Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Do You Hate Summer? You’re Not Alone

posted by Beyond Blue

Who would have known that there are so many summer haters out there? I didn’t think to write about summer depression until the cool website Mermaids of the Lake asked me to. (You must check out their site, because the photography alone is worth the click.) But then again, I have covered all the other seasons: “12 Winter Depression Busters,” and “5 Ways to Manage Autumn Anxiety,” and “Spring Depression.” Hell, let’s be honest, I’m depressed every damn season. So it made sense to cover summer depression. But I was unprepared for the feedback of the masses!

In my piece, “6 Tips for Summer Depression,” I list a few reasons why the neural connections blow a fuse in the heat: summertime SAD (opposite of wintertime SAD, when the light has a negative impact), disrupted schedules (that’s the big whammy for me), body image issues (okay, I’m there too), financial worries (checkmark that one as well), and the heat (ironically, considering that my fingers, toes, and lips turn purple in cold weather, I’m cool on that one!).

Having come out of the closet as a semi-summer-hater, I’m getting mail from all kinds of summer haters, and laughing my bathing suit right off. I loved the blog post by Sarah Callender called “Inside-Out Underpants.” After a litany of reason why everyone in Seattle looks forward to summer, she writes:

In spite of the sun finally doing its job, in spite of me getting to exercise a bit more, in spite of a more relaxed schedule, in spite of the opportunity to take a break from Everyday Math and Reading Logs and packing school lunches, in spite of the fact that I take my Zoloft communion wafer every morning without fail, summer ends with me feeling like I’ve been injected with a massive dose of BLAH. Like I’ve pounded a grande quad-shot of I FEEL SO HEAVY AND WEARY. Like I should be wearing a t-shirt that says, Really? This is supposed to be fun?

And I feel pretty terrible about that. I like to think of myself as a hopeful, optimistic person who’s got a really amazing life. So why do I hate the summer?

I DON’T KNOW!

I really don’t know either. I mean, yes, I’ve listed the reasons (it makes me look like I have my act together to write those pieces … 8 ways to unhate summer, 7 ways to barbecue your enemy on the grill, 6 ways to stop hating your body at the pool) and all the reasons make sense.

But I used to love summer.

In fact, summer was my favorite season for the first 33 years of my life. The months of June, July, and August still hold the most positive childhood memories that I have tucked away in the gray matter of my brain. I was at the pool from swim team practice at 8:00 in the morning until dinner time, and (maybe as a Pisces?) I absolutely loved being in the water. Still do.

However, with my major breakdown in 2005, summer lost its appeal. More than anything else, it was the lack of structured days that did me in. Before my hippocampus shrank with the wash and the power went out in my frontal lobes, I could take each day as it came … depending on my mood and the weather. Now? To insure proper sleep hygiene, I have to be in bed by 9 pm and up at 5 pm, followed by a half hour of meditation and an hour and fifteen minutes of rigorous exercise. No doughnuts anymore, of course. Good nutrition means plenty of Omega 3s and antioxidants, and at least five grams of protein with each meal. Whenever I deviate from that, the entire house suffers.

I had to laugh when I read Sarah’s explanation of why this unstructured time makes those of us with fragile wiring do things like want to throw water balloons at relatives:

[I] recall a study my therapist once shared with me. In this study groups of rats were shocked, some at predictable times where they had some control over the duration of the shock, others at unpredictable times where they had no control over the duration of the shock. The latter group, after a time, showed high anxiety and/or depression. Many rats simply schlumped in their cages, demonstrating utter despondency, passivity, and helplessness.

I think that’s what happens to me too.

While more easy-going people (i.e. not I) appreciate the change in the summer routine, that absence of structure makes me feel anxious and depressed. If you add young kids to an already unpredictable schedule, that’s a doozey of a combo where one’s schedule is both unpredictable and just beyond one’s control. Unpredictability + lack of control = anxiety and depression.

It’s elementary, my dear Watson!

Of course, I am WELL aware that my woe-is-I version of unpredictability and unstructuredness is an ice cream sundae compared to that of others whose days are filled with suicide bombers or despotic leaders or alcoholic husbands. With that tandem of lack of control and unpredictability, I’d be in a world of hurt.
But my flea-sized version of unpredictability is real to me. So I am trying to structure my summer with the hope that I can be in Rat Group A, the group that’s shocked on schedule, like having Tea and Crumpets and a Wee Electric Shock every day at 4:00. Promptly at 4:00, please.

So I am trying to structure my day with all sorts of things that are fun for both me and the kids so that the shocks, perhaps, are more predictable than not. Yahtzee, for example. Yahtzee’s nice and predictable. As are Math workbooks. Violin practice. Twice weekly trips to the library.

Yes, it may sound a little uptight, but frankly, I don’t want to lose my sugar this summer. It’s less than fun to lose one’s sugar, especially when everyone I know and admire is tra-la-la-ing their way through August, happy as bivalves.

So, fellow summer haters, please know that you have plenty of company if you do, in fact, lose it and shoot a water gum at a spouse, neighbor, sibling, in-law, or co-worker. They should understand, after all. It’s summer.

Image courtesy of Mermaids of the Lake.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Anya

    LOL
    Strangely I find some comfort in the fact that I am so simialr to the rat. I crave predictability and control! :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Brendan

    i’m a sun lover. but i totally relate to the winter blues, being a seasonal sufferer of the latter persuasion… i’m in “sunny” south africa, where we’re currently experiencing one of our coldest winters in some years. our COLD winters mean evening temperatures of between 20°F – 40°F and daytime lows of between 60°F – 70°F. granted, this is nowhere near as bad as, say Alaska, for instance. but damn! it’s cold for me. can’t face getting up in the mornings and can’t wait to get back into bed at night.

    *sigh* it won’t be long until the warm weather returns, though. i never did understand the summer haters ???????

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue/2011/07/summer-haters-fight-back.html#more-5592 Elizabeth

    Just coming back from vacation– I see how summer does me in. Not just the heat but the lack of routine, longer sunlight means I do more stuff whereas in the other seasons, I begin to relax at a decent hour in order to go to bed at a decent hour.

    Also, vacation really threw me off in a major way. I feel more depressed than I have in a long time. Yea, and I just got back from vacation. But I never slept well, I was around my family 24/7 and we were always on the go. Whether we were going to the beach or out to a store or for a beach walk or what have you. I am spent.

    I hope my body and mind get balanced again soon!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment marsha

    f

  • http://www.cagladantarifler.com yemek tarifleri

    thank you eline saglik arkadasim en guzel burda senide beklerim siteme beklemenin anlami yok dunyanin lezzetleri bu adreste.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment CRUSADER

    We are Creatures of Habit. Regular Habit..Helps when some Tumult Happens……Do What is Good…..What is Right……and….What is Just…..For You!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment undoit

    I live in Houston and I dread summer. My routine doesn’t change; it’s the heat and humidity. Like someone in N. Dakota in winter, I’m a prisoner of the indoors. No way I can tolerate being outside to exercise or move. My budget prohibits gym membership and there are no public pools nearby. When I have to go somewhere and leave my air conditioned sancutuary of home or office, my car thermometer registers 110′. In the time it takes to cool down, I become weak and nauseated, exhausted. And of course it’s hurricane season. We had one a couple years ago and it was no picnic – no electricity, safe water, eating out of the freezer before food spoiled, using a charcoal grill to cook. No grocery stores, etc. And the unbearable heat because we didn’t even have a fan because of no power. Luckily our house and car were not harmed. This year we have the bonus of drought conditions. Yes, it’s a hard season for me and I am struggling.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jean

    I dread summer because here in the hot ‘n humid southeastern US, there’s tons of yardwork to be done and grass to cut. I know I could cut a lot of this misery by looking for a smaller house or condo, but with the family situation at present, moving is not an option. I used to love to swim, back in my 20s, but no longer care to swim or risk an ear infection. Yup, summer can be a pain in the tailfeathers for many of us.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc

    While I would not say I hate summer, I am a teacher and the lose of routine is a challenge. Fresh fruit and vegetables provide some compesnation but once it gets over 90 I am longing for January. I hated hot weather growing up in California as well so I think my parents ancestry–centuries in Canada and Northern Europe–gave me cold weather genes (though not my siblings so it must be recessive, since I am the oldest…) Throw in the genes that cause depression and skin cancer (I survived melanoma) and I just try to get through when its really hot. Drink lots of water and try to makes friends with a gym if you can afford it–it not, get out early and sweat a little. Then take a shower and stay cool as you can the rest of the day.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Anne Thompson

    T,

    I am with u as Summer was ALWAYS my favorite time of the yr, GROWING up! Now at 51, with full blown MENOPAUSE, hot flashes, sweating like a Atheist in Church (ut oh more fanmail) it has changed. My favorites are NOW Spring and Fall. Here in Texas the SUMMER is just TOO hot! We have all been in a SEVERE drought this yr. Which is great in that the grass is all dead, has not required mowing every 5 days but when the thermometer on the porch reads 104 and the Weather forecaster on the News comes on and says “It is only 98 degrees but with the heat index, it feels like 107″ you want to shoot the tv!
    I have done some gardening this yr, mainly watering my plants every single day or loose them to the unforgivable heat.
    I have only been to a swimming pool twice so far. When even the water in the pool feels like warm bath water it is not as refreshing. I heard on the news last night that the beach water in the Gulf (we are only 45 min from Galveston) was 86 degrees!

    I understand about Summer loosing it’s charm. I personally do not care for the kids being on the loose. With my kids all up out of the school age yrs. I have less tolerance in stores and restaurants of loud, noisy, disrespectful children whose parents let them run WILD.
    Ok, enough on that. I have seen School supplies already in the stores and I giggle, knowing I no longer have to deal with school supplies, school uniforms or shopping ;) Can’t wait till the hellions are back in School and I can have adult time in public. Ok, thats gonna solicit more hate mail.
    Tonite is July’s Full Moon and I am having a Tiki themed party at my home. I have invited people to begin arriving around 7:00 p.m. when the Sun is going down and my backyard is shaded from trees. I have a small pond I have put in out back, along with a hammock, gravity chairs, camp chairs, my grill, firepit and a table sat up with a blender for chopping ice. We are planning on having FROZEN Strawberry Daquiri’s and Pina Colada’s. I am not a regular drinker as I do take med’s but an occassional cold one is something I will allow myself. Having so few vices left in my life. I have lost 26 lbs. I do not eat foods that are bad for me, I do not smoke and the only drugs I take are the Dr prescribed med’s. I am single, not dating anyone and have very little sex or desire for it anymore…see the Menopause part of my rant, ha!
    Anyway, I have enjoyed shopping for festive napkins, paper plates, Tiki cups and decorations, setting sea shells out, hanging lei’s and other beachy items around. Connie and I even picked up a cpl of grass skirts and seashell, coconut tops we might put on for fun ;)
    I plan to use a long piece of driftwood for the limbo, play nothing but Beach music….Larry Joe Taylor (a friend of mine who is like a Texas Jimmy Buffet) and Jimmy Buffet style songs. I am really looking forward to friendship and fun tonite! I will sing or dance for you and send some good Summer cheer your way! Blessed Be

    Mary Anne

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marylou D.

    I hate summer a lot less now that my kids are grown, and I work more. Now I actually look forward to a break in the routine, but this blog brought me right back there to those days of “one day drifting into another”,and it was the worst thing for my personality. And ofcourse, I had a sister that thrived on summertime, “where the living is easy”. Why is it always the case that we have to have our polar opposite, always right in our inner circle, taunting us?

    I’m so happy I survived that time, and adding structure to our lives wherever I could, was my salvation.

  • http://www.whystaycatholic.com mike leach, whystaycatholic.com

    Mikey loves it when Therese mixes funny with wise. Way!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment barb

    like everyone else, i used to love summer! the hotter the better. but after getting off the bus when we arrived in the Middle East for Desert Storm in ’91 and it was 120 degrees F and 100% humidity that did it for me. since then i can’t stand the heat and especially the humidity. i love when we have nights in the 50’s and 60’s when you can sleep with the windows open. air conditioners are a necessary evil here in my house. the next week here is upper 80s to 90s. YUK! i don’t know how you handle living in MD with the humidity. as much as i bitch about living in New York State, i have to admit, i could never live down South, or in the central part of the country. i will take a snowstorm over tornadoes, hurricanes and fires any day!

  • http://magicafternoon.blogspot.com Roo Gatsby

    i was born in the summer. yet i still hate it. summer is a terrible excuse to have a good time.

    if you’re a summer hater, join us:

    magicafternoon.blogspot.com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jean

    I think what I hate about summer is, it’s a bit like the over-inflated expectations of holidays – we’re SUPPOSED to be having SUCH a wonderful vacation, visit with family, etc. What I hate about summer as a homeowner, is having to cut the durn grass every five minutes. I would sooooo love to move to an apartment, ideally in a beach community, and never tangle with the green stuff, ever again. One reason, I think I hate summer is, when I was a child and just wanted to relax and watch TV, my dad was constantly scheming up ways to try to get me off to Bible School or classes, which I really HATED. I hate him, too, but that’s another story.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Diana

    Summer seemed to be the time when I was supposed to be having fun but found I ruined my families vacations. Later found out I have Panic Attacks and Mother wasn’t going to have any of that acting out. Also feel it exposes so many more of my flaws that I get to hide a bit more in the other seasons.
    Thank You Again Therese

  • sara

    I want to thank Dr Ovia for a work well done, he brought the love of my life back to me within 72 hours, i can not still believe that Smith is back in my life. I own my thanks to Dr. Ovia of templeofovia@gmail.com or cell +2348167037882.

    Sara

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment KRESTINA

    Great Odumako i want to appreciate you for helping me get back my lover within 48hours. I must say you are truly a great spell caster so i will advise anybody that needs to get there ex back to contact Great Odumako on odumako@gmail.com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment peter

    MY NAME IS PETER.. A couple of months ago my wife left me and we were separated for 5 months.But then I found out she was starting a relationship with one of my best friends. I was devastated. I wasn’t sure weather I anted revenge or if I wanted her back found the Doctor okosodo website and went over my options with them over the phone. decided I wanted my wife back for the sake of my son. Now she is back , thanks Dr okosodo you can contact him on mail,/okosodothespellcaster@gmail.com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment precious

    My mouth is full of testimonies, Am miss PRECIOUS E my husband left the home for two years to south Africa for a tourist, where he meant this prostitute and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr Abulu and i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 3 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my husband.. Dr Abulu of abuluspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Miss joy slim

    my name is Miss joy slim, am from
    Russian. my boyfriend Teddy Harrow left me
    for another girl five months ago’ ever since
    then my life have been filled with pains,
    sorrow and heart break because he was my
    first love who dis virgin me when i was 23
    years old about four years ago. A friend of
    mine, Kate Garvin told me he saw some
    testimonies of this greatspellcaster
    that he can bring back my lover within some
    few days. i laugh it out and said i am not
    interested but because of the love my friend
    had for me, she consulted the greatspellcaster
    on my behalf and to my greatest suprise
    after four days my boyfriend called me for
    the very first time after five months that he
    is missing me badly and that he is so sorry
    for every thing he made me went through. i
    still can’t believe it, because it just too real to
    be real.
    Thank you okosodothespellcaster@gmail .com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment trace

    Name: STEPS ON HOW TO GET YOUR EX LOVER BACK TO YOU
    Date: 01/22/13
    Message: My Name is jude ..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i went to Africa to Execute some business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years.So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos h ave tried so many spell casters and there is no solution.so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me.The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this.he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kid..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out..you can reach him here: ayokospellcaster@gmail.com…… CONTACT THIS POWERFUL SPELL CASTER TODAY VIA EMAILayokospellcaster@gmail: .com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment tina

    I want to say thanks to love spell temple for everything so far. To everyone who doesn’t believe in spell, I was one of those ones at first. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to do this since I’ve tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of my time and money. However, when I read through the testimonials of other people at this website and after I talked to Dr okadibo who answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my guy back. So my story is that I was at my office when the guy I am in love with told me that he wasn’t in love with me and never will be and that he didn’t want to speak or see me again, especially since he was talking to this other girl. When I talked to Dr okadibo, he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the ones that was to get him back to me and stay with me and want to marry me. As soon as he started on the spells, my guy came back into my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful for that. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to what Dr okadibo the spell is done. I’m still waiting for the spells to completely manifest, but with all that has happened so far I’m very happy because given only four months ago in March, if you asked me or my friends if I would have anticipated how things were right now…no one would believe it! Lara. To contact him at okadibospiritualtemple@gmail.com

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment precious

    ‘My mouth is full of testimonies, Am miss PRECIOUS E my husband left the home for two years to south Africa for a tourist, where he meant this prostitute and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr okogbo i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 3 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my husband.. Dr okogbospelltemple@yahoo.com or his phone number
    +2348154922482

  • Tiffany Diane Irwin

    I absolutely hate summer. With a passion. I don’t see how 90 degree heat with maximum humidity is in any way enjoyable. The heat is irritating. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. My mom relocated to florida because she “can’t stand the cold”. My mom loves her sandals, open toe shoes, short sleeve shirts and shorts. Me and my brother? Complete opposite. We don’t take to heat well at all. My mom also loved trips to the beach as well. It’s 99 outside, the sand absorbs that heat, so the sand is hotter, the ocean is Luke warm. There’s not a damn thing there to help cool you down, but people flock to Daytona by the masses for a “day of fun”. I now live in south carolina. I’m part of that percentage of people that can stand outside for a whole 2 minutes and swarms of mosquitoes come attacking. My husband? Has never been bitten. They fly by him like he doesn’t exist and attach themselves to me, primarily my forearms and ankles. I truly feel bad sometimes because my husband is an outdoors kinda man. He loves camping and things of that sort. But he sees what happens to me when I step out the door during midday in this hot weather. He sees the mosquitoes attack me left and right, even with repellant on. He sees how downright miserable I get when I start sweating and constantly wiping myself down. A couple of days ago, it was 95 outside and he put the top down on the car (because he wanted some sun).5 minutes later I was in tears, I was so miserable and screaming at the top of my lungs at a red light about “the fucking heat”. The heat gets me so miserable, when my husband says he wants to run the track or do something that involved being outside, I tell him take me to the court house, divorce me and marry a woman that likes this hot weather, I’ll move to Maine or alaska, whichever is colder most of the year. I think it when I said that, he realized there was no getting around it. His wife hates hot weather. And this is where marriage and compromise comes in. I feel awful at times. The things he loves to do, I don’t, because my body simply does not tolerate hot weather, like his does.

    • do-ish

      Lol… i think i hate the heat even more than you….try being in menopause… but you pretty much summed it up!

  • Markus Van Vorhees

    I HATE summer!
    I live in southern California, and it gets 100 degrees from may until October, and idiots here seem to LOVE it!
    I DON´T FIT IN HERE!

    I long for winter all year, and when winter doesn´t arrive, I grow more depressed than ever… Last winter it was 80 degrees almost daily and everybody loved it because they could go to the beach, and I was at home growing psychotic by the day. I even contemplated suicide…

    I am descended from Saxon, Nordic, and Celtic europeans… THIS IS NOT MY NATURAL HABITAT!

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