Summer in Sweden is a big thing, probably the biggest thing of the year. It starts with midsummer and ends in August when school starts again. Summer is not necessarily a time when temperatures are high and the sun is shining, summer can be cold and rainy too, although hopes are always high for a sunny and warm summer. Summer is a time for holidays, for relaxing, for being in the countryside, on an island, at a lake, in the summerhouse, on a sailing boat, and for meeting family and friends.
The mental build-up for summer begins already in spring. Newspapers, radio and TV, and of course all the advertisements prepare us for summer: what to buy for the garden or the summer house, how to renovate the house that has been bought, what to plant, what to cook, what to grill, how to entertain the kids and the family. And among the real estate advertisements, holiday houses for sale fill pages – of course now is also the time when the longing to own such a pretty little lake or seaside cottage is at its peak!
There is so much summer everywhere, already before summer really starts, that I wonder whether it does not feel really stressful to live up to all the things one should, has, or wants to do during summer. During these few weeks, when the days are long and temperatures warmer, one should relax and build up for the coming long, cold and dark winter. Instead it might be a time of frustration, because the summer was not warm enough, because it was raining all the time, because, because, because!
Many people in Sweden suffer from winter depression, because there is too little light during the winter months. But, many people here also suffer from a spring depression, because the expectations and demands on the few summer weeks are so incredibly high, that it leads to stress and to depressions. I had no idea that spring depressions actually exist, but was told by a friend last week, that these are quite common, and caused by the sudden reappearance of the light and the feeling that so much has to be accomplished in the short time before darkness hits again. End of spring also seems to be the time of the year when people are least happy and content, when communication problems arise, and many workplaces face problems. Maybe it is because everyone is made aware of the fact that half of the year has almost passed by again?!