Summer is not generally associated with seasonal depression, but I’ve found that during the rainy season in Asia it can be more common to develop this than in winter. Winter here, although cold, has many sunny days; however, the summer is full of cloudy gray skies and rain. My first year here it poured almost every single day from the beginning of June until the beginning of September. Last year it rained for most of July and August, and I’m guessing that it will be much of the same this year as well. I associate summer time with beaches, BBQs and sun, soaking up that vitamin D; sadly, in Korea those days are more rare, leaving me with an endless gray sky, storms, and a lot of humidity. Seeing as this is the case at the moment, I’m feeling restless and down — but that’s no way to spend a summer! Needing to get out of my funk, I’ve been thinking of ways to lift my spirits and combat the depressing outdoors. Mind you, these tips will also work for those cooped up in an office all day, unable to enjoy the gorgeous weather outside.
Read about travel. Even if you’re stuck in the house or office, left your mind escape your reality. I’m currently reading “The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down” by Andrew McCarthy, where he takes you all around the globe, letting you experience things, people and places you may never get to see for yourself. A very inspirational read that lets you get lost in the pages (and I’m only half way through!). I’m also addicted to the Birchbox Blog, especially posts about contributors’ upcoming travels and what they’re packing in their carryon.
Coffee. Coffee is good any time, and I noticed that it always brightens my mood — especially if it’s from a coffee shop. There’s something about spending $5 on a delicious treat now and then that lifts my spirits. If I don’t want to go grocery shopping and haul my heavy bags back to my apartment in the rain, promise me Starbucks and I’m a happy camper.
Clothes. Just because the day is dark and gloomy doesn’t mean that your clothes have to be! Wear what feels like summer — colors that remind you of the sea, or a rainbow for that matter. Throw on a light flowy dress, a tribal print maxi, or a nautical themed striped top with shorts — and don’t forget the jewelry: shell earrings, brightly beaded necklaces or a toe ring. Even if you’re not about to head to the sea, at least you can feel as if it’s not too far down the road.
Listen to happy, summer music. Eat ice cream. Put on SPF (the sense of smell can trigger happy memories of warm days outside — The Power of Scent). Plan your vacation. Take a drive. Do anything that channels your love for summer and transports you to your happy place.
What do you do to ward off the rainy day / stuck in the office blues?