Summertime Blues: How To Cope

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We live in an odd climate here in Phoenix. It’s hot, really hot, for a very long time! How does that affect you? Your body? Your mood? Your thoughts? I think most people think “Summer!!” and imagine lounging around a pool, slower schedules, sleeping in, vacations, BBQ’s, and fun. But for many, the summer also brings long, hot, days of whiny, cranky, hot, tired, bored, frustrated kids…which leads to irritated, cranky, hot, tired, frustrated parents.

During the time I spent in Seattle most people were familiar with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Winter months brought short, dark, gray, rainy days for months on end. People often admitted to how the weather affected their moods and dispositions. As a therapist, it was helpful and necessary to note the changes in season and how they affected myself and my clients. Now, living in Phoenix I often see a similar pattern, but during the summer months.

There are different levels of severity for those who experience SAD, and this doesn’t mean you have some diagnosable condition, but definitely worth noting if you experience some SAD symptoms. Worth noting for you, for your kids, and for your whole family. There are lots of ways to cope with the symptoms, but sometimes just taking note and realizing they are present is helpful. It is a season, it will pass, and you can try and find ways to seek relief in the midst of it, but it also may be difficult. Even if you love the heat and summer, your kids might not, and usually they don’t have the language to articulate why they are feeling sad, frustrated, depressed, anxious, or lot of other emotions. Will you show yourself and your kids a little extra grace this summer when everyone is about out of their minds?

Ways to cope:

  • Simply being aware that the summer might be a more difficult time for you
  • Finding things that give you reprieve, and making sure to prioritize them in your daily/weekly schedule
  • Move your body
  • Set up regular childcare (even just for an hour) so you can reflect and reenergize yourself
  • Fuel your body with good energy (food & drink)
  • Plan trips to cooler locations
  • Seek help or counsel to work through some things if it feels too overwhelming
  • And remember, there are lots of resources out there if you need help!

Take care of yourself.

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Elisa is a native Arizonan by birth and a Seattleite by heart. She is a wise, spirited woman who loves feeling the sun on her face, but also enjoys cold rainy days, complete with a cup of coffee and a good book or conversation. After graduating with a Masters in Counseling Psychology and seeing clients for a time, she took a hiatus to love on, play with, and offer copious amounts of hugs to our little girls, Malia and Jayden. She is now back working at Socorro Counseling and Consulting in Downtown Phoenix. Unafraid to laugh at herself and able to see the beauty in others, she makes everyone feel at ease, making her a genuine friend, therapist, and wife. Give her a cute pattern and a sewing machine or some spray paint and a piece of furniture and they are surely to be transformed into some warm piece of art that brightens our living space. She also finds creativity in cooking, making household cleaners, and anything Pinterest. In short, Elisa is stylish, wise, thoughtful, creative woman who makes everyone around her a better person, including her husband (who wrote this bio).

1 COMMENT

  1. I have known for years that I have what I refer to as reverse SAD. Since it is commonly associated with colder months, but I only experience it in the summer. Thank you for validating what I’ve always thought to be true. I kinda dread the summer because I know I am going to experience some form of depression. I know it will pass but those summer months can seem very long at times.

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