Have you ever noticed that you’re less cheerful on grey, cloudy days? Does winter leave you feeling blue? You’re not alone — the weather can have a significant impact on your mood. When you know what to expect, it’s easier to embrace mood-boosting weather and find ways to cope when the conditions turn south.
Hot Weather and Emotional Control
Sunny days are often associated with positive feelings — but when the weather gets too hot, it can have the opposite effect on your mood. In fact, when temperatures are very high, you might find yourself getting angry quickly. Humidity can make the situation worse; the discomfort and dehydration it causes can lead to increased levels of aggression and violence. If that sounds familiar, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast. When you see a humid front coming, planning relaxing and fun activities can be a great way to head off a quick temper or overly emotional reaction. Sometimes, there’s not much you can do about it; in that case, you might choose to avoid making major life decisions or stay away from people who tend to rub you the wrong way.
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
Some people are prone to bouts of depression when the summer months give way to fall and winter. In fact, there’s a name for this condition: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Symptoms of SAD include a feeling of depression, trouble sleeping, and a sense of low energy. You might also find that you’re less interested in doing the hobbies and activities that usually bring you joy. If these feelings persist, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. They may recommend treatments like phototherapy, where you use a special bright light to boost your mood. In other cases, your doctor might suggest that you visit a therapist.
Cold Weather vs. Warm Weather
Do you find yourself feeling more cheerful on warm, sunny days? That might not be a product of the weather itself; in fact, studies have shown that cold and warm weather don’t necessarily have a big impact on your mood. However, since the weather impacts the things you can do outside, it can indirectly affect your general sense of well-being. This is highly dependent on where you live and the things you like to do. If you live in an area with very snowy winters, you might be perfectly happy if you love to snowboard and snowshoe. However, if your favorite activity is running, and you can’t do it when the roads are icy and dangerous, that might have a negative impact on your happiness.
If any of these situations sound familiar, you can take steps to improve the situation. With a few coping mechanisms and an understanding of how the weather affects you personally, you can head off problems and feel better year-round.