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Health Anxiety: Managing Anxiety

For many, it is not a surprise that the cold, dark winter can cause depression, anxiety and exhaustion, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). However, people may be surprised that SAD can occur in summer too. Furthermore, around 10% of people with winter SAD may also be struggling with summer SAD.

What Is Summertime SAD?

While we associate SAD with gloomy winter conditions, SAD simply occurs when the body struggles to adjust to different seasons. More people struggle with shorter days and lack of sunlight in winter. However, if the long days and warm weather have got you feeling the summertime sadness, then you are not alone.

It is thought summertime SAD may be linked to the lack of melatonin production. With longer days, the body struggles to regulate the sleep/wake cycle and can reduce melatonin in the body, which can mean you struggle to fall asleep. This tiredness coupled with exhaustion, the impact of post-lockdown, and the fact your social media is full of people having fun in the sun can all cause the summer blues.

Triggers for summertime SAD include;

  • Seasonal body image concerns

  • Reduced sleep

  • Socialising and post-lockdown anxiety

  • Irregular sleep/wake cycle and routine

  • Too much sun

  • Feeling stressed and busy

  • Diary overwhelm.

Symptoms Of Summer SAD

  • Tiredness and restlessness

  • Trouble sleeping or lack of sleep

  • Reduced appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety and worrying

  • Overwhelming sadness and depression.

Six Tips To Reduce Summertime Sadness

Create A Dark Space

With longer daylight hours, you may struggle to regulate your sleep with the lack of ‘nighttime’. Creating a cool and dark space to spend time in during the evening can help wind down and prepare your body for sleep.

Accept Your Feelings

When it seems like everyone is happier in the summer, it can make you feel even worse if you’re not feeling yourself. However, the best way to move through this is to accept your feelings and recognise these feelings as a sign of seasonal affective disorder. It can help to capture your feelings each day and remind yourself to go easy and relax with self-care.

Give Your Diet Some TLC

If you’re rushing through all the summer events, it is easy to neglect your diet and hydration levels. However, to regulate your body’s patterns, eating consistent meals a day helps create a routine. Plenty of fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables are mood-boosters on a plate. Protein can help regulate your mood, while oats, nuts, seeds and lean meat contain tryptophan, which can help to improve sleep.

Add Blackout Blinds To Your Bedroom

Complete darkness in the bedroom can help to encourage restful, longer sleep. By focusing on getting 7-9 hours of quality, undisturbed sleep, you help your mind and body to prepare for the next day, which can help to improve your mood.

Add Structure With Exercise

Starting the day with an energy-boosting workout such as a cold swim can help to boost your mood and energy. A relaxed, meditative workout in the evening, such as yoga, can help slow your brain and body down to help you switch off and relax.

Seek Support

You don’t have to experience SAD alone, and finding a therapist who can work with you through this can be a big help. I offer a blended hypnotherapy treatment to help clients experiencing SAD manage the overwhelm and sadness that may be impacting them.

Reduce News Exposure and Social Media

Anxiety is contagious and the more you expose yourself to other people’s concerns will increase your stress. While it is important to stay in the loop; you do not have to be glued to the web for advice. There are lots of fake news and opinions out there that can increase your anxieties. Instead, try to pick just one or two trusted sources and limit the time you look at them, to no more than three times a day.


Getting good quality sleep can help to improve your mood, reduce anxiety and boost your immune system too. Turn off devices at least an hour before bed and indulge in a relaxing bedtime winddown routine. From a warm bath, gentle stretching, meditation and reading a good book, preparing yourself for sleep can help to ensure you can fall asleep in good time and give your body the rest it deserves.

Breathing Exercises

Deep and relaxed breathing can help to slow down the sympathetic nervous system. This is where our flight or fight response comes from, which can heighten with anxiety. Furthermore, deep breathing can also help to engage the parasympathetic nervous system. This will allow you to experience a sense of calm, focus and positive, rational decision-making


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping on acupressure meridians to release blockages. to increase client resources and to work on any specific issues. has been shown to help the body’s stress response and promote relaxation, especially for health anxiety. One study has found that 90% of participants saw a reduction in anxiety. Many other studies have found that EFT treatment can significantly decrease stress, worry and fear.

Focus On Your Needs

During periods of stress, you must be aware of your own needs and feelings so that you can look after your well-being. Maintaining healthy activities that you enjoy is crucial, which can help release feel-good endorphins. Take time to relax and keep your usual routines as much as possible with sleep, exercise and healthy eating.


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