How the Weather Has Affected My Mood
I’ve started keeping a weather and mood diary of sorts because I’ve been feeling blue lately. It could be the winds of change are about to blow through my life – I sense I’m in for a new course of events – but I think the weather plays a bigger role than I even noticed in how I feel.
Throughout November and December, even as the air is starting to turn chilly, I feel great in anticipation of the holidays. In January, my mood starts to wane ever so slightly, and, by February, I’m downright miserable.
March is typically a mixed bag in terms of weather. In 2012, southwestern lower Michigan saw 80-degree temperatures for four consecutive days. This year, though, March has brought temperatures right around 35 degrees with very little sunlight. Based on my diary, it's obvious that these weather patterns are affecting my mood. Forinstance, here is my entry from Sunday, March 24, 2013:
The air outside is so cold that it bites through my skin. I’m tired of leaving my apartment because my jeans freeze in the time it takes to walk from the doorstep to the car. Once I sit in the seat, I’m even colder than when I was standing. The wind is howling, the sky is gray, and I feel just blah. No energy, no motivation. I want to stay home, curl up on the couch, and stare vacantly at the television. I’m just not in the mood for the world today.
When I checked the temperature for March 24, I found it was 32 degrees outside with wind gusts up to 21 miles per hour. Those are pretty unpleasant conditions, especially when the first day of spring was three days prior.
By contrast, here’s my diary entry for March 28, 2013:
"This morning was the first in a long time that I didn’t have to wear insulated winter boots to walk Rocky (my dog). The sun was shining and gave the ground around us a golden hue that is so much more beautiful than the murky gray and brown we’re used to seeing. I didn’t mind taking the time to fix my hair today, because the wind outside didn’t whip it into a snarled mess like it has since January. And I drove with my window cracked, because the warm sun and fresh air felt exhilarating. Maybe spring is finally here!"
That day brought 41-degree temperatures and bright skies, and the wind blew at only 5 miles per hour - a nice change after the gales we’ve had for most of the winter.
My diary has shown me how my energy levels fluctuate with the weather. It’s possible I haven’t wanted to exercise during these long, dreary months because it’s been hard enough just to get out of bed and get to work. Even as I write this, I feel more hopeful than I did a week ago. The sun is out once more, and I’m not sitting in my apartment with the heat cranked to 74 degrees in the hopes that I won’t freeze before I even walk out the door. I might take a walk this afternoon with Rocky, one on which I’m not stamping my feet in an effort to get warm as he lifts his paws from freezing sidewalks and looks at me as if to say, “Can we go back inside now?”