There’s something about the sunshine that makes us think of holidays, BBQs, relaxing and having fun with friends outside– so if that’s not available to you for whatever reason it can trigger us to feel really down.  It can be hard to feel that we’re being left out somehow, or worse, that we can’t feel happy when we’re meant to.  “Everyone else is having a good time, why can’t I?”

Low mood isn’t only connected with the weather – we can feel down at any time in our lives.  Feeling down when you perceive everyone else to be happy can make things worse.  But you are not alone if you are feeling blue – plenty of people do.  Mental health needs to be taken care of all the year round.  

When it’s hot and light at night many of us find it hard to sleep, and tiredness can be a real mood killer.  Also if you’re tempted to have a drink in the sunshine when you wouldn’t normally than can mess with our moods.  Alcohol is well known to prompt anxiety.  And there’s always FOMO, which if you’re already feeling blue can just make the blues worse. 

How to avoid a low mood when everyone else appears to be having a lovely time.

The truth is, that sunshine doesn’t always make everyone happy – even though it may feel that way. 

Notice when you are making assumptions about other people – and remind yourself that assumptions are always made up in our heads.  They’re stories that we imagine about other people.  Reminding yourself we can never know what’s really going on for other people can really help.  

Try not to compare yourself with others – it immediately triggers you into feeling that you lack something that other people have.  Try to turn your focus inward and notice what you do have.  What are you grateful for?  Gratitude is the emotion that most quickly produces the hormone serotonin, which is a natural mood enhance.  Try saying to yourself “I am enough” – because you are.  

First published in Woman & Home magazine.

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