Can summer be over already?
Just when I was getting back in the motivation groove, Mother Nature had to throw me for a loop with the 90-degree weather on Tuesday. The past week or so has been relatively cool, with temperatures hovering in the high 70s and low 80s and thunderstorms cropping up every few days. I fooled myself into thinking the worst season of them all was over.
Summertime always messes with my system. The only exception that comes to mind was in 2014 when I was interning in Denver, where humidity isn’t a thing and temperatures barely reached 95 degrees the entire three months I was there. That summer still feels surreal.
So apart from a year ago, all summers have been pretty much awful. I can’t name a summer where I didn’t get at least one awful sunburn. Softball games and practices were horrid — and I wasn’t even a catcher. When did I break my arm? In July (For the record, I was coaxed into leaving my cold basement dungeon … ahem … room to socialize.). One of the worst summers, weatherwise, was 2012 — visiting India during its hottest month of the year, then living in Mitchell, South Dakota, in an apartment without air conditioning during a drought and heatwave.
Am I complaining about summer too much? Too bad.
After a summer like the one in Denver, I thought my hatred was cured. I had more motivation at my internship than I thought I would have, and I didn’t shrink away from going outside. I see now that my motivation was mostly excitement at being done with college, and wanting to go outside had to do with the lack of humidity.
Then this summer rolled into town. This was the first summer since before preschool that wasn’t bookended by school semesters. I thought, naively, that my motivation wouldn’t drop into the negatives.
Wrong. Oh so wrong.
For many weeks, I wondered where my motivation had gone. I had quite a few blog posts stockpiled in my mind, but none of them even made it into my Google Drive folder. I fell behind on my book challenge. Even at work, where I had lots of projects to work on and keep my mind occupied, I felt lackluster. My hatred of summer came back full force, though this summer hasn’t been as hot and humid as I expected.
Why did summer suck away my motivation and drive while fall and winter rejuvenate my work ethic?
Season affective disorder — in reverse.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that is related to the changing of seasons and spans about the same times every year, according to the Mayo Clinic. SAD most commonly occurs in the fall and winter, alongside the loss of light, and affects 4 to 6 percent of the U.S. population.
Ten percent of those cases happen during the summer months, known as reverse SAD. Some of the symptoms of reverse SAD are loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, weight loss and anxiety. Well, mark me down for three out of the four.
Reverse SAD is linked to too much sunlight, as well as higher temperatures. It’s also thought that because we tend to stay up later in the summer, our circadian rhythms are thrown off. Unfortunately, there isn’t much known about reverse SAD because less studies are devoted to studying it.
Though I’ve never gone in and talked with a doctor about the possibility that I might have reverse SAD, it’s likely that what’s caused my lack of motivation this summer and other summers. It’s something that I’ll have to keep in mind once next summer rolls around.
I’m glad it’s finally September so I can start getting back on track with everything I have and want to do — namely update this blog more aside from all the book reviews (there’s going to be a lot of those this month).
For now, I’m going to sit under the ceiling fan in our living room and pray for the heat to go away.