Can you believe it’s June already!? It feels like just yesterday I was wrapping up and bracing for a freezing, depressing January. Aside from the fact that life is speeding along at an alarming pace, I’m pretty pleased to see summer this year.
So, to celebrate the first month of summer, here’s a self care series dedicated to the coming sunny months.
Sounds easy enough but it isn’t always. Not when you’re struggling with depression. I’ve spent countless sunny days hidden under the safety of my duvet.
But sunshine is known to increase endorphins which help with depression, so I for one am making a more concerted effort to get out in it this year.
Try to get outside at least once each day. Go for a walk on your lunch break, lie in your garden or go for some al fresco dining or drinking.
If you’re really struggling, try getting out for just five or ten minutes. You might still want to head back in afterwards but that few minutes can help lift your mood. Once you’re outside you might even find it easier to head out for a bit longer. Failing that, just pull back the curtains and open the windows. A bit of natural light and fresh air can make all the difference on even the darkest of days.
Practise Body Acceptance
In my previous post, I wrote about how I intend to be kind to my body this summer. I also talked about how hard I find it to accept my body and why summer makes that so much more difficult.
I’m not the exception here. According to the Mental Health Foundation, over a third of UK adults have felt anxious or depressed because of concerns over their body image. One in eight people have felt suicidal because of those very same thoughts.
In an age when we are constantly bombarded with images of how we are ‘supposed’ to look, it’s important to try to make peace with yourself, as you are now. If you are not currently at the stage where you can look at your body and love it then that’s fine; just try to be kind to it instead. Try to accept it for the way that it is and not talk to yourself in a derogatory way.
Set Some Healthy Work Boundaries
High pressure jobs or workplaces that expect you to put in long hours can be bad for your mental health at the best of times. But when it’s sunny outside and everyone is enjoying the lighter evenings it is a whole new level of depressing.
If you’re prone to working long hours, feeling excessively stressed or simply struggle to say no when someone asks you to do something, try to set some healthy work boundaries this month.
Your mental health is of utmost importance, not just for you but for your employer too. There is no way you can perform at your best when your mental health is compromised.