When dealing with summertime SAD or the pressure to conform to summer stereotypes, having a support system is crucial. Surround yourself with people who understand and validate your feelings, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help when needed.

If you have friends or loved ones who are struggling during the summer months, offer your support and understanding. Sometimes, simply being there to listen and acknowledge their feelings can make a world of difference.

Conclusion

The summertime blues are a real and valid experience for many individuals. By recognizing and addressing these emotions, practicing self-care, and breaking free from summer stereotypes, we can work towards a more inclusive and understanding approach to this season.

Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your mental health and well-being, even if it means going against societal expectations. With the right support, coping strategies, and self-compassion, you can navigate the challenges of summertime and find joy in your own unique way.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *