TYNE AND WEAR, U.K.
- April 29, 2021
-- Have you ever thought about how the weather can affect your mental health?
Unless you love feeling cosy on rainy days and curling up with a book by the fire, rainy days can get us down. If it's cold and dreary, the dark and heavy clouds can limit sunlight getting to us, which can impact our mood when it happens for a consistent amount of time. Interestingly, research found that around nine per cent of people are "rain haters". While some of us may feel slightly down and tired when it rains, rain haters feel anger with more rainfall. Another study also reported that we take to Facebook to complain with negative posts!
The reason why we feel lethargic during cold and dark weather is because when we're exposed to less sunlight, our bodies produce more melatonin which makes us tired. A lack of vitamin D from less sunlight exposure can also give us the blues, which when more serious is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – also known as winter depression. So, while you might want to wrap up in a blanket and indulge in comfort food or nap, there is a scientific reason why you want to do nothing rather than grab your golf umbrella (https://www.fultonumbrellas.com/golf-umbrellas/
) and venture out into the wet.
Symptoms of SAD include:
- Feeling lethargic
- A weakened immune system
- Low motivation
- Lack of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Oversleeping and struggling to stay awake
- Overeating (particularly comfort food like carbohydrates)
- Feeling anxious
- Withdrawing from social situations
- Feeling in a persistent low mood.
- When it's hot
When the weather is hot, we can be open to feeling irritable. Research has found that we can get angry or irritated when weather is warmer as our stress hormones, such as cortisol, rise with the thermometers.
When it's cold
When the weather is cold, we might be more inclined to stay indoors and have less exposure to the sunlight. This can make us feel more lethargic from less vitamin D and serotonin than how we would normally feel.
It's certainly encouraging to learn that we will have more energy in the summer after a difficult few months in lockdown in winter.