summer depression portland therapist inner growth therapy celine elise redfield

Mid-Summer Blues? How to work through that summer depression

In Anxiety, self compassion by Celine Redfield2 Comments

summer depression portland therapist inner growth therapy celine elise redfield

It is hot, the sun is bright. There are bbqs galore, and it is light out until late. People are out having fun, but you’re not feeling it? Maybe you struggle with some seasonal depression? What people don’t realize is that when someone has SAD (seasonal affect disorder), it cannot only be triggered by a lack of light but it can also be triggered by too much sun. Let’s learn some more about summer depression and how to beat it:

1) Understanding Summer Depression

So SAD is frequently talked about in the winter and fall months. But most people who struggle with SAD actually experience it more in the Summer. About 10% of the population struggles with it. Summer depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in your body during the summer. Experts are not sure what causes SAD but they believe that the longer days and the humid weather have something to do with it. The symptoms of Summer depression include: loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, weight loss, and anxiety. Let’s look at ways that we can beat this summer depression.

2) Learn to love your depression and make friends with it.

One of the most important things that a person can do is to be kind to themselves when they realize that they may have symptoms of a mental disorder. Second, in order of importance is to learn not to judge or pathologize the disorder. When we judge ourselves, we create more problems. And when we begin to believe that this diagnosis defines us, then get into trouble, and then the symptoms persist and can get worse.

A creative intervention that I suggest to clients is to write your depressive symptoms a letter and begin to have a dialog with them. Then the person can learn to see it as something that they live and interact with. This leaves a possibility for addressing the problem and making peace it, which works better. Practicing self-compassion helps with any type of depression.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” — Christopher Reeve
3) Reach out to friends and family.
This can be the hardest thing to do when you are in a depression. The phone can feel like it weighs a thousand pounds. It is so easy to become isolated which always makes depression worse. However, when we are vulnerable and honest with people we trust, we win the battle over isolation, which can help a person feel less helpless and more positive. Even if you reaching out just looks like texting people, this can help you feel connected to others and raise your spirits.
“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.
At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.”
― Vera Nazarian
4) Mediation.
It has been shown time and time again that meditation can help with depression and most mental illnesses. Learning how to meditate is easy and helps rewire the brain and create new neural pathways. It also helps us to learn to notice our feelings with curiosity and kindness. It helps us to see we are not our emotions, yet something that we interact with. There is a great meditation time that is free called Insight Timer. You can download it for your devices here:
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” –Baba Ram Dass
5) Exercise.

Movement helps produce endorphins which help reduce stress and mood. Endorphins bring out feelings of euphoria and general well being. Exercise also makes you take deep breaths which helps you to relax the body and put you into the relaxation response. This can help reduce negative self-talk and anxiety. Much of depression and anxiety have to do with being stuck in one’s head. Exercise helps people get more into their bodies and out of their heads. If you go to an exercise class, it can help you to socialize more and help you to set and attain goals which will help improve self-concept.

Do you struggle with depression? How do you cope with your depression? Comment below.

Are you ready to get help? I am accepting new clients. Please feel free to contact me.

Have a blessed week!



  1. It’s amazing to me how much exercise actually impacts one’s mood! Wonderful article and helpful insights, thank you Celine!

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