Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Feeling down lately? The weather might be to blame. As daylight saving ends, the sun starts to rise later, and our internal clocks can struggle to catch up. You may notice that your mood feels a bit more glum than usual — and you’re not alone.
Each year, over 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression related to the changing seasons. Most commonly, SAD impacts people during the fall and winter months, typically beginning after the clocks roll forward an hour during daylight saving time. People with SAD often report having less energy, find that they have difficulty waking up in the morning, and have less motivation to do things.
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While Seasonal Affective Disorder falls on the more extreme end of weather-caused mood changes, it’s not uncommon to be impacted by gloomy days. The weather itself can cause stress; from hurricanes to tornadoes, we’re always told to prepare for our lives to be interrupted by Mother Nature doing her thing. If you’ve found yourself feeling down on rainy, cloudy, or cold days, there are a few things that you can do to help your body and mind adjust.
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Let the light in
It might be tempting to keep your blinds down and curl into bed on a gloomy day, and making a cozy day out of it once in a while is never a bad idea. But, if you find that your mood is particularly affected by dreary days, exposure to both artificial light and UV rays can help to circulate your circadian rhythm and boost your mood.
Break a sweat
Exercise is a great way to boost your mood due to the feel-good endorphin boost that occurs during and after exercise. If the weather prevents you from getting outside, try getting your heart rate up with jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, and a slow stretch to end it. Your body and mind will thank you!
Soothe your mind with meditation
If a bad storm is stressing you out, try doing a quick meditation to take your mind off of things you can’t control. Weather can be unpredictable, but meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression.
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With the changing seasons and colder weather coming in, it can be common to feel glum on some days. If your mood constantly feels down, it’s recommended to speak to a medical professional about potential treatment options, such as therapy or medication. Let the light in, curl up with a good book and a cup of tea, and know that the sun will shine again.
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