Can the Summer Season Affect Mental Health?

July 05, 2020


Can The Summer Season Affect Mental Health Min1

Spending a considerable amount of time each day out in the sun helps to significantly improve our moods and makes us feel more positive.[1]


Studies show that warm weather helps boost our mental health and creativity and, in general, makes us healthier and happier. As the warmer weather approaches, there are a lot of things that you can do to avoid seasonal affective disorder or SAD. [1] [2]


Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. In some countries, SAD occurs during the winter season and lasts up to the next one. In a tropical country like the Philippines, SAD can be experienced as the weather shifts from rainy to sunny. [2]


Having SAD mostly consumes your energy and makes you feel moody; other signs and symptoms associated with SAD are: [2]

  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feeling lazy or sluggish
  • Having difficulty concentrating


During this time, it is important that we never run out of ideas on what to do and how we choose to spend our summer. We must be able to challenge ourselves everyday – be it with mental or physical activities.


To gear you up for the warmer days, here are a few tips that can help you prevent SAD:


Have an exercise program


Most people naturally spend less time outside when the sun is out, effectively decreasing their physical activity. But if you think you might be experiencing some changes in your mood, pushing yourself to exercise is a good way to combat it. [3]


For starters, you can try simple exercises like running, jogging, swimming, or taking a long walk. For those who prefer to stay indoors, there are various workout routines that you can easily do at the comfort of your homes like yoga or indoor calisthenics. [3]


Doing these activities help boost one’s serotonin – the brain chemical associated with the mood that protects the brain under extreme conditions like high heat. [7]


Eat well and watch out for the carbs


People who might be suffering from SAD tend to eat more carbohydrate-rich foods, especially sweets and starchy foods. Research suggests that getting enough vitamin D may help to prevent and manage depression; examples of vitamin D-rich foods are the following:

  • Fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
  • Dairy products (soy milk, cereals, cheese, eggs)


Redecorate your space


Keep yourself busy by trying to redecorate your space! Consider letting go of the items you no longer need to make more space in your room or house! [5]


More importantly, take extra care of yourself


Be sure to do the things that make you feel confident. Be consistent with your beauty routines, eat right, get fit, and have an active and positive mind so you can prepare yourself for an awesome, productive, and unforgettable summer. [6]


You are in charge of your own happiness. So don’t be SAD. Don’t be afraid to try out new things because, after all, we are all out here to make a summer to remember!


Sources:

  1. https://www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/warm-weather-puts-better-mood-makes-creative/968444
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-best-strategies-help-fight-seasonal-affective-disorder/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320163
  5. https://www.holmesplace.com/en/en/blog/wellness/prepare-for-summer-10-ways-to-prepare-your-mind-body-and-soul
  6. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/getting-ready-for-summer-time
  7. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201111/boosting-your-serotonin-activity