I DON’T know about you but I am having trouble believing that we are already in August, writes psychotherapist Jody Merelle.

After the glorious weather in June, July has not felt much like a summer month at all and it is hard to believe that we are now heading fast towards autumn again.

The weather inevitably has an effect on the mood of the country and I have heard from quite a number of people recently that they are feeling a bit flat and stuck in a rut.

If this feeling resonates with you at all, one simple remedy is to make a conscious decision to do something different for a change.

In many ways, human beings are creatures of habit. If you look back at your past week, you will probably spot many things that you have done just because they are things that you always do.

This applies to what you eat, where you shop, who you speak to, the route you take to work and what you do in your spare time as well as a whole host of other things.

Of course not all habits are bad ones – some can be very healthy. Taking that stroll after work each day is likely to be far better for you than sitting on the sofa all evening.

However it is also true that even where habits are positive ones, we can easily feel as though we have gone from routine to rut. It can be very beneficial to mix things up from time to time and to do something that is entirely different from our own personal norm.

Research has shown that people who engage in a variety of experiences are also more likely to hold on to happy moments than those who have a more narrow variety of experiences. This is probably because routine is less memorable than something out of the ordinary.

So whatever your situation at the moment perhaps this week, it might be worth looking at how you would ordinarily spend your time and make a conscious effort to do something that you wouldn’t normally do.

Do your food shopping somewhere new, try out a new meal, buy a magazine you would never normally read, visit a town or village you have never been to before.

Suggest having a coffee with someone you don’t normally spend time with. You are likely to find that the change itself will feel refreshing and may even spur you on to thinking of other, new things you can do.

Even if you don’t love the thing you have chosen to do – the new experience will give your mind something new to think about and may also make you appreciate your traditional way of doing things just that little bit more.

It will also be a reminder to you that life does not have to be exactly the way it is now. Few people are entirely happy with every part of their lives. By making a conscious effort to do something completely different, you are also reminding yourself that there is a whole world full of possibility out there and there are a thousand opportunities waiting for you to go out and grab them.