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Health & Fit'Unpopular Opinion: I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap'

00:05  05 september  2019
00:05  05 september  2019 Source:   womenshealthmag.com

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“ It ’s not like I matter anyways,” Depression pipes up, making me sigh louder than I mean to. “You look worried,” my mother says, gazing at me gently. ' Unpopular Opinion : I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap '.

I'll just go right ahead and put it out there: I hate summer. Yes, you read that right. I, Elizabeth K. Bacharach, scorn the same season most commonly known for long days chock-full of smiles and sunshine.

'Unpopular Opinion: I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap'© Rod Staggs/Getty Images

You’re probably shuddering and asking yourself, is this chick nuts? Hey, maybe. But before you, as kids the say, “@ me,” hear me out.

Summer leaves me feeling a little isolated and a whole lot stuck.

I first remember feeling this way when I was 14. But it wasn't until a decade later that I actually wrapped my head around the dilemma and learned that the summertime sadness thing is legit.

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Those were the times I tried to escape my past. Today is a day when, once again, depression is messing with my mind, making me relive things I ’d rather not relive. The Mighty. ' Unpopular Opinion : I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap '.

Yes, that ’s exactly what it means. It means, when I go through these severe bouts of depression, I separate myself completely from my friends, family and society. Yahoo Finance UK. ' Unpopular Opinion : I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap '.

One Saturday morning during a typical gorgeous summer, around the age of 24, I sat cross-legged on the couch with Parks and Recreation on the TV in front of me, a cup of soon-to-be-cold coffee to my right, and a computer in my lap. I was wrapped up in a blanket burrito that doubled as armor against the outside world. And it wasn't day one of this behavior for me: Rather, it was my fourth week of assuming this solitary position after work and all weekend long because I was drowning in depression.

I was just so sick and tired of feeling, well, tired…and down…and apathetic…and isolated (tbh, the list can go on). What also really bugged me was that I felt this way during the months you’re supposed to feel exactly the opposite. So, while seemingly every 20-something got ready to seize the quintessential summer day—85-degree temps, clear skies, beckoning outdoor bars and nearby beaches—I searched on my computer, "Why do I hate summer?" and scrolled upon three familiar words: “seasonal affective disorder.”

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Being tired from depression is feeling like your body can barely hold you up anymore because it is just so physically exhausted from doing next to nothing. ' Unpopular Opinion : I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap '.

As you have probably heard if you're familiar with SAD, it's a type of depression characterized by dips in moods, difficulty sleeping, and decreased energy—and it's typically talked about in regards to winter. And that’s not wrong. But, it can (and does) occur during the summer months as well, although much less frequently, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH).

Why exactly SAD happens (in any season, mind you) is not totally clear. But there is no denying that several external factors in summer in particular—expectations that you should feel a certain way, continued workload even though you used to have this time off, who you surround yourself with, etc.—can make matters worse, says Elizabeth Cohen, PhD, a psychologist in New York City.

Here's the thing about summer, too: She's a bossy b*tch.

From Memorial Day Weekend into September, summer takes it upon herself to constantly remind me about all the things I should be doing. And, let me tell you, it's enough to drive me into an air-conditioned apartment locked away from the world.

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"Imagine yourself standing like this and you don't realize it because you're just tired. ' Unpopular Opinion : I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap '. Women's Health. Ulta Beauty is banking on Kim Kardashian's 147 million Instagram followers to save it .

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Why aren't you excited about a Summer Friday, Elizabeth? You should be going to the beach, Elizabeth. Why aren't you running in the park instead of on the treadmill, Elizabeth? Why aren't you drinking margs on your friend's roof and giggling, Elizabeth? You should be more social, Elizabeth.

Just writing that was enough to make my head start to spin. Summer stereotypes make it easy to get bogged down emotionally by what Terri Bacow, PhD, calls, the "tyranny of the shoulds" that come along with the season.

While it doesn't exactly *feel* great, my mood shift actually makes sense, experts say.

In fact, my feelings that I should do this or that and be happy during summer are actually something that Bacow, a clinical psychologist also in New York City, has heard many times. “Summer brings lovely weather but also the pressure to ‘make the most of it,’ which can cause striving and stress when expectations aren’t met," Bacow explains.

These less-than-sunny feelings can be potentially even worse if you suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, like I do. The reality is, anxiety and depression are year-round issues. Sure, symptoms can come and go in certain situations, and these conditions can operate with different patterns and triggers depending on the person, but they don’t disappear entirely, Bacow says.

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Now, I know that mental illness doesn’t just vanish during the summer (although that would be kind of awesome, no?). But I still have and continue to fall prey to the grand idea that just because it’s the season of sunshine, I should immediately feel better and have more fun. And when that ultimately doesn’t happen—because this isn’t Disney World and there’s no bipity, bopity, boo for your brain—I start to spiral.

I stop taking my emotional temperature in a productive way, by asking myself, "Why? What's going on? How can I work through this?" and start asking more self-critical inquiries, like, "What’s wrong with me that I can’t be happy?" This distorted or inaccurate thinking can just make you feel worse about yourself and the situation, in turn exacerbating anxiety and depression, Bacow explains.

The seasonal high temps and sticky atmosphere may even partially fuel the emotional stuff. I've declared sweating public enemy number two (number one is shoes, especially when worn indoors). In simple words, summer makes me feel physically uncomfortable as well. Interestingly, several studies have linked higher temps with increased irritability and depressed moods as well as boost of mental health emergencies. So it's not shocking that the dreaded physical ickiness from heat and its evil-cousin sweat intensify my anti-summer sentiment, Cohen says.

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Part of coping for me is just leaning in and accepting how I feel in the summer. But these other interventions also help me out.

For one thing, I now make a conscious effort to cut back on my 'gram game starting in May. At first, I would delete the app every weekend (I need it for my job Mon through Fri) and now by using the genius invention of Instagram's activity timer, which notifies you once you spent your self-allotted amount of time on the app. Focusing less on filtered feeds helps me heed comparisons and feel less guilty about my choices and behaviors that are my own self-care.

As a result, I'm able to become more self-assured to leave all the frolicking, Aperol spritz cheers-ing to others (and there's nothin' wrong with that, btw!) and stick with what I *know* puts me in a better mental place when I need to: reading, coloring, movie-watching, hell, even cleaning (as long as I'm indoors and inches from an a/c box).

Obviously, hopping off of Insta doesn't magically cure summer mental health woes. But having a rolodex of remedies—and an excellent therapist, too—definitely helps.

Another tactic is "activation," which, per Bacow, is essentially doing something that gets you off your tush and brings a sense of positivity or mastery. So, if you find yourself in no mood to go anywhere or do anything, go ahead and scrub your bathroom 'til it's spic and span or hop on the phone with a buddy from college—anything that brings you pleasure and makes you feel accomplished. An added bonus? It will add a little structure to your day, which can help "override" the stagnant and isolated sensations that come with depression, Cohen adds.

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Lastly, speak up to anyone you trust if you can and feel comfortable doing so. Flashing back to when I was down, wrapped in my blanket burrito that one summer, I sent a message in my friend group text for the first time in weeks to let them know I was there—and not well. To say it wasn't easy to share these words and emotions was an understatement, but it was wildly worth it.

It also set the bar for any of my blues-ridden summers going forward. My friends now have a better idea of how challenging the season truly is for me, even if it couldn't be less so for them. Check-in texts have always been our norm, but they're even more meaningful and appreciated during the summer—something my friends now never fail to forget. For instance, one of my friends is an A+ caller and leaves voicemails that fill my heart. She doesn't even have to say much, just, "Hi, just thinking of you, wanted to check in and see how things are."

And truth be told, things aren't always great cheery and bright, especially when the weather, the media, the people—the world—all say they should be. So in case anyone out there feels this way (happy to have you here in the club!), remember it's completely valid and completely okay—and, good freakin' news, winter is coming.

If you or someone close to you is dealing with a mental health issue and you're not sure what to do, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website is a great resource to check out for support tips. (You can also reach the helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI.)

Gallery: Major warning signs of summer seasonal affective disorder (Prevention)

'Unpopular Opinion: I Am So Happy Summer Is Ending Because It Makes Me Feel Like Crap'

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