Forever Summer: Strategy against Seasonal Depression
With the weather turning, now is a great time to start practicing strategies to get ahead of seasonal depression. This exercise combines visualization, music and cognitive behavioral therapy to support your mental and emotional well-being.
If you’ve ever dealt with (seasonal) depression, I’m inviting you to try making a playlist of songs that remind you of riding around on a warm, sunny, summer day with the window down and the wind blowing. Songs that make you feel like it’s a beautiful day outside. Make a playlist of songs you’d wanna hear at the summer kickback or on a trip to the beach. If you’re in the house throw on some shorts and a tank or a sundress. Envision yourself full of joy and peace while listening to the playlist. This gives your mind and body the experience of summertime fun in the sun. Your body is a complex machine that functions based on established pathways. Engaging numerous senses in an experience that simulates summertime fun can trigger your body to react as if this is reality.
*I highly encourage you to PRACTICE CHALLENGING negative thoughts such as “but it’s not summer” “this doesn’t feel like the real thing” this is stupid” “there’s still no sun” “this just makes me miss summer/social interactions more and now I feel worse”. Challenge them by:
1. Asking if they are facts.
2. Asking if it helps you to think that thought.
If the answer to either or both of those questions is no, replace the thought with something more aligned with your purpose. “It may not be the real thing but it’s still fun/it still feels good.” “These brings back so many happy memories.” Even a “I love this song!” GRATITUDE—for the moment and everything that makes the moment (music/clothes/food/device to play music/etc) can always help to reset your mind and energy.