The sun is shining, the days are longer, and vacation is near. Summer is here and that cold-weather depression is gone… right? I mean it has to be gone… But what about that seasonal depression that kind of just lingers and no I’m not talking about that song from the Cranberries (you know the one). I am sure you’ve been told that vitamin D will make you feel better and the worries of tomorrow will be gone like yesterday. Unfortunately that is not always the case and summer depression can add on an extra layer of frustration; you were hopeful, after all. What can you do about this and will it really be helpful?
Fake it 'til You Make It?
First let's turn to my friend “behavioral activation” also mistakenly known as “fake it ‘til you make it”. Now I will agree that this isn’t always the best option and you really have to be aware of when you’re just going through the motions and when you are digging yourself out of a slump. Faking it can feel forced and may not always work-you may become defeated and angry when you still feel like crap even though you did the thing you set out to do. Behavioral activation is genuinely understanding that mustering the energy to do something might suck, but once you get started you know you’ll genuinely enjoy the activity.
Embrace the Sunshine
I know I low-key mocked the sun at the start of this, but trust me when I say: it works! The sun is great for improving mood and gaining energy. Think of yourself as a giant plant; you need a bit of sun, a bit of water, encouraging words, and TLC. Spend a few minutes outside, like literally just sit in a chair, close your eyes, feel the heat on your skin, and take a few nice deep breaths. Give yourself encouragement, reminding yourself that you are so much more than your worries and fears. You have something to give whether it's a shoulder to cry on, advice, or a listening ear.
Have Some Fun!
Finally, bring some fun back into your life. When was the last time you went to the movies by yourself, attended an event, or created something with your own hands? Whatever it is that brings you joy, peace, contentment… pursue it! Monotony can be soul-crushing. That’s it, that's the advice; do it anyway, breathe life into yourself, and don’t stop searching for what’s missing.
I’ll leave you with this little lyric:
“Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?”
The answer is, no.
At Mind Works Counseling Services, in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in helping people, men in particular, navigate feelings of sadness even when sadness doesn't make sense.
Learn more about the Depression Therapy we offer.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.