Self-Care Saturday: Check the Weather

Among the many things that influence our moods, weather is something we’re not prone to think of quickly. Yet, it’s something outside of our control and it can have an enormous impact on our state of mind!

Let’s take a look at a few impacts.

Did you know that research has shown allergy sufferers are more likely to experience depression? While I don’t consider WebMD a great primary source for research, check this out: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergies-depression

That page focuses on hay-fever/seasonal allergies, but we all know indoor allergies are a thing, too. Whether it’s the weather making all the things bloom and turning the air into an assault on your sinuses, or the way winter air makes our face hurt so you stay inside more often – allergies and depression have a connection!

Also, there’s the now-recognized Seasonal Affective Disorder. Not enough sunlight can cause so much depression that places with very short days in winter see a spike in depression and suicide.

Right now my area is getting some extreme heat. We’re in the triple digits almost two months early. Guess what. Yep, there’s a depression link there, too. https://psychiatry.org/news-room/news-releases/extreme-heat-contributes-to-worsening-mental-healt

So, as part of your self-care, check your weather. If you’re looking to find out how it affects you, keep a notebook about it. List things like temperature, cloud cover, humidity, precipitation, whether there were air quality alerts or allergen alerts that day, and a couple of words about your mood that day.

You may find, as I did, even if the allergens are bad, I need that outdoor air every single day. You might find, as a friend of mine did, that living somewhere with 300 days of sunlight a year is not doing you any favors.

Whatever turns up as you watch how weather affects your moods, remember to be gentle with yourself. Plan ahead if you know the season is turning to one that’s typically difficult for you. Be aware and think about how to counter that effect on your life.

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