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  • Writer's pictureSamantha

How to beat the weather and boost wellbeing

There may be plenty of signs that Spring is on its way but it doesn't exactly feel like it is, does it?! Here are some ways to help lift the mood as we move into Spring.

What a winter it has been – it has been non-stop rain recently. Have you noticed this affecting your mood and motivation? Does it feel harder to drag yourself out of bed and make it through the front door? I feel guilty moaning as I have managed to escape to a warmer climate for a few weeks. On my return I really noticed a drop in mood. So, what causes this feeling of malaise? And, most importantly, what can we do to help ourselves?

There are several factors that cause our mood to drop when the sky is grey – and the rain just keeps pouring:

Disruption of our circadian rhythm

Our circadian rhythm is the biological clock built into our brain. It regulates certain biological processes such as sleep and appetite. These circadian rhythms are influenced by exposure to natural light. On overcast days, that natural light is diminished, and our exposure reduced.

Sunlight helps to stimulate the production of serotonin, and this is the hormone that makes us feel good and increases our mood. It is only natural that when the production of serotonin decreases that our mood will drop.

In contrast, our production of melatonin increases. Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone”. This increase means we feel sleepier and have less energy.

Barometric pressure also decreases. This means the oxygen in our blood decreases. This causes symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, and dizziness.

Social isolation

It’s easy to stop taking part in normal social activity. This increases levels of loneliness and can cause boredom. It can feel much easier to stay indoors. If the weather affects travel pans, work schedules or daily activities it can influence our overall mood.

Climate change

We are all noticing the shift in weather patterns leading to more extreme weather patterns. These weather patterns increase the risk of flooding, and damage due to extreme winds and storms. And for those directly affected, the 2023 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that “As a result, many people will experience higher levels of psychological distress”.

What steps can you take to ensure you stay positive?

Make time to go outside

It may seem unappealing but just 30 minutes outside can regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and increase your feelings of wellbeing. Going outside can help us think more clearly, reduce feelings of stress, and increase our self-esteem. On top of this it will also improve your sleep.

Stay connected

Ensure you find ways of staying in contact with friends and family. This could be online, or arrange an indoor meet up.

Mental stimulation

Think of alternative activities: play a board game, read a book, or try a new creative activity to help alleviate boredom

Mindfulness and relaxation

You can download apps these days which can help you to practice relaxation. Headspace, for example, offers numerous resources which you may find useful.

Light therapy

Invest in a light therapy box that mimics outdoor light. Try 30 minutes exposure to light therapy each morning. Research suggests this produces the best effects if you do this as soon as possible after waking.

Not everyone is affected by the changes in weather but for those who are it can have a negative effect on wellbeing. Try to take positive steps to help you beat the weather.


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