Ways to Boost Your Mood During Summer (+ Help with Reverse SAD)

Out of the four seasons, Summer is my least favourite. It’s hot, sweaty and can be very uncomfortable to sleep. I also burn very easily (even in overcast English weather) which doesn’t help my ill feelings towards the Summer season either! And I’m not the only one; an estimated 10% of people in the UK experience depressive episodes in the Summer months. Commonly referred to as “Summertime Sadness” or the clinical name ‘Reverse SAD’.

Photo by Alexander Shustov on Unsplash.

But why do some people experience low moods this time of year? Aren’t the bright sunny days supposed to brighten our mood? While that’s true for some people, research shows that the long days, excess light and increased heat can throw off the body’s internal clock. Causing not only disturbed sleep patterns but also effecting production of serotonin in the brain.

Common symptoms of reverse SAD are lack of sleep (including insomnia), loss of appetite and increased anxiety, for example due to body image or upcoming social events. Two things I struggle with myself especially during bikini season and with my agoraphobia.

6 Ways to Boost Your Mood During Summer (+ Help with Reverse SAD)

Like all mental illnesses there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to treatment, and if you are struggling I would encourage you to speak with your doctor. However, there are a few things you can try at home to help relieve some of your symptoms. And try to enjoy Summer a little more.

Get Outside

It’s well known that getting outside, especially in nature, is both a great form of exercise and mood booster. But for those that burn easy, hate feeling sweaty or it can be tempting to shut yourself indoors. Believe me, I’ve been there.

So, instead of going out in the midday sun (typically between 12 – 3pm) I’ll go for a walk mid morning or late afternoon. Even an evening walk on occasion. It’s certainly a lot cooler! And there’s less chance of sun burn although I’d always recommend sun protection.

Pitville Park Cheltenham

Pitville Park Cheltenham

Staying inside has also been shown to increase feelings of isolation, but if going outside in the heat, seems impossible for you there are other options. Try looking into indoor activities local to you, such as museums, or fitness centres, like indoor climbing. Anything to get you out of the house and help you feel less isolated.

Learn to Say No

BBQs, picnics in the park, festivals and other social gatherings which is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. So learn to say no if you have enough Also adding the fact that many of these things cost money too.

Watch the Sun Rise (or Set)

If there’s one benefit to those early mornings and brighter evenings it’s sun rises and sun sets. I love watching the clouds move and change colour; everything just looks a little more picturesque to me. The bright colours never fail to brighten my mood.

Sunset over London with view of The Shard

Sunset over London

Keep Cool

In the UK we don’t have air conditioning in our homes (and it’s rare in shops as well), so many of us rely on fans to keep cool. They’re great if you’re struggling to sleep at night with the muggy weather, but if the noise bothers you, I’d also recommend opening your window with the curtains closed. Helping let the fresh air in and keeping the creepy crawlies out!

Distract yourself with a new hobby

Find a new activity you enjoy (or rediscover one of your old ones) and completely immerse yourself in it. You could even look at hobbies which will get you get you outside a little more, such as hiking, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. I know I feel better about the heat if I’m doing something fun in it.

Kayaking in Cornwall

Kayaking in Cornwall

Stay Hydrated

Every part of the human body needs water to help it function and the brain is no exception. If you don’t drink enough water dehydration can sap your brains energy, effecting it’s ability to produce serotonin and increasing stress in the body. Both of which can effect your mood! So remember to drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated.

Talk to someone

As mentioned earlier in this post, if you’re struggling I’d encourage you to talk to someone you trust, get in touch with a helpline or see your doctor.

Have you been affected by Summertime Sadness (or Reverse SAD)? What advice would you give to someone struggling this time of year? Let me know in the comments.


The Blog Brew Collaboration logo

The Blog Brew is a collaboration between myself and 9 other lovely bloggers. Each month we will write a post relating to the Blog Brew Collab on our own blogs. And this month is all about Summer.

You can stay updated here and learn all about our blogs. Here’s our schedule for the month:-

TBC

12 Comments

  1. Molly Rose

    September 12, 2020 at 09:59

    Thank you for writing this post and bringing attention to this issue! I’ve never really thought about SAD before but I can understand how people may feel that way. I always find that going for a nice walk, every if it’s not a particularly nice day, makes me feel so much better. Just being outdoors in the fresh air makes so much of a difference.

  2. Ellis James Designs

    August 24, 2020 at 10:16

    Great tips! Getting yourself outside, walking somewhere, is definitely a great pick me up.

  3. Karalee Shotola

    August 9, 2020 at 13:32

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as Reverse SAD. I don’t really like the summer b/c it’s so hot & I burn easily too. In Denmark, homes don’t have AC either & only bigger stores like the mall & electronics store have AC so having a fan is a must! I bought a new fan & it has a sleep setting so it’s great to use during the night.

  4. Jenny in Neverland`

    July 31, 2020 at 11:51

    I don’t have this but I do find I’m a bit more anxious in the Summer but that’s because of my anxiety trigger around getting too hot. However that’s improved MASSIVELY over the last year and not so much of a problem anymore. These are fab tips 🙂

  5. Lisa

    July 30, 2020 at 18:54

    I knew about Winter SAD but I didn’t realise that it could occur in Summer too. Summer’s my favourite season, I was definitely born in the wrong country! That said, if I don’t keep hydrated I get very grumpy and headachey and I agree with you, you can’t beat a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Thanks for sharing this, Kim 🙂 Lisa

  6. Free activity idea's for children this summer!!

    July 29, 2020 at 21:05

    […] Collab – Head Over to Chimmyville.comJuly Collab – Head over to Introverted CreativityJuly Collab – Head over to PerselemJuly […]

  7. Adam

    July 26, 2020 at 19:18

    Really interesting read, you here a lot about SAD in the winter, but not the summer. If it’s very hot, and my hay fever is bad, I can find summer difficult.
    Adam – https:daddoesautism.com

  8. Lozza

    July 26, 2020 at 15:34

    These are such good tips!

    I find that getting outside more definitely helps boost my mood so I’m trying to do it more often.

    Thanks so much for sharing this, it’s really useful! ☺️

    Love Lozza x
    http://girlygabble.com

  9. Amy

    July 23, 2020 at 22:13

    I honestly didn’t know that reverse SAD was a thing so thank you for sharing. Staying hydrated especially is so important, I really notice a difference in my mood and how I feel when I don’t drink enough – it’s strange to think such a small thing can make a huge difference! Thank you for sharing x

  10. Niraj Shah

    July 23, 2020 at 16:56

    Thanks for sharing!! The picture of the sunset over London is so pretty! I like the point you make about sometimes saying no, so many people find it hard to say no but sometimes it’s needed!

    Feel free to read some of my blog posts 🙂

  11. Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

    July 23, 2020 at 14:35

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m lucky that I don’t suffer from this is in the summer, going a for a walk does help it clears your head and gets you focused 🙂

    1. Haley Scully

      July 23, 2020 at 18:57

      Thank you for sharing about this issue and spreading awareness! I can’t say I’ve ever suffered from Reverse SAD, but I do think it’s very important for people to be informed of. And I think these are great tips! I especially like the one about staying hydrated. That really is so important, especially when you’re out in the heat! Saying no is another really good tip. It can be hard to do, but it’s often very beneficial for our mental and emotional health. Thanks again for sharing! 😊💖

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