We’ve all heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which typically affects individuals during the colder, rainier months of the year. Many sufferers of seasonal depression or anxiety are too familiar with the impending sense of doom they experience as fall and winter approach. On the other hand, many people become peeved as the sun shines and the temperature rises. Whether it’s the unbearable insects, sunburns, humidity, or crowds, summer isn’t always a walk in the park. While a general distaste for all that summer entails doesn’t warrant a mental health diagnosis, there are a few remedies to help summer-haters survive the season. Below are some tips on how to make the most of your least favorite months of the year.
Tip #1: Weather the storm
While winter brings snow and ice storms, warmer weather carries the threat of hurricanes, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. If you’re anything like me, nothing is more anxiety-inducing than an emergency weather alert for a tornado watch or warning. During the summer months, I find myself constantly on the prowl for funnel clouds whenever the sky is overcast. In 2021, we rely on electricity to survive and depend on the internet for entertainment. When powerful thunderstorms blow through your area and wreak havoc on trees and power lines, power outages can last for days. August in the south with no air conditioning? No thank you. To be better prepared for summer storms, consider keeping an emergency kit on hand packed with essentials such as non-perishable food, water, candles, a battery-operated fan, and a power bank to keep your electronic devices charged. Although the supplies won’t completely alleviate the discomfort you experience from a weather-related power outage, knowing you have an extra battery pack or two on hand can help put your mind at ease.
Tip #2: Take the road less traveled
Love summer travel but hate summer crowds? If this is the case for you, the months of June through September are definitely not the time to visit that National Park you’ve been dying to see. With schools closed and parents taking their much needed vacation time, why not save Yosemite for the fall? For introverts, it might be best to ditch tourist attractions or beach vacation hotspots to avoid crowds and the high cost of peak season travel. Smaller mountain towns or destinations that aren’t as tourist-friendly (think fewer hotel accommodations and no nonstop flights) might be your best bet. Alaska, for example, has plenty to offer tourists, but is less likely to attract as many families as Yellowstone or Glacier National Park due to its fairly remote location. Families with only a week of vacation to spare are less likely to choose hours of driving through the wilderness of Alaska with small children when Disney World is perfectly tailored to suit their needs. If you can’t make the flight to Alaska this summer, just be sure to avoid Myrtle Beach in July at all costs.
Tip #3: Stick to a routine
Part of the reason some people might despise summer is due to an interruption in their daily routine. Longer days, fewer people working, and an abundance of summer festivals and activities can be moderately disorienting to those who are less comfortable with change. To combat feeling overwhelmed, try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day (even if it’s still a little light outside around 9:00 p.m.). On your days off, avoid being a slob and get ready for the day. With your routine in tact and a fresh shower under your belt, you’ll be more likely to take up your friend’s offer on hitting the town for tacos that night instead of hiding inside like an anxious hermit. Finally, if you’ve tried each of these tips for combatting the summer blues and are still miserable, perhaps it’s time to make a move to the Arctic.