Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression most often associated with winter months, but it also has another variation that impacts people during the warm summer months.
Summertime depression can particularly impact children since their routines fade away in the summer.
As a parent, there are ways to acknowledge your child’s feelings, talk to them about what’s happening, and boost the mood of your overall household during the summer months.
Causes and symptoms
There isn’t always a clear-cut reason as to why seasonal changes can bring on depression, but some of the causes of summertime depression could include longer days plus more heat and humidity.
For children, the change in routine that comes with summer can also play a role. Suddenly not having the structure of waking up for school, getting to bed at a consistent time, and doing activities with friends can be stressful. Sleep, work, and eating habits can all change, impacting mood.
Hot summer months can also bring up body insecurity in children as they grow and change. The summer heat can be relentless and exhausting for some, and the added anxiety of activities like swimming that involve showing some skin doesn’t help.
Symptoms of summertime depression include:
- Lack of interest in things that are usually enjoyable
- Changes in mood
- Low energy
- Trouble concentrating
- Negative thinking
How to boost mood in the summer
Some people tend to get frustrated with themselves for experiencing Summer Depression. Before taking steps to brighten the mood of your household, it’s important to help your child understand what they’re experiencing in simple terms. It’s also important to be patient and not instill feelings of guilt in them.
As a parent, here are some coping skills your child can try and ways you can encourage healthy habits that will improve mood:
- Encourage being outside and spend time outdoors together
- Help your child eat healthy with nutritious snacks that are easy to grab and go
- Create a sleep routine
- Encourage exercise
Talking with a professional is also a healthy way to work through Summer Depression. Here at Valley Oaks Health, we offer many services for children. Learn more about them here.