As winter turns to spring many regions are blessed with bright sunshine and warm temperatures. With this beautiful weather rolling in more and more you may have noticed that your mood and temperament has improved, but why is this?
The answer lies in your brain. The dark weather associated with winter forces our brains to produce more melatonin which in turn makes us feel drowsy and in many circumstances a little depressed. As the sun starts to hit you more in the warmer spring months this production of melatonin is cut off, helping all of us feel more energetic and happy.
Battling Rainy Days
Unfortunately with the bright sun of spring there are equally as many days spent in a dreary drizzle that teleports us straight back to the sad feelings of winter. Luckily there are a few good ways to fight off those spells of bad weather and continue to feel sunny as summer quickly approaches.
When the weather is rainy and dreary it is ok to treat yourself to ensure you can keep the positive feelings going until it is sunny again. Order in from your favorite restaurant, take a mental health day from work, or let yourself take an afternoon nap. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as it helps you associate happy feelings with rainy days.
Treating yourself works well when the weather is bad for a short period of time but if you are faced with a week of rainy weather or have just been feeling down in the dumps it may help you to challenge yourself mentally. Things like puzzles, sudoku, painting, or writing can present a stimulation to your brain that will make you feel accomplished and happy despite the bad weather.
Find Something New
When looking for something to challenge yourself with you may find that you are tired of your old hobbies. If that is the case it could be a great time to discover something new. Look for new music or explore a hobby you have always wanted to try. Starting new things is hard but the upside is huge.
If you are able to find a new hobby you will be able to stimulate your mind and occupy your thoughts with learning. This will help you ignore the bad weather and leave you in a far better mood. Remember that everyone started their favorite hobby with no knowledge and you can too.
Ignore “If Only”
It is easy to feel sorry for yourself and have your thoughts dominated by dreaming about the weather being better. This is a slippery slope that will leave you in a worse mood than before. To fight back against this feeling it is key to occupy your mind with either a new activity or a mental challenge like we talked about above.
When the clouds and rain creep in it is very easy for anxious thoughts to creep in as well. While this is very natural there are things you can do to help quell the anxiety and keep your mood in a good place. To fight off these feelings you have to fight back against the urge to imagine “what ifs” and instead remind yourself that many of the problems are growing much larger in your head then they actually are.
If you have trouble doing this do not fret, like anything else controlling your anxiety takes patience and practice. Continue to work in small steps to deal with your anxiety so that you can stay happy and healthy throughout streaks of bad weather.
Be Willing to Say No
When you aren’t feeling like yourself it is sometimes best to just relax and stay at home with your loved ones or just by yourself. Do not be afraid to put your own needs first and say no to dinner parties or other get togethers.
If you are polite and communicate effectively your friends will understand how you feel and leave you be. This will allow you to recharge your battery so that you can better do everything we have discussed above. Don’t worry it will be sunny in no time.
Return of The Sun
After battling through anxiety and some somber moods during rainy weekends or weeks it is important to capitalize on the return of brighter weather. When the sun pokes its head out of the clouds it is important that you take full advantage of the UV rays to get your mood to a sunny and happy place, use the following ideas to guide your journey.
When the sun starts to shine you need to get out and soak up the rays! This enjoyment of nature can come in many forms depending on what you like to do. Go on a hike, take a nap in the sun, or kayak on an alpine lake. Do whatever makes you happiest and reflect on how you are feeling while you do it. These memories will not only boost your mood in the moment but set you up for success in the future.
Build A Playlist
Music can have a direct link to your mood so it is important to take advantage of your positive energy and listen to some uplifting music. Not only will this music speed up your process of feeling sunny, but it will also provide you with a tool to access those sunny feelings in the future when the weather may not be cooperating.
No matter how you end up spending your sunny days it is vital that you acknowledge and embrace how you are feeling. Truly understanding and appreciating positive points in your life will enable you to see the light at the end of the tunnel when things are feeling dark. This looks different for everyone, but writing in a journal, thinking deeply, or even meditating will help you truly soak in the sunshine in your life.