We have all been there… You wake up early for work, the house is a little chillier than usual, the bedroom is a little darker than it should be and the sun does not seem to have come up as normal… another gloomy day. Automatically your energy levels are lower and instead of hopping out of bed you would much rather hit the snooze button and cover right back up, close your eyes and go back to sleep. I used to find that gloomy days where the worst for killing all of my good intentions for getting up early, making a good breakfast and getting to work early to knock things out while the building was still quiet. As a newly self-proclaimed stay at home dog mom, homemaker and maker of other awesome things, I find that it is still the same. Gloomy days make you fight to get out of bed and get going.
I decided to do a little research on this and found that the weather HAS in fact been proven to affect our moods. In an article from Web MD Tecsia Evans, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in San Francisco shares a little information on this topic.
“When it gets dark and dreary out, some people definitely have more susceptibility to feeling lonely or down. It’s pretty common to see a change in mood — such as feeling sadness or lower self-esteem — when it’s rainy outside.”
Now that you know tat this is not just a trick of your imagination, what can you do? Dr. Evans has a few suggestions – ALL of them go against our desires to roll back over and go back to sleep…
- When you are feeling down, get UP and get moving! You may want to go back to sleep but research has shown that physical activity increases endorphins (and according to Elle Woods, “Endorphins make people happy and happy people don’t just kill their husbands…”). Tru starting your day with 10-15 minutes of stretching or Yoga to get your blood flowing.
- Turn the lights on! Trying to conserve energy? Too bad! Your mood and wellbeing is more important than your light bill. If it is only cloudy out side, you can still open up all your blinds to let in what UV rays you can to help. According to Dr. Evans, “There has been research that light can boost serotonin, which elevates the mood”. Perfect for fighting those gloomy day blues…
- Don’t isolate yourself. This one is fairly easy if you are heading out in the gloomy weather for work (unless you are used to isolating yourself in an office or cubicle). If you are at work, take time to go visit co-workers instead of hiding in your office. If you are a stay at home mother/homemaker, try to schedule a baby play date or a coffee date with a friend (even if this means someone coming to your place instead of you getting out into the weather). You can make your baby-less friend come see you so you do not have to get out into the weather with your posse!
Research has also shown that a lack of sunlight can cause more severe problems for some, including SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which usually affects people between April and October when days become shorter. You can read more about SAD and ways to cope with this disorder here.
At least you can rest easy knowing that we are all together here, fighting off the urge to hit that snooze button, keep the lights off and go back to sleep and I know that WE CAN FIGHT IT! Get out of bed, turn those lights on, get moving and do something that makes you happy, like drinking coffee… lots of coffee…
Peace and Be Well!