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8 Ways to Enjoy the Summer Despite Having Depression

By HERWriter
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Depression related image Photo: Getty Images

Winter is known for dampening spirits, so summer can be a time to rejoice for people with depression. I’ve always noticed that during the winter, my depression deepens, but it is important to note that not everyone with depression feels relief in the summer.

Some have summer depression because of "reverse" seasonal affective disorder, or just have an ongoing depression that isn’t relieved during the summer. An older New York Times article stated that people with summer depression tend to experience symptoms of “agitation, loss of appetite, insomnia and, in extreme cases, increased suicidal fantasies.” Their winter counterparts are generally more tired, “crave carbohydrates, gain weight and sleep excessively.” If you think you could have summer depression, talk to a mental health professional.

Despite the possibility of summer depression, my suggestions can hopefully help everyone have something to look forward to in these hotter months, including people with depression.

1) For students with depression, summer might be a break from the workload. Take pleasure in a week or so off, but don’t get too comfortable. For me, breaks were almost deadly at times. This is because I had more time to brood and consider negative thoughts. Also, sleeping excessively in that extra time can become a bad habit and actually drain energy instead of make up for the previous sleepless nights. Make sure to set some goals you want to accomplish this summer and use time wisely while also relaxing. One possible goal is getting healthy again and exercising daily (especially if this wasn’t possible during the school year). If possible, get a summer job so you have a distraction – make it part-time if you need the extra time to relax.

2) Make plans with friends. Some might be more available than usual, especially if they are students. Even if you are all working, summer is the time when more fun opportunities open up, like water parks, tubing, camping and swimming in lakes. Plan one of these activities in a group so you have something to look forward to during the summer.

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EmpowHER Guest

Diet plays a huge role in your overall well being – there are no two ways about it, being overweight can seriously disrupt your sleep or cause depression. These symptoms are all interconnected. If you suffer from obesity, you might want to start by addressing that issue as the main cause of your sleeplessness. Aside from the problems with being overweight, there are definitely foods that you want to avoid before bedtime as well as foods that can aid in sleep. You can find loads of sleeping tips in the ebook Get To Sleep Now! at http://instantlyfallasleep.com . Fatty foods, for example, require a lot of stomach work to digest and can keep you awake at night. In addition, spicy or acidic foods eaten during the evening can cause stomach issues and possibly heartburn at night.
Sleep inducive foods that you should include in your daily diet include those that are magnesium-rich like:
♣ dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, almonds, cashews, real molasses
Other foods that may help to promote a healthy sleep:
♣ halibut, pumpkin, artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, bok choy, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, asparagus, potatoes, buckwheat, bananas

May 29, 2011 - 12:04am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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