Around St. Helena for Dec. 4, 2014 _lowres

Stephanie Warren

That bright summer sun so many people love can be a big downer for some individuals, to the point where sunlight and hot weather are intolerable. Picnics at the beach. Afternoons by the pool. Three months of summer bliss. Or not.

I recently read an article in a health magazine that said for many people, the summer months are the most difficult. The summer’s brutal heat, bright light and long days can contribute to depression for the opposite reasons that the winter does. If you think you are suffering from the summertime blues, here are a few tips that may help:

Squeeze in some leisure time.

If you’re like me, you struggle with lying in a hammock. I can’t turn off my mind. I guess you could call me “relaxation challenged.” A little bit of leisure is as important as eight hours of sleep in maintaining sanity and regulating mood. I have to remind myself of that.

Create some structure.

We humans thrive on structure and it is essential for sanity. Summer destroys most of our schedules, especially if you have little kids out of school, young adults home for the summer or other people in your house who have invited themselves to live with you for three months. Therefore, you have to literally force some structure into your day. I keep my alarm set to wake up at the same hour every day, no matter what my schedule is for the day. I turn it off on weekends, of course.

Hydrate .

When you consider that brain tissue is 85 percent water and our bodies are 70 percent water, it’s easier to understand why hydrating yourself is so important.

Dehydration causes a shortage of amino acids that are converted to serotonin in the brain, according to health books. I try to drink at least a gallon of water a day.

St. Helena Central reunion

The St. Helena Central High Class of 1995 will be holding its 20-year class reunion celebration Sept. 18-19. For details, email the reunion committee at shch_co_95@yahoo.com. Money is due by Aug. 31.

 

Contact Stephanie Warren by phone at (985) 517-4869 or email swarren@theadvocate.com.