Summer Solutions For Teen Depression

Summer Solutions For Teen Depression

Schools out and the sun is shining, your teen should be happy… right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple (if it was I’d be out of a job! Lol). Yes, for some depression disappears in the summer months due to increased sunlight BUT for other teens, depression can be most present in the summertime due to TOO MUCH sunlight.

How the sun can increase/cause teen depression

Lack of Sleep

When teens are not getting enough sleep, an increase of a stress hormone called cortisol is produced in their bodies. This increase of cortisol can cause some teen’s depressions to appear or grow. Below are some reasons why teens do not get a good nights sleep in the summertime:

  • Harder to sleep

In Halifax, it is not getting dark until 10 pm! That can make it difficult to wind down in the evenings when it’s still bright out. And with the sun rising at 5:30 am, it can be hard to stay asleep!

SOLUTION

Purchase black out curtains… not just dark curtains but ones that specifically say “blackout curtains” (try Walmart or The Bay). Purchase some for your teen’s room but also for the room they hang out in before they go to bed. That way you can make it feel darker at least an hour or so before it’s time to go to bed to help your teen wind down from the day.

  • Later nights

School is out which can mean for some teens that they don’t have to get up early anymore. This can mean later nights playing videogames, hanging with friends, watching Netflix etc.

SOLUTION

Work with your teen to create a schedule for the summer. Or as I tell some parents: “Summer Rules”. Maybe bedtime will be a bit later and they can sleep in more (it is vacation for them anyways!) but have some boundaries/limits to this so they’re still getting a good nights sleep.

  • Heat

Even though we have the cool Atlantic ocean breeze, it can get HOT and humid in the city which can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

SOLUTION

If you don’t have air conditioning make sure you or your depressed teen are setting up your their fan the correct way. In a room with two windows place a fan in front of one window so that it is blowing air out of the stuffy and hot room. This will then suck in fresh air from the other window into your teen’s room, creating a lovely breeze.

  • Too Much Energy

The summertime can be exciting with swimming, hiking, jobs, camp, social events etc. But this can leave teens wound up and hyper which can make it harder to get a good nights sleep.

SOLUTION

Add to the schedule above some time for your teen just to chill each day or week. It’s important to have downtime to rejuvenate and relax.

 

If your teen is still feeling down, it may be time for them to seek help and get counselling. Don’t wait for the depression to get worse and ruin your teen’s summer! 

 

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     Meet Julia Smith

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT-C, CCC, is a mental health counsellor in downtown Halifax. She helps kids, teens, and young adults who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression. Click here to learn more about her downtown Halifax counsellor practice!

Insight Mental Health Counselling