There is no denying the fact that summer is coming to an end. With is comes the colder weather, longer nights and dreary days. This can have a drastic affect on our mood.
Why does the Weather Affect my Mood?
The straightforward answer to this, is that when the weather starts to turn colder and the days are darker, our bodies are told to slow down. From an anthropological standpoint, we are being signalled to go into a hibernation mode. Gather more food and prepare for the coming winter when food and resources are more scarce.
Of course, in modern society we don’t need to worry about hunting and gathering, but this response is hardwired into our DNA. Even though we have 24 hour shopping, supermarket deliveries and a much easier way to ‘gather’ in general, we still feel these urges.
As well as the above, the individual weather patterns can have an effect on our hormone levels, creating imbalances that lead to lower moods. The way we change our daily living habits in colder months also has an impact. We are outside less, tend to be less adventurous and eat different food.
All of this can contribute to our loss of motivation and lack lustre feelings during the winter months.
What can I do?
There is plenty that can be done to lift your mood. Improve your mental health, when faced with changes in weather is easier than ever. However, should you be really suffering with these changes, please do speak to your GP!
When the days are grey, the weather is wet and nights longer, it is easy to stay indoors and hide away. Getting outside, even for a short time each day will help combat those feelings of low mood. Fresh air is always beneficial for you and can increase serotonin levels, boosting your mood.
If you are unable to get outside, then think about daylight lamps. Increasing your amount of natural light can drastically improve mood and help reduce anxiety, stress and aid in combatting depression.
Eating regularly and healthily means you are keeping your blood sugar levels even. This helps to stop the effects on your mood if they drop. As well as being healthy, eating the good food you find enticing during the summer helps give you that boost. Or venture into making some yummy treats that are cosy and heart warming!
Exercise is good for you anyway, but in the winter it can provide those hits of endorphins and serotonin that may be more lacking during the colder months. It’s another way to feel happier and brighter, when faced with bad weather or a change in seasons.
We tend to spend less time alone as the weather turns. Making an effort to see friends and family at this time can benefit you immeasurably. As well as decreasing those feelings of loneliness, it can be incredibly enjoyable.
Good Sleep Routine
Good sleep is important any time of the year, but as the nights draw in it’s easy to lose track of time and disrupt your sleep patterns. Darker nights and mornings, mean your body might no necessarily wake at its usual time, denoted by the sun rising and setting. You can get specialised lamps that create natural sunrises and sunsets to help you with this.
Practice Good Self-Care
It is just as, if not more, important to practice good self-care during the winter. Less motivation means it is easier to forget the little things, or the enjoyable activities you once revelled in. You can check out our Wellness & Self-Care section for a whole host of ideas when it comes to self-care.