The "August Scaries" Are Definitely a Thing

August Scaries—Summertime Sadness
Photo: Free People

You know the feeling: Sunday rolls around, and suddenly you're beset with wistfulness for the nearly bygone weekend coupled with slow-burning anxiety for a busy workweek ahead. The so-called "Sunday Scaries" aren't just meme-worthy internet fodder but a real phenomenon that afflicts a majority of the population. Research even shows that it's the day we tend to be most prone to panic attacks.

But for some of us, those blues have been particularly pervasive in recent weeks—and according to experts, that's no coincidence. If you think about it, August is basically the Sunday of summer: Most of the season's plans are now memories at this point, and we're right on the cusp of cooler temps, shorter days, and increased responsibilities. (RIP, summer Fridays.)

"August blues are sort of like the Sunday night blues for a month," psychiatrist Stephen Ferrando explains to New York. And while it stands to reason that summer's imminent end might bum a lot of us out, Ferrando also notes that people who dislike the warmer months are also feeling extra antsy at this point.

To be clear, this more transient state of mind shouldn't be confused with seasonal affective disorder (aka summertime sadness). But as with SAD, it's important to be proactive about your change in mood—and even just recognizing the presence and validity of your symptoms might actually play a huge part in making you feel better, says New York–based psychologist Heather Silvestri. Beyond that, you might consider following a structured schedule that includes self-care activities like working out and eating well, she says.

And if all else fails, head outside: Soaking up the last of these vitamin D–drenched days will give your serotonin levels a boost at the very least.

On that note, check out one of the easiest ways to boost your mood right now.