I’m not a fan of summer here in central California. The Mediterranean climate includes months of dryness, from about May-ish to about October-ish. Months of mostly sunshine, and temps in the 90’s to 100’s.
Sunny days. So. Many. Sunny. Days. They hurt.
I find the high pressure dome that sits over CA every summer oppressive. There’s just something unnerving about weather that refuses to change for weeks and weeks on end.
I didn’t grow up here. I grew up where there was real weather: hot and humid days would gather thunderclouds in the evenings. Other seasons would see sleet, snow, ice, rain, sun, rainbows, thunderstorms, hail.
So I have to struggle to tolerate the lack of weather here. And the heat. I mean, who likes 100+ degrees, even if it is a “dry heat”?
Enjoying the weather? Even more of a struggle.
So I get the summer blues here, big time.
And this summer’s going to be a doozy, even by California standards. We’re in a severe drought, and the fire season is ramping up. Just a couple dozen miles from here 7000+ acres were burning. The smoke from it gave me headaches for days.
How does one deal with this? How does one not succumb to depression? (well, not any more than I already have, that is.)
1. Mindfulness. Yeah, gotta get back into doing this. Reading Thich Nhat Hanh is always good, but sometimes depression just means I don’t have the energy to read. Then not reading Thich makes me feel more depressed, which means less energy, which means… ugh. Yeah. Doom spiral of doom is yuck.
2. Writing. It helps to write, of course it does. It also takes energy, but now that I seem to have gotten back some of my activation energy, writing is good. Like another step on the upward spiral towards non-depression.
3. Being in the world. I’ve actually been not so bad on this front, but the little bits I’ve been doing have kind of wiped me out. It’s good, but gotta take it to the next level. Like calling friends to go hang out and sew and stuff.
4. Gratitude/Beauty Challenge. Find something out there in the world to like. Even just for a moment. Like grass. Grass is nice. Green, has an smooth, springy, texture. Cool to the touch. Go sit in it. Nice, isn’t it? Thank you, grass! (better enjoy it now, while there’s still enough water for the parks to keep it green!)
5. Clean the dang house, already. Habitat is important. Today, the floordrobe. Tomorrow, the world!