When it comes to “rainy day blues,” it’s not just a case of our moods being affected by feeling irritated at the rain, or being joyful on sunny days just because it means you can get out and about – it goes deeper than that. The real influencers here are the changes in weather and sun rising/setting that comes with seasonal changes. Our bodies respond with that sensation of “rainy day blues” on colder, darker days – prevalent in winter and cooler climates and regions of the world.
We all have a natural body clock (circadian rhythm) which regulates our sleep/wake cycle, and in turn, this regulates our moods. The winter season can throw off our natural rhythms with the changing times of the sun becoming brighter later in the morning and darker earlier in the evening. Our sleep patterns are adversely interrupted, which is a major factor for how our moods are affected, as our bodies naturally want to adjust to the rhythm of the sun (in its creation of melatonin – the sleep chemical) though oftentimes, with our pace of life, we go about our lives as if nothing has changed. The affect is that we ignore our natural body signs, which affects our sleep, and ultimately, how bright and shiny we wake up.
If it’s not available to you in your lifestyle to adjust your sleeping schedule, then there are other ways you can support your body in balancing its circadian rhythms when the seasons change. The more time you spend outdoors – particularly when the sun is rising or setting, the quicker your body’s rhythms will adjust.
Also, light therapies are on the rise in modern times. Studies reveal that people who deal with depression during the darker seasons, or regions that don’t see much sun (namely, the U.K), can expose themselves to ‘light boxes,’ which may help to regulate your mood.
Generally, your body will balance itself out, after a mild run in with seasonal mood changes. If you do notice that you have longer, recurring instances of low mood, then also look into other treatments, and again, consult your doctor to ensure it is not more than just feeling the winter blues.
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