It may be hard to believe, but people actually do experience bouts of the “blues” during summertime. SAD or “Seasonal Affective Disorder” is a mood disorder not just triggered by gray and rainy weather–heat and high temperature can also trigger certain types of depression in some people and this becomes most apparent during the summer season. Even if you technically don’t suffer from “SAD,” here are a few ways to beat the heat and stay comfortable;
- Control the indoor temperature: Even if the weather outside hits soaring temperatures, you don’t have to resort to wearing flip flops to work in order to stay comfortable. If your office isn’t air conditioned, ask if you can bring in a portable fan to provide much needed circulation during hot weather. Open as many windows as possible to provide for cross ventilation and if necessary, bring your own supply of cold water to work. If you find that your moods are in fact triggered by the heat, try and keep your home and workspace as cool as possible.
- Work out- Or at least meditate: If sweating it out to keep cool isn’t your thing, at least try to keep your body (and your soul) in balance. Meditation, yoga or even some form of stretching keeps your body healthy and your mind sane. The Body and Brain Center in Anaheim, CA offers classes in everything from yoga to meditation to martial arts for fees as little as $10-$20 per class. Give it a try— your body and mind will thank you! You may be surprised at how stress alleviating these “workouts” can be!
- Do something you really enjoy: Being happy will make your serotonin levels soar, which only increases the amount of those “feel-good” hormones shooting around your brain. If you engage in activities you genuinely enjoy, you will have no other option but to feel great!
- Above all- RELAX: Don’t push yourself. If you have work deadlines to meet, give yourself plenty of time to meet them. Unless you have a significant amount of time off to decompress, home projects may need to be put on the back burner. If you do get vacation time that you have not yet used, now may be a good time to utilize some of that time, even if it is just to spend some time at home without having to worry about commitments.
If you find yourself employing all of these methods and still feel as though you are in a mood “rut,” a trip to your doctor may be warranted to rule out anything serious. Many different types of treatment may be administered including light therapy, ionized-air administration, medication and different types of counseling including cognitive-behavioral therapy. The summertime blues don’t have to be a prescription for unhappiness—- take the time to help yourself today… after all, you may feel better as a result and isn’t that the ultimate goal?