Why your cold can feel worse in the summer

If you are currently battling the sniffles on a beautiful summer day, you may feel especially miserable right now. Somehow, the idea of sneezing and coughing all day long seems more manageable when there is an inhospitable blizzard outside your room. The reason why your summer cold feels worse than a winter cold is more psychological than biological, experts say.

If you feel lonely during a summer cold, the symptoms will feel worse

How you think can change how you feel. If you’re the only one of your friend group to get sick in the summer, it can feel socially isolating to watch them enjoy the beach and sunlight from your window. That may be why your cold feels particularly unbearable during the summer months of socializing than in the months of winter hibernation.

One study found that lonelier people feel worse when they have colds then less lonely people. “It makes sense that if you think everyone you know is at the beach or outside doing enjoyable things and you’re stuck in your room for a week, that could heighten perceptions of loneliness and perception of cold symptom severity,” Chris Fagundes, one of the authors of the study, said.

How you defeat this cold is the same, regardless of what month it is. “Lots of hand washing, minimize touching your own eyes or mouth,” Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University School of Medicine advised. “Stay away from sick people and, if you’re sick, stay away from others who might be more at risk of severe illness than you.”