How does this affect the holidays?

The arrival of summer vacation it is one of the most anticipated events of the year by the majority of the population; a period in which we can rest for a few weeks and recover the energies lost during the months of work. However, there are those who are currently experiencing emotional changes related to this season of the year, which makes it difficult to fully enjoy these days or weeks without professional obligations.

That’s what happens when it happens what is called seasonal affective disorder, a psychological phenomenon which, although it manifests itself more frequently during the winter, can also occur during the heat and the lengthening of the day. Let’s see what it consists of.

What is Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Some people may feel that with the onset of summer they begin to feel less motivated or with less energy to do all the summer activities they would like to do, or even come to do the experience being overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness and a relative sense of inability to enjoy any activity they usually enjoy and interest in. These are typical symptoms of depressive disorders, but in this case it seems that their appearance coincides with the passage from one season to another, giving rise to the so-called seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder it is associated with climatological changes, both in hours of light and in temperaturewhich take place with the arrival of the new season, and which, if certain circumstances arise, destabilize the biorhythms (processes linked to a kind of internal clock on which depends, among other things, our level of nervous activity and our predisposition to react to a more or less intense mode to stimuli).

In addition to this, Seasonal Affective Disorder is also associated with the change in life, routine and habits that takes place during vacations, both summer and winter; days when we devote more time to hobbies, meeting friends and family or spending more time without work and, in general, detaching ourselves from the routine.

What is it due to? Mood shifts in times of rapidly changing average daily temperature and sun exposure do not happen by chance; tienen lugar because in our body there is a series of biological predispositions that cause us to feel and behave slightly differently depending on certain environmental variables.

This has its reason for being in biological evolution: the activity of many animal species changes according to the seasons, to adapt to the transformations taking place in the ecosystem, and although these readjustment mechanisms have less meaningless at certain times when technological development allows us to protect ourselves from cold and heat and lead a very similar lifestyle throughout the year, are still present in the physiological and neurobiological processes at the origin of our activity mental, discreet and automatic operation.

Normally, these adjustment mechanisms, based primarily on the secretion of hormones, do not cause problems, but sometimes certain processes become unbalanced and we are more vulnerable to suffering from depressive-type emotional disorders. We must not forget that the endocrine system is in constant interaction with the nervous system and vice versa, and that many hormones are also neurotransmitters used by the neurons of our brain to communicate with each other.

How does seasonal affective disorder affect the holidays?

As indicated, this type of seasonal change can significantly affect the mental health of the person and usually also influences the proper development of leisure and social activities that take place during the summer holidays, thus generating a vicious circle. : depressive symptoms predispose us to adopt a passive attitude and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle, which exposes us less to fun or stimulating activities, which reinforces this depressive state of mind.

Many emotional and physical changes occur in people with seasonal affective disorder during the summer months, and their impact on daily holiday habits is also usually multiple and varied for each person.

1. Loss of self-esteem by comparing yourself to others

The most common symptoms associated with the onset of seasonal affective disorder during the summer months are those related to depression: sadness, anxiety, and obsessive thoughts based on guilt and/or shame. These changes lead us to a pessimistic confirmation bias: we interpret everything as proof that we are worthless, that we do not deserve a good vacation, etc.

If we add to this that during the summer holidays many people tend to compare themselves to others, we have the perfect cocktail to get discouraged and suffer from the frustration of not having a good time.

2. I’m tired

Generalized fatigue is one of the most noticeable symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and one of the best to detect during the summer months in anyone.

Feeling abnormally tired throughout the day or listless, with no desire to do anything, and without suffering from an organic disease that explains it, is one of the unmistakable signs that one may be dealing with a case of seasonal affective disorder in the summer. And in turn, It leads us to miss opportunities to have a good time by opening ourselves up to new experiences.those who have a greater capacity to have fun because they move away from the routine, but at the same time they demand more physical activity or mental effort from us to adapt to the new.

3. Lack of organization

The large amount of free time we have during the summer months can prevent us from organizing all the activities we need to do during the day. The feeling of having to make many decisions about what to do it tends to be overwhelming for subjects with seasonal affective disorder.

4. Lack of motivation

Lack of daily motivation and loss of interest in performing an activity during the day can also serve as a sign that something is not right with us or someone we love.

Seasonal affective disorder is associated with low levels of motivation to do anything, anything that causes us to doing again and again what we have already internalized as routines and things we do practically mindlessly, like staying home watching TV, binge-watching social media content, or just eating snacks out of sheer boredom, not really feeling hungry.

5. Mood swings

Irritability, discomfort, and sudden mood swings can also be due to the onset of seasonal affective disorder, which will decisively affect both the mental health of the person and the way they relate to the environment. The latter is very relevant given that for many people the holidays are a time to see friends who live far away, relatives, etc.

6. Sleep problems

As we have seen, seasonal affective disorder is linked to biorhythms, and changing hours of sunlight can trigger significant alterations in this aspect. To this we must add that some people have a very disorganized sleep schedule during the holidays.which favors the appearance of cases of insomnia and the inability to sleep soundly.

Are you looking for psychological help for mood swings?

If you wish to benefit from psychotherapeutic support, contact us.

In Adhara Psychology we will be happy to help you and offer you tailor-made solutions.

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