What Is Summertime SADness?
Winter is not the only time of year people get the blues. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can also rear its ugly head in Summer. Research indicates that summertime SAD affects one of every ten people.
SAD is a condition that can come with any change of season. It can result in severe seasonal depression.
People wrongfully assume that no one struggles with SAD during the summer. How can you be unhappy when the pool is open, friends come over for BBQs, and the kids are out of school? What’s not to love about summer?
Many individuals, however, suffer during the warmer months with anxiety, depression, and lethargy. This is particularly true of people getting cancer treatments who can’t participate in activities the way they used to. Now, they might dread having to entertain. They might worry about keeping the kids busy or safe during the day. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments might result in heat or sun sensitivity heat, making it hard to leave the airconditioned house.
Feeling sad, blue, or lethargic during the summer might be okay for some people, especially those dealing with cancer. But Seasonal Affective Disorder typically leads to depression. For this reason, it is important to recognize the signs of SAD, so you can get help if necessary.
Signs You Might Have Seasonal Affective Disorder This Summer
Please note that if you are getting cancer treatments during the summer, make sure you speak to a medical professional about any necessary precautions you should take to keep yourself strong and healthy. The side effects of chemo and radiation might impact your physical and emotional ability to partake in summer activities, leading to depression.
Doctor Rian Rowles, an Illinois psychiatrist, shares some signs you might be experiencing SAD and tips to address your symptoms.
The sun is sapping your energy – Sun exposure can alter your melatonin production. Melatonin helps regulate your mood. A change in your melatonin production can directly contribute to feelings of depression. You can try to limit your sun exposure by wearing sunglasses, carrying an umbrella when you are in the sun, or going out when it is overcast.
You can’t sleep – Melatonin also can affect your sleep. If you have SAD, your low energy during the day can affect your nighttime sleep. It is important to establish a clear routine to let your body know it is time to sleep. Mediating, turning off electronics, reading, or finding other ways to unwind, can improve your chances of a good night’s sleep.
You are perpetually cranky – Increased heat and humidity during the summer can make you miserable. Keep yourself cool by staying in airconditioned atmospheres, carrying a fan with you, and always having a cold glass of water handy.
You are feeling anxious – Summertime often means big crowds and a lot of noise– at the beach, in your backyard, or at a block party. The endless number of activities and social gatherings can cause serious anxiety for some. Choose your activities wisely; you don’t have to say yes to everything. Avoid the situations that will make you the most anxious. For example, you can attend a party early or late when the crowd might be smaller or go for just a short time.
Loss of appetite: If you feel depressed, stressed, or anxious, it can affect your appetite.
But, you must get the nutrients you need to remain healthy. Try setting reminders to ensure you fuel up or stocking up on your favorite summer fruits and veggies to make sure you can always have something you enjoy.
Treating Summertime SAD
If you do experience summertime SAD, you might need professional help to treat your symptoms. Treatments might include therapy or anti-depressants.
Some individuals benefit from learning mediation or yoga to help manage stress and anxiety. Others might find some relief with acupuncture or dietary changes.
Do You Know a Cancer Patient Struggling This Summer? Send a Cancer Gift Basket From Rock the Treatment
Don’t assume everyone looks forward to summer. For some people, especially those getting cancer treatment, summer can be a time of discomfort, stress, and depression.
You can help by sending a cancer gift basket from Rock the Treatment. Our baskets contain items that can ease cancer treatments’ physical and emotional side effects. Sending one of our cancer gift baskets is a perfect way to brighten someone’s day, make them feel loved, and help them combat feelings of anxiety and sadness.
We offer the following care packages:
- Small, medium, and large gift baskets for men getting chemotherapy
- Small, medium, and large gift baskets for women getting chemotherapy
- Small, medium, and large gift baskets for men getting radiation
- Small, medium, and large gift baskets for women getting radiation
- Small, medium, and large gift baskets for children getting cancer treatments