Tips for Summer Depression

School’s out. It’s hot. And you’re not having any fun.

By R. Morgan Griffin
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD

Ah, the joys of summer: The withering heat and school vacations, when your kids give you minute-to-minute updates on their boredom levels. Isn’t summer supposed to be fun and relaxing? If you’ve got summer depression, it isn’t.

For some people, summer depression has a biological cause, says Ian A. Cook, MD, the director of the Depression Research Program at UCLA. For others, the particular stresses of summer can pile up and make them feel miserable.

Especially hard is that you feel like you’re supposed to be having a great time.… More

Why aren’t I happy?

Patricia Furness-Smith’s ‘Well-being – A Practical Guide’ tells us how to embrace humour

3 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

They say that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and there is an abundance of evidence to support this claim.

Laughter is therapeutic because:

-It facilitates cardiovascular activity by increasing blood flow, and it improves blood vessel functionality, all of which protects the heart.
-It improves muscle relaxtion by releasing muscle tension in the facial, abdominal and back areas, and this in turn reduces the stress signals sent to the brain. So, you will always feel more supple after a hearty laughter workout!
-It inhibits the release of stress hormones (for example, adrenaline and cortisol) and increases the number of antibodies (for example, T-cells, Gamma-interferon) released, which will boost your immune system, making you more resistant to disease and infection
-It causes the release of endorphins – your body’s feelgood chemicals.Endorphins… More

How can I get on with my sister?

Our agony aunt Mary Fenwick offers a new perspective on your challenges and problems

13 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

My twin sister and I are about to turn 30, but we don’t get on. She thinks I’m demanding and that I hate pretty much everything about her. I think she’s self-obsessed and creates too much drama. We can’t even seem to have a conversation without it erupting into an argument because there’s too much history of resentment.

I’ve tried to let it go and start afresh, but her constant bad behaviour towards our family makes it impossible. She ignores me every time I try to suggest that we go to counselling together.… More

Is your love the ‘real deal’?

Is your love the ‘real deal’?

Every month, Sarah Abell invites you to try a 30-day experiment to improve your love life

27 MARCH 2015 by Psychologies

The project

Are you able to be 100 per cent yourself in your relationship or do you find that you hide, adapt or exaggerate who you are in order to be loved?

Researchers have discovered that you are more likely to have greater trust, satisfaction and commitment in a relationship if you and your partner are able to be authentic with one another.*

The aim

If you want to have a great relationship and be loved for who you are, then the best thing that you can do is ‘be yourself’ and allow your partner to do the same.… More

Get the right support for hypermobility

Once a month in our Health Fix, we try out a therapy, treatment or specialist retreat in a bid to solve an ongoing health issue – this month, yoga teacher Selda Enver Goodwin seeks a solution for hypermobility

21 APRIL 2015 by Psychologies

As a yoga teacher, I need all the energy I can get, but hypermobility syndrome – which is an inherited disorder of connective tissues produced by genes that make collagen weaker – means I’ve spent 10 years fighting chronic fatigue, pain, recurring soft tissue and joint injuries, with IBS and insomnia as a result.

The treatment

There’s no specific cure for hypermobility.… More

Master the art of planning

Oliver Burkeman invites you to improve your work life

11 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

The project

Why do we chronically underestimate how long tasks will take, or feel paralysed by indecision over which project to tackle first? There’s an art to planning well. And no, mastering it won’t turn you into an unspontaneous robot.

The aim

One potential pitfall is the ‘planning fallacy’ – we tend to be over-optimistic about how long something will take. In one study, students estimated they’d complete an essay an average of 10 days before deadline; in reality, the average was one day.

Things always take longer than you think – part of the problem is that emotions blow your reasoning skills off course; when you really want something to be finished by Thursday, it’s easy to persuade yourself it can be.… More