Do you get depressed during the summer? One would think, especially in the Northeast that winter would be the most depressing season with short days, cold weather and road gridlock resulting from piles of plowed snow. Yet you may actually experience more depression during the sunny days and balm nights of summer.
There are several factors that may contribute to this kind of seasonal depression:
- Slowing down enough to feel our emotions more intensely. The frenzy of activity that accompanies our professional and family lives the rest of the year may actually mask our true feelings.
- Spending more time with the family. Even though we’re supposed to be “having fun” our time together may also reveal some serious communication and behavioral issues that send us into a tailspin.
- Missinig our friends and colleagues. f we depend upon our friends for regular contact and support, and they are on vacation or out of touch with us, loneliness can be a factor in our depression.
- Staring projects. No one is interested in working as hard as during the rest of the year. Though summer can be a great time to lay groundwork and do research for professional work, action-oriented people may find this process a complete bore.
- Feeling as if life is on hold. If we’re considering changing jobs or careers, or if we are out of work, summer can be frustrating because we have to wait until human resources people and others get back from vacation in order to move forward with our plans.
- Money. In the present economy we may not have the money to spend on summer vacation plans, going out to eat, or even a weekly movie night (Have you noticed the cost of a movie lately…and we get force-fed a dozen or more commercials to boot!). We may also be dealing with disappointed kids who wonder why camping out in the back yard is supposed to be as much fun as a week in Hawaii.
- College. Weighing heavily may also be the expenses associated with college-bound kids whose education sucks up tens of thousands of dollars each semester. Associated with this is also the “empty-nest” syndrome, as you face life without the daily presence of your son or daughter.
- Duh! It’s summer, Dude! We’re not “supposed” to feel depressed (ask our drought-ridden Midwestern farmers how they are feeling right now!). When the “good” weather arrives it’s sometimes more difficult to get empathy from others.
I’m sure you can add to this list and I hope you do. Short of therapy, which may be indicated, what kind of coaching might we need to overcome summer depression? A great deal has to do with our perspective. Each of the points above can be turned around with a bit of honest analysis and a change in perspective. What is the opportunity lurking behind each of the challenges above? I’d love to hear from you. What do you think?
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