It’s summertime and the living is easy … or at least it’s supposed to be.
Somehow, in these bright, sunny, warm days, depression has crept into your life. You know you should be fighting it, but it’s hard to find the strength to care.
At Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, we see patients struggling with depression at all times of the year. The good news is that summer is an ideal time to break the cycle.
Here are a few ways we’ve learned for you to take advantage of the summer months and take control of your depression.
This is one reason why summer is a good time to take up this fight: The sunshine is plentiful and you can spend lots of time outdoors. Getting into nature has been shown to improve mental health, and sunshine can improve your mood by boosting your serotonin levels.
Go to a local park, go on a hike, or even just sit on your front porch and enjoy the wide world before you.
Try something new
Plowing through the same routines day after day can wear grooves in your brain (metaphorically speaking), which can contribute to your depression. Trying something new in your life can fire up your neurons, change your brain chemistry, and improve your overall mood.
Take up a new hobby, try a cooking class, get a pet, eat at a new restaurant. Any change that switches things up can help. Summer is an especially good time for this since so many outdoor activities are available.
Getting up and moving can be one of the best prescriptions available for depression. This is especially true when you just want to stay in bed.
Exercise and movement are powerful weapons in the fight against depression — research has shown that exercise can be just as effective as medication in some cases. You don’t have to run a marathon. Just start with a walk around the block and build up from there.
Once again, you have an advantage in the summer months because you don’t have to fight the cold and bad weather to get outside.
At some point, most people who are battling depression find it helpful to talk with a professional. Whether this is a general practitioner or a specialized therapist, they can help you develop a treatment plan suited specifically to your needs.
This treatment plan likely includes traditional options such as therapy and medications. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor if a certain treatment isn’t working. The idea is to help you get better.
If you’re ready to talk to a professional about dealing with your depression, contact Arlington Family Practice by phone or set an appointment with our easy online scheduler. We’d love to help you take back control of your life so you can truly live again.