Summer Depression

How to Manage Summer Depression


Aug 8, 2023

Bright weather yet dull mood? You may have summer depression. It may come as a surprise that 17% of adults experience depression through the summer period according to most recent statistics in 2021. You may question, why you are still getting depression in summer when it’s supposed to be the happiest season of the year? At Head Agenda, our guide aims to provide you with the tools to brighten your mood again for the summer.

What is summer depression?

Summer depression is where your depression can occur more intensely during the summer. For some people, this can be a result of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) wherein too much sunlight turns off melatonin production, which is the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. This means the sun could be having a biological impact on your mood. Aside from SAD, there are other lifestyle factors that could be causing your depression to worsen. Let’s go through some factors that may cause this summertime SAD-dness.


It is common for there to be a lot of day drinking involved during summer. Whether this is through summer parties, family gatherings, BBQs, going out with friends or those unlimited cocktails on all inclusive holidays. All these situations can involve a lot of alcohol. But sometimes it is forgotten that alcohol is a depressant.

Alcohol can alter the balance of chemical and neuropsychological functions of your brain. With this, it can have a massive impact on both mood and behaviour. For example, you may either feel stimulated to the point where you feel bubbly, and the alcohol temporarily sedates your anxieties making you feel more sociable. On the other side, if alcohol is consumed regularly, in the long term it could make you become dependent on alcohol to have a good time and ultimately lead to depression.

“It’s too hot”

The UK is known for its unpredictable weather. As soon as our country experiences hot weather, we can struggle to regulate our temperature and find relief from the warmth. With this, it can generally make you feel down and unmotivated to do anything. As a result, simple things such as cooking or even going anywhere can be difficult and result in low mood.

Sleep deprivation/insomnia

With the heat feeling overwhelming and overbearing, you may find yourself naturally tossing and turning in the middle of the night. This lack of sleep can not only inhibit the amount of time you can sleep, but also the quality. When you are sleeping this is when your body restores and recharges itself – like a phone, it can’t work if it is not charged.

Body image

Summer is the prime time where wearing less seems to be a common theme due to the intense heat, or for the UK, if it reaches past 18°C. As a result, if you are not feeling completely comfortable with the skin you’re in, it can induce a lot of social anxiety and negative thoughts that others will be judging. This can have a negative spiral effect on your confidence and own opinion of yourself as well as how comfortable you feel. When you don’t feel comfortable with your own body image, you may feel like you don’t want to go anywhere due to the fear of judgement and the embarrassment that you may feel with these thoughts.

But it is extremely difficult for us as humans to be happy all the time. You never truly know what others are feeling. Happiness is a temporary emotion meaning it can’t be sustained, but peace and content is something more sustainable. And so, keep remembering you look amazing! Nature is beautiful and comes in all different kinds of shapes and sizes – this is the same with body image, we come in all different shapes and sizes, but it doesn’t take away the beauty.

Balancing work as a parent

It can be difficult during the summer, whether you are a parent or not. When you are working, sometimes staying in the office or working from home can make you feel down, whilst everyone else is having fun in the sun.

When you are a parent, it can also be a struggle ensuring your kids are enjoying their summer and trying to split your time between concentrating on work and spending time with them. This, in itself, can feel extremely difficult however, we have created a guide on ways to you achieve your work/life balance. Equally, if you are feeling the stresses of work, read our guide on work burnout to see ways to avoid it so you can enjoy your summer.

What can I do to cope with summer depression?

Fortunately, there are multiple methods by which you can help manage your summer depression, here are a few:

1. Plan ahead

Try to make the most of the warm weather by planning days out or activities to look forward to. Ensure you can take some time off work and spend time with your family and friends – quality time being surrounded by people you love can sometimes be the perfect remedy.

2. Try exercising

Exercise naturally releases dopamine (which is essentially the happy hormone) meaning as you exercise, you’re not only getting the movement and activity your body normally needs, but it will uplift your mood.

3. Get enough rest and sleep

Its understandable the heat can be overbearing but some simple tricks can help cool you down, so it is more bearable and comfortable to get a good night’s rest:

  • Keep a fan on or keep the window ever so slightly open.
  • Try investing in a cooling mattress.
  • Have a hot or warm shower or bath 1-2 hours before going to sleep – showering will lower your core body temperature and also help you unwind before bed.
  • Get into a routine at bedtime – sometimes broken sleep can affect your mood and mental health. You can do this by ensuring you make sure you finish meals and snack at least 2 hours before you go to sleep and have a set time by which you go to bed.
  • Don’t go on your phone before you go to sleep – blue light can wake your brain thus stimulating it, rather letting it unwind for relaxation.

3. Avoid social media

When you are feeling down, sometimes the worst thing is seeing other people have fun. Remember, social media is a snippet of the best part others are living, and so it is important to remember that it is not entirely true. For ideas on how to stop scrolling, check out our blog.

4. Maintain healthy eating and stay hydrated

If you are not eating properly, it can have an impact on your mental health. In fact, research has found that consuming fried/greasy foods more than one serving per day can have an impact on your mental health - increasing your risk of depression of around 7% and anxiety of around 12%.

Even becoming dehydrated can cause increased negative emotions and general low or agitated moods. Keeping hydrated could help alleviate some of these symptoms.

Need professional help?

It can be difficult to get motivated, especially when going through depression, and there are deep rooted problems that could be causing your summer depression. So, it may be beneficial and helpful working through them with a licensed mental health professional.

Head Agenda offers a range of services that could help. For more information, visit our depression service page where you can find out how exactly we can help you.

Alternatively, if you are interested in getting depression therapy today to help you work through and provide the best support for your summer depression, click the button below to enquire today.

Disclaimer: This article has been designed for entertainment and informational purposes; it is not personalised medical advice. This guide may be a useful read to generate some ideas, however, please take advice from a medical professional.

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