This Is Why You Might Feel More Anxious In Summer
Summer time can be difficult if you suffer from anxiety and if you do, remember that you're not alone.
Psychologist, Lindsay Henderson, PsyD who treats patients via telehealth app, LiveHealth Online, told Refinery 29 that the expectations people have for summer can contribute towards feelings of anxiety and depression.
She explained: "The pressure to participate in everything is a real factor in our moods. This idea of FOMO and seeing the fun other people are having on social media, that just makes all of that worse.
"You think, I should have had so much fun by now, because there's only so much left of summer."
Apart from the social element, it's also the heat of summer that can impact your mental health.
Similar to how the winter weather can make people feel more withdrawn, the hot summer weather can also disrupt your mood.
Dr. Henderson said: "In the winter you might go hibernate and your energy is dampened and the volume gets turned down on everything.
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"The heat can really ramp up the volume so it can be unsettling and agitating to people, it makes people really cranky."
If you suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, you might find that the summer heat has the same effect as some of the symptoms of a panic attack.
"Symptoms like sweating, feeling faint or shaky, feeling nauseous, having heart palpitations - all these things can happen both due to heat and panic or anxiety," Dr. Henderson added.
"For someone who might have a history of struggling with panic and anxiety, if you're all of a sudden sweating because it's 95 degrees outside, those physical symptoms can trigger really intense anxiety memories and heighten your anxiety and panic in the moment."
Dr. Henderson also said that the extended amount of sunlight can mess with your sleep cycle and overall schedule.
The sun being up earlier and for longer can make you wake up earlier and throw you off your routine.
If you're trying to cope with summer anxiety, she suggests trying to pinpoint what it could be that's making you feel anxious and talk to a family member, friend or a therapist.
She said: "Maybe it's a little bit of everything but pinpointing what it is that disrupts your mood is an important part of making changes."
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