Music blares through the speakers, the twangy tunes of the alarm clock's pre-set country station fill the room, and my eyes squint as I reach for the off-button. Three dogs leap instantly from their prone positions on the floor, claws making scratching noises on the hardwood, panting in eagerness, happy to greet the new day (and, of course, eat their breakfast.)
I grumble as I roll over, trying desperately to ignore all of them. I, for one, am not as happy to hear the alarm as they seem to be.
Wind and rain batter the window, and the steady rat-tat-tatting on the roof makes me sink lower under my covers and squeeze my eyes more tightly closed. Utter darkness fills the room, making it that much easier to want to snuggle deeper. A moan escapes, along with the knowledge that I need to emerge from my cocoon of heat...now.
I get up, moving oh-so-slowly, a yawn stretching my jaw as I sleepily stumble down the hallway. I'd love nothing more than to go back to bed, back to the cozy warmth of nighttime.
For some reason on this day, I'm moving at a snail's pace, more sluggishly than usual. Despite the feeling of melancholy that pulls down on my shoulders like a cloak, I prepare and head off to work.
No amount of caffeine can combat the extreme tiredness, and the feeling does not lift throughout the course of the day. The number of times I hear myself sigh is like fingernails screeching down a chalkboard, but I can't seem to stop it. Another sigh escapes, and my eyes dart around to see if anyone else has noticed.
What's wrong with me today? Why is my mood so different on this particular day?
Side Note: You should know that contrary to the way this sounds, I really am a morning person. I usually have much more energy in the early morning hours than in the evening. It's when I do my best work-- in both writing and teaching. I'm also not a person prone to bouts of depression.
So why, on this particular day, do I feel this way? It almost seems as if my mood matches the gloomy weather outside. Could meteorology really play a hand in my emotions? I think the answer is simple and at this point, obvious: Yes.
As I get older, I'm noticing a distinct correlation between the way I feel and what's going on out my window more and more. Am I crazy? And most importantly: Am I the only one who feels this way?
I decided to do a bit of research, and I came across the article (and many others) 6 Scientific Ways Weather Affects Your Mood So You Can Adapt Your Mind and Body Through the Changing Seasons by Marion Berstein. I found out that the weather truly does have a huge affect on people, and there is scientific evidence to prove it. It can affect different people in various ways. From Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)--a disorder that touts the benefits of sunlight and the effect a lack of sunlight has on your body and emotions--to a drop in seratonin that may be the cause of over-eating, this article digs into the hows and whys of how a rainy, cold day may give you a case of the blues...for real. (Click the link above to read the full article for more information.)
Knowing that I can lay the blame on the elements does give my worried brain a bit of relief, and it really helps to know I'm not alone. But isn't there something we can do to help?
Doing nothing means that when inches of rain puddle in the streets, there are a multitude of grumpy people just trying to achieve one goal: survive the day and go back to bed.
We're wishing our days away. There must be something we can do to combat these weary weather woes.
I'm no expert, but I've come up with a list of things that just might make the next rainy day a teensy bit better.
TEN WAYS TO WIPE OUT THE WEARY WEATHER WOES
1. Close the curtains. At home or at work, block out the gray weather by pulling the shades or curtains. Out of sight, out of mind.
2. Check the weather, and be prepared. Get into the habit of staying 'in the know' about your forecast. You can't stop the gloomy weather, but at the very least you'll be prepared...and you won't show up at work soaking wet.
3. Drink coffee or tea. Whatever your preference, a hot beverage can warm you from the inside-out. Not to mention the glorious caffeine...
4. Wear bright colors. Even though your hand reaches into the closet for black clothing, push those aside and dress in vibrant colors to try to fool your brain with a splash of brightness.
5. Turn on all the lights. Sunlight is lacking today, but your room doesn't have to be. False light can mimic true sunlight, so shine on!
6. Play your favorite music. My favorite music often distracts me, and today is no exception. Before you know it your foot will start tapping...
7. Snuggle up with a good book. Don't forget, rainy days are the best kinds of reading days!
8. Soup for dinner. Your soul needs soothing today. Eat the soup.
9. For each negative thought, make yourself think of a positive thing in your life. If misery loves company, then make it hang out with a good vibe. Remind yourself of all the good in your life.
10. Give a hug. Sounds too simple, right? But it's true, the physical contact with a family member, co-worker, or friend can be enough to uplift your spirits until the sun shines again!
Good luck! In my hometown, we've seen lots of rain lately, so I'll have plenty of time to test the list. Remember, you're not alone. Stay positive!
Have a better way to combat rainy day blues? Please share your ideas in the comments!
"Into each life, some rain will fall." --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Keep on Reading,
Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
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