August is that awkward transitional month of the year that no one really knows what to do with. If you love summer, you're most likely sad to see the warm weather and vacation season come to a close, but if you're all about autumn, the 31 days of August can drag on forever. But fear not, for there is actually a bit of science behind why August is the worst month.
Disclaimer: There's a big difference between August blues and seasonal affective disorder. Waiting for summer to end, or mourning the season's demise is one thing, but clinical depression is a separate and much more serious matter altogether.
Director of psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center Stephen Ferrando told NYMag,
In order to be diagnosed with a mood disorder, you have to have at least two weeks of pretty persistent symptoms that don't really get better. Something that is more subclinical has a shorter duration, is less severe, and fluctuates.
When you suffer from a true clinical disorder, your mood and mindset are stagnant. August blues are temporary, because you know once PSL's are back on the menu, it's all uphill from there. Still, the end-of-summer struggle is real, and there are a few reasons why you might be feeling mellow about it.
The seasons suddenly feel rushed.
Whether it's been five minutes or five years since you were last in school, most of us are accustomed to the academic clock. So, even though it's not officially autumn until later in the month, that first day of September will forever symbolize the beginning of fall.
And if you think even that is rushing your life along, consider this: Now that everyone's gone pumpkin-spice crazy, Dunkin Donuts is rolling out their seasonal brew early, back-to-school commercials are being sprinkled in between your summer programs to remind you a) vacation's almost over, or b) you're no longer a student, so have fun going back to work on Monday like you have every day since graduation.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm all for autumn, but whatever happened to enjoying the here and now?
And if you're out of school, it can feel like there's nothing to look forward to.
Even if you're a die-hard autumn fan like myself, the tail end of summer is pretty lame when you're out of college.
It's not like when you were a student, when the month of August meant you were only weeks away from unlimited face time with your best friends, countless social events to look forward to, and the freedom of rent-free dorm life.
When you're #adulting, there's really not much to look forward to until Halloween kicks off the holiday season.
You start to reflect on whether or not you "lived it up" this summer.
Let's face it, we all have this picture in our heads of what the ideal summer looks like.
But weekends fill up quickly with family barbecues, birthdays, and other obligations, so it's not always possible to check every single thing off our seasonal bucket list. And since August symbolizes the end of summer vacation, it can kind of feel like a slap in the face.
As much as we'd all like to squeeze in everything we've missed over the course of a few weeks, sometimes the best thing we can do is simply make time for a little R&R. This is especially important because once September is here, it's back to the same ol' grind.
But at the same time, you're kind of over it.
Memorial Day comes around, and you're making to-do lists, planning vacations, staycations, dreaming of weekend barbecues with all the summertime fixings like burgers, friends, and chilled beverages -- and then August rolls around.
By now, you've had your fill of hotdogs and potato salad, and it's way too hot to lie on the beach long enough to tan. Especially if summer isn't really your season, you're probably counting the days until temperatures drop and oversized sweaters make a comeback.
So, rather than giving in to those gloomy August blues, how about we just get excited about the long-awaited return of fall?
I mean, who isn't totally pumped to start drinking PSL's all day every day again?