Rethink sadness when there ain’t no cure for summertime blues

Excitement at Memorial Day, thrill of Stonewall Month, and giddiness over new pool parties are gone. Netflix and pornhub are endless, but their entertainment value isn’t. You don’t care if you never see another daquiri, and it’s basically too hot to do anything but hole up near an air conditioner and pray for the sweet relief of fall.

There’s actually a reason for some of those summer doldrums. For some people, the body has a tough time adjusting to earlier sunrises and later sunsets. Instead of waking and enjoying the extra daylight, you get the “sads.” Literally:

SAD is an actual a thing – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It usually affects people in winter, but the Summer Onset variety is just as dangerous and, well, sad.

Beyond that, maybe you have vacation envy of your Facebook friends. Maybe your anxiety over tank-top-manboob is overwhelming you.

But who cares why we feel this way, right? We just want it to stop. Make the most out of the warmer months and be ahead of the game by fall. Here are some steps that actually work.

Sleep In

Yes, really! You have permission. That blinding light through the window at the buttcrack of dawn may make sleeping sound impossible, but endless weeks of getting up with the sun could be taking its toll. Consider blackout curtains or a sleep mask to get those extra winks.

Lower Your Expectations

Counterintuitive? Maybe, but building up summer in your mind can create a disconnect when compared with reality. Be ready for a pop-up storm on picnic day. Expect ungodly long lines at Six Flags. If you’re prepared for the worst, you can be pleasantly surprised when everything goes fine. Pre-set your attitude and ability to go with the flow.

Build in Relaxation Time

Hustle. Bustle. You know the drill. Even the fashions are louder and busier during summer. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you overdo any time, but burnout is even more possible during summer. Map out your down time. Take some vacation days.

Work It Out

Getting the blood pumping keeps your mind sharp so the sads (and the SAD) don’t eat you alive. One study found that simply walking 35 minutes a day, three times a week, can stave off mild to moderate depression.

Reality Check

No. Everyone on Facebook and Instagram does not have a better dog, boyfriend or summer celebration schedule better than you. Pick your head up off the keyboard. Some people do have more resources than others, but you can figure out how to make a version of the Good Life happen on your budget and in your way.

Brighten Up

It sounds like pop psychology, but surrounding yourself with light and color really helps you feel better. Wear bright colors, get out into that sunshine, work near a window.

Eat Smart and Love the D

This is your go-ahead to eat dark chocolate and drink coffee, in moderation. They elevate the mood and ease anxiety. But don’t be fooled; other candy, carbs and processed sugar ultimately increases despair after an initial euphoria.

Your body gets most of its Vitamin D3 from the sun. If you’re avoiding the heat like the plague, you could literally be starving for D3. Consider adding a supplement if heading out is not in the cards for you.

Crank the Tunes

Enhance the mood with music, like a soundtrack for the movie of your summer life. Hint: Not Adele. It may look like a movie and sound like song, but that shit is depressing.

Make Plans 

Looking toward the future can be one of the best spirit lifters. Find something to look forward to. Plan a vacation, a weekend, or just a night out on the town. Just visualizing the future can help.

Take Action

Now do it. Busy yourself. Take a step toward a goal. Revisit a cast-aside resolution and try again.