The weight is finally lifting off of us. The dark clouds that have catapulted so many individuals into a deeper state of depression are beginning to clear up. With vaccination numbers on the rise and COVID-19 restrictions decreasing, the life that we once knew is right around the corner.
Though depression is not something that can be flipped off like a light switch, with the summer months upon us and virus numbers on a steady decline, it is the perfect time to re-engage in those activities you used to love.
Before you can scrunch your toes in the sand as the ocean’s saltwater flows between your toes, it is essential to acknowledge and understand that 2020 was an incredibly challenging year. If you find yourself feeling impacted negatively by the goings-on of the past fifteen months, that is entirely normal.
Everyone has had their unique individual struggles, from losing a loved one to being laid off from their jobs to being kept from visiting friends in their social circles. This situation, driven by the pandemic, created a prime feeding ground for a massive uptick in cases of depression. This number was disproportionately higher for “younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers.”
But life does not have to continue down this path, and we have come up with the perfect recommendations to shift one’s spirits towards happiness.
The Mental Health Benefits of Living in Southern California
Being situated in Southern California has many benefits, but it is in the summer months that many of those positives become most accessible to everyone. After being quarantined in your home for the past year, there are few things more refreshing than getting outside and visiting a local beach. Receiving a dose of Vitamin D while dragging your feet through the sand, taking a dip in the Pacific, while feeling the fresh, warm air on your face will make you quickly forget all about the pandemic.
With one of the best ways to fight against depression being exercise, the beach is a haven for feeling good while working out. Whether you surf, swim, bodyboard, or even jog on the beach, each of those activities will release endorphins, making you feel even better than when you first stepped onto the sand.
Give Exercise a Try
If the beach is not a feasible option, but you still yearn to work up a sweat, this season of declining COVID cases makes for the perfect opportunity to join a workout class. With so many gyms moving outside or finding ways to work out indoors using safer protocols, there is an array of sessions that will not only help you get your heart rate up, but they provide excellent social opportunities as well.
Classes also offer the added benefit of being in a group setting that holds you accountable for your participation. It is more challenging to skip class when you know your peers are expecting you there. If exercise classes invigorate you, you can enroll in something that requires high energy, give a spin class a try, or maybe throw some fists into some gloves in a boxing workout class. Or, if you want to slow things down, yoga is an incredible way to clear your mind while working out your entire body.
Strengthen Your Social Connections
Exercise is not the only way to combat depression this summer. Humans are social creatures, and having been kept away from our friends and family has been incredibly tough on everyone’s psyche. Finally, the possibility of meeting up with friends has become a safe reality. And although simply seeing familiar faces can be enough to boost anyone’s spirits, hitting the road for a day trip with those close to you will be even more refreshing in the long run.
Southern California is a hub of incredible destinations that provides the perfect backdrop for creating memories with friends that will not only last a lifetime but begin to help squash feelings of depression. Whether you are a fan of coastal communities, the desert, or the mountains, it is all within reach.
In a mere couple of hours, you could be wandering the Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, boulder hopping around Joshua Tree, or jet skiing at Lake Arrowhead. None of which are far away, but all of which provide fantastic experiences.
Is Social Media Part of the Problem?
Lastly, there is one more option to jumpstart the summer while working to overcome your depression, and it’s the most straightforward option of all: take a social media break while reading different books about depression. Though this may seem counter-intuitive if you are trying to overcome depression, you might ask yourself why I would be ready about it?
But the truth is, reading and being educated on this mental illness makes understanding and grasping it much more manageable. It can reduce the feeling of being alone and misunderstood, and the number of available books on depression is aplenty. Each publication takes a different approach to the illness, ensuring that there is something for everyone to learn.
Although it would be fantastic if the summer sun were all that it took to conquer depression from those who suffer from it, unfortunately, that is not the case. But there are proven treatments that can help. One of which is Pulse’s TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). Using magnetic waves to activate specific parts of the brain, TMS is becoming more popular in helping treat depression. After four to five weeks of treatments (in conjunction with therapy and prescribed medications), 70%-80% of patients report feeling “more normal.” Typically experiencing better sleep, better concentration, and few depressive symptoms.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you, and as a result, you are suffering from depression, this summer could not have come at a better time. With communities beginning to open back up after a year of being locked down, there are numerous activities you can enjoy to help combat your depression. But if you find you need a bit more assistance in your struggles with depression, Pulse TMS is here to help. Within a few short weeks of treatment, Pulse can help set you on the road to recovery, allowing you to get back to enjoying the life you so readily deserve.