Finally, it is that time of year.  We can put away our boots and winter coats and break out the sandals, shorts, tank tops and even bathing suits.  For some people, your heart just sank when you read, “bathing suits.” Believe me, I understand.

Isn’t it crazy to think about how much weather affects our mood?  It affects our mood so much that there is even a diagnosis for it, its called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The abbreviation for it is, SAD. How appropriate, right? Most people have SAD in the winter. Those short, gloomy, cold days can really affect our moods.  People tend to be more depressed in the winter, but once spring rolls around moods begin to perk up. At least, I know mine does, how about you?

I was reminded that the warmer months bring up depression and anxiety as well, it’s just not talked about as much.  We hear everyone complain about the snow and the below zero temperatures. What we don’t hear is people talking about how depressing summer is and how they wish the sun would go away and the snow to come back.  Some of us would never have such words come out of our mouths but others of us would hope for those cooler temperatures. You might ask, why?

Summer brings up a lot of insecurities for people.  We start shedding layers of clothing and wearing more weather appropriate clothes.  How many of you have heard these words, “I need to get is shape for summer,” “I’m going on a diet because I need to fit into my bathing suit,” “I need to go tanning, I am so pale.”  Woah…summer is stressful. As a mental health counselor, we hear these issues all of the time and we believe that the pressure we feel to look good in the summer is way too high.

Society holds these high standards for us.  A lot of which can really bring us down and hinder us for enjoying life.  I want to take this time to encourage you. Don’t worry about how you look this summer.  I know, I know, easier said than done. But I guarantee if you forget about what is bothering you and let yourself have fun you won’t regret it.  Who cares if you have some cellulite or you don’t have 6 pack abs. You be you! Embrace who you are. Have fun!

So, lets all say, “Good-bye, winter and hello, spring!!”