The research is clear: Warm and sunny weather can have a positive impact on our mood and mental health. And, we know that 20-30 minutes a day of sunshine provides vitamin D, which is a protective factor for many diseases and conditions. In summer (when we in Canada get that warm and sunny weather), we also tend to be more active, work less, spend more time with friends and family, or other people we enjoy. All of this contributes to better well being.
However, seasonal depression or SAD is a real challenge for many — even in the summer. And there are many factors that can create stress in the summertime, making these sunnier months difficult. For instance, routine disruptions around eating, sleeping and activities due to school vacations. Also, a lack of finances, health problems, extreme weather, and anxiety or other mental health issues, can limit a person’s ability to take advantage of summer vacations and other enjoyable activities.