Bad Mood? Blame the Weather

Be proactive this season to beat the winter blahs

It’s that time of the year again, when the clocks are turned back, the temperature drops and, by the time we get out of work at night, it’s cold, dark and not very inviting. Add to that the pressures of surviving the holidays, and it’s no wonder some people fall into a rut.

While some of us will feel a slight dip in spirits, others go into an emotional freefall during the winter months. On the Depression Support boards this week, members are talking about the dreary, rainy weather they’ve been having, and the impact it’s had on their mood.

“I sit on my couch with the drapes open and see the dark, gloomy weather outside. Who wants to run errands and get drenched going in and out of stores?” asks josannajava.

“I always feel more depressed this season of the year, especially February. We have had rain, too, and it brought down most of the leaves, so there are a lot of grey branches to look at out of the windows,” says deb_virginia.

It’s no secret that a gloomy sky often translates into a gloomy disposition, but sometimes I don’t immediately make the connection between the weather and my mood. For days, I’ll stew and wonder why I’ve gotten so crotchety, and then the sun will break through the clouds, I’ll feel my mood lift, and it dawns on me that my grumpiness was a symptom of the passing storm.

But, since winter tends to have more grey days than other seasons, I, like others, struggle with this time of year.

This year, I’m trying to be proactive by really working on my mental health. I’m making an effort to meditate, exercise, eat well and reach out to friends. Sometimes these things lift my spirits; other times, not so much. But I try to remember that I probably feel better than I would have had I not engaged in these activities.

The other to-do on my beat the winter blahs checklist: Take up a winter sport and invest in a light therapy lamp. I know that exercise, fresh air and sunshine all help me to feel better, so even though I hate the cold, I’m going to force myself to strap on some cross-country skis and at least try it out. And if all that fails to amp my spirits, then I’m packing up and heading for warmer climates -- permanently.

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