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For some people, the idea of spring or summertime coming is a welcome joy, but others may dread the hotter months of the year. They may even experience feelings of depression or sadness during the spring or summer months, which can be symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Sometimes referred to as seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder, SAD is a form of depression that occurs during a particular season. Typically someone will experience an episode of depression each year during this season.

It is estimated that nearly 1% of the population experiences SAD in the summer months (Sapega, 2018). However, since it is often associated with the winter months, those struggling during the summer may struggle to receive a diagnosis or understand what they are going through.

The National Institute of Mental Health explains that those who experience seasonal affective disorder during the summer can experience “reduced melatonin levels, consistent with long, hot days worsening sleep quality and leading to depression symptoms”. 

Here are a few tips to help you combat SAD in the spring or summer months: 

Maintain a regular sleep pattern

It can be easy to fall out of routine with your sleep schedule during periods of stress and when experiencing a depressive episode. This can be even more difficult with SAD specifically because seasons can also affect your sleep patterns. Due to the heat, someone may want to stay inside and sleep more than normal during the summer months, which could throw off their circadian rhythm. Therefore, it may be beneficial to set a maintainable sleep pattern for these months, such as making sure to go to bed by a certain time. 

Make time to see friends (virtually or in person)

Getting out and doing things with friends can be a great way to keep busy and help yourself out of a rut. When experiencing SAD, it is important to maintain contact with friends and loved ones. If you are not able to or comfortable meeting friends in person, you can Facetime or even set up Zoom calls with multiple friends (think early COVID-era hangouts over Zoom). Friends are an incredible way to stay connected and feel supported.

Prioritize regular physical activity

Similar to most mental health disorders, exercise can be highly beneficial in combating SAD. With the weather change, it may be necessary to make some accommodations to one’s normal exercise routine. For instance, if someone normally goes running outside during colder months, then they may want to consider joining a gym to run on a treadmill at a gym or to find a place with an indoor track. 

Track your feelings

Tracking how you feel or think can be helpful when struggling with any type of health condition. It can help gather insight into one’s thoughts and feelings. For instance, someone may realize that they tend to feel better when they engage in certain activities during the day, such as walking outside or spending time with their pets. Therefore, one can link certain activities or hobbies with better moods. 

Journaling with a pen and paper is a wonderful way to track things, but if that is not preferred, then there are also many apps out there that can help with tracking thoughts, symptoms, feelings, and more with ease. 

Consider seeing a therapist or joining a support group

It may be helpful to consider finding a therapist specializing in treating SAD. Someone who has experience with this disorder may be able to provide specific recommendations for treatment, coping skills, and more. Seeing a therapist in general could also be a great outlet for discussing any thoughts, feelings, and fears that may come up while experiencing SAD symptoms. Another great way to find support is through a peer support group such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s Anxiety and Depression Support Group.

These are just some tips for combating SAD; there are many others, though. If you know someone who struggles with their mental health during particular times of the year, you may want to share information with them about SAD so they can look more into it and possibly seek professional support. 

If you struggle with SAD, I hope that you are kind to yourself during this spring and summer. 

Works Cited:

Mental Health America. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Mental Health America. N.d.


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (n.d). You’ve heard of the winter blues but what about summer depression? The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.


National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Seasonal Affective Disorder. National Institute of Mental Health.,and%20leading%20to%20depression%20symptoms.


Sapega, Sally. (2018, August 2). The Summertime Blues. Penn Medicine News.,opposite%20ends%20of%20the%20spectrum.


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