health, hydration, fluids, summer, hot weather tips
by B. Imei Hsu
Unless you’ve been hiding in a cool basement underground, you have probably noticed that parts of the U.S. are experiencing a heatwave. In the Puget Sound region where Seattle Direct Counseling is located, we’ve been hitting temperatures in the high 80’s and low 90’s. My fitness club has been filled with people running indoors in order to get their miles in without wilting, as many of us are not accustomed to exercising in weather that starts in the 70’s in the early morning and keeps climbing. We’re more used of jumping on a plane to Maui and laying in a hammock with a good book while a cool breeze passes by!
Yet every year, I see people taking actions in contradiction to the increased need to hydrate properly in warm weather. Sure, they might move from a latte to an iced latte, but there is a lack of connection with exactly what goes on when the mercury rises and you feel hot. I thought I’d give our readers a quick reminder on drinking for your health the smart way.*
Most people who struggle with depression, anxiety, or a mixture of both want to know how to better manage their symptoms. Typically, I spend some time educating each client about the “Big Five” treatment plan. This plan includes the five elements of evidence-based treatment straight from the text books: 1. Talk therapy, 2. Nutrition, 3. Rest, 4. Exercise, and 5. Medication. Of all of these treatment options, which do you think the majority of people struggle with the most when it comes to consistent implementation?
A few weeks ago, I found myself musing about the real “face” of depression. I personally find it absurd to think that anyone who lives a full life can escape the feeling of being depressed at some point in their lifetime of 365-1/4 day trips around the sun. A full life – one in which you choose to be awake – includes its fair share of tragedies, heartbreaks, endings, and losses. As I am writing this, we are on the eve of experiencing a hurricane that affects hundreds of miles of homes and businesses, which can only mean that millions of people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake, and the thought of human loss is grieving and yes, depressing. Yet rather than sharing only statistics and norms and “how to’s, I’m sharing my personal and professional musings on depression not just as a situationally-caused mood disorder, but also as a real “face” that seemingly has no cause, or to which we look beyond cause. What is the real face of depression?
“I have no reason to be depressed”
You probably know at least one person who tells you, “I have no reason to be depressed.” Such a statement falls falls from a mouth of an intelligent, successful, healthy adult man or woman who appears well-loved and appreciated for his or her contribution to the community, the workplace, and the home. She or he can count off at least ten or more reasons why depression should have no place in her life, and yet there it is: this heavy, achy, tired, brooding feeling of either not wanting to have to wake up to another day (with suicidal thoughts and fantasies of ending it all), or the same heavy- achy-tired-brooding-feeling, only without suicidal thoughts. That same person may have tried counseling or some form of “talk therapy“, and while strategies for managing the symptoms of depression are discussed and employed, the person expresses dismay that after six months of weekly sessions, she doesn’t feel much different. Just depressed.