If you follow most anyone on social media, their feed will have you convinced that, for them, life is all sunshine and rainbows. That can easily lead to summer depression – especially when you’re newly navigating life alcohol free. It’s hot, the days are long and you’re avoiding vacation because you’re not sure how to do it without drinking. How do you deal with summer depression?
Don’t Believe The Highlights Reel
Sure, it’s easy to get summer depression if you’re buying into the glamorized version of the lives that people are portraying and posting. Remember though, that most people only post the highlight reels. They might be showing you photos of a fancy vacation and drinks on the beach but they aren’t sharing the fight they got in with their spouse or that they wasted an entire day of vacation in bed with a hangover! When you think about that – there isn’t much to envy anymore is there?
Dealing With Long Days and Summer Depression
Summer depression can often hit us as non-drinkers, simply because the days are so long. So many hours in which we need to avoid drinking. I have found that for me, one of the best ways I’m able to stay healthy mentally is by establishing a daily routine. If I’m doing the mental work of figuring out what to do next to keep myself busy, I’m less likely to fall into a slump. In the early days, that did mean basically planning out every minute of my day from when I woke up until I went to bed. I no longer need that level of management, but I do still rely on my routine to keep me grounded and focused.
It could be Seasonal Affective Disorder
We typically relate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with the winter blues, but any shift in sunlight and our circadian rhythm can trigger it. SAD might look different in the summer – it usually manifests as anxiety rather than depression – but it’s real and should be treated. Consult with your physician to see if that’s what happening here. Pharmaceuticals won’t always be the first suggestion. Sometimes it can be as simple as blackout curtains and an earlier bedtime that can help reset your rhythm and moods.
Make Time For Yourself
One of the biggest depression and anxiety triggers for me, is when life gets to be too much and I stop creating time for myself to recharge. Summer is draining – the heat, our finances, parties, etc. They all take it out of us. I’ve learned that I need time to just be by myself. It might be summer, but there’s nothing wrong with spending a few hours in a cool room with a good book. You’re not obligated to attend every party or event either. Take life at the speed that works for you, not what others expect of you.
Find Out More On Summer Depression
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