August Anxiety Is Real – Here's How To Combat It

Have you found yourself suffering from summertime sadness? If so, you're not alone.

August is trash.

Yes, time is a construct, and with August comes, generally, the same weather and trafficless roads we enjoy in June and July – but, each year when the eighth month comes around, so does a crushing ennui that lingers improbably until September 1. 

The days begin to get shorter and colder, which is just as well, considering that everyone is sick of socialising and also feeling the bitter disdain of summer's end.

Festival hangovers are still within touching distance and the enthusiasm once associated with organised fun has long been packed away only to be unpacked the following year.

Hibernation is coming, look busy. 

For some, August is linked back to a time when adolescent anxiety first reared its ugly head as the former haziness of summer was obliterated by way of discipline and order. 

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When we think about seasonal depression, we typically think of the cold and dark winter months, but what about people who find other times of year most difficult?

Is there such a thing as autumnal anxiety?

Similar to general anxiety disorder (GAD), “August Anxiety tends to strike towards the end of summer in anticipation of the end of holidays, return to school, the onset of colder weather and the days drawing in,” medical director of Healthspan Dr Sarah Brewer tells Stylist

“It’s a new concept that was identified by therapists who are seeing increasing numbers of clients with anticipation anxiety as summer ends.”

August blues – which are widely considered to be like the Sunday night blues for a month – can affect anyone. 

If you’re a summer hater, you’re overwhelmed and eager to move on and if you’re a summer lover, panic ensues as winter looms ever closer.

In both cases, too, there is likely guilt over not having done enough, because what season comes with more pressure to “make the most” of it than summer?

“Social media suggests everyone else is having more fun than we are and the constant striving for more and better and can leave us feeling overwhelmed.”

Physical symptoms, similarly to GAD can include a rapid pulse, palpitations, sweating, clamminess, tremor and flushing and difficulty sleeping. You may experience a sensation of a lump in the throat which can be triggered by over-breathing.

Managing it is a completely tailored exercise and may prove different to you than to others.

Dr Brewer says it's all about exercise, good sleep and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and smoking. 

“Scientists have found that following a six-week long aerobic exercise program produces biochemical reactions in the brain that help you remain calm under stress compared with those who did not exercise.”

For those seriously missing sunlight, investing in a lightbox which mimics daylight may help you maintain a sunnier disposition all year round.

Otherwise, CBD Oil, vitamin D3 supplements to stop blood levels falling when UV exposure reduces and magnesium supplements to aid sleep should do it.

Main image by @roos

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