Gloomy weather affecting womans mood

Can the Weather Affect Your Mood?

DTC Thrasio

- Circadian Optics Brand Team

Overcast weather can be a good break from the sun, but too much of it can make anyone a little gloomy - some more than others. But how much gloom is too much gloom? How much should gloomy weather affect us before it becomes an issue? Can the weather affect your mood that much, really? 

Sometimes, it can!

If you find you’re only slightly bothered (or not bothered at all) by rain or clouds, there’s no need to fret. However, if you feel melancholic, or just find you’re feeling meh any time the sun goes away for prolonged periods of time, you may be dealing with something a little more serious - like weather depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  

We can’t control the weather, unfortunately. But we can work to change the way we feel about that rainy day feeling. We’ll go through all of the info you need to combat these blues - how weather affects us, facts about SAD, and the best activities and light therapy lamps to let you feel that sunshine again. 

How Does the Weather Affect Our Mood? 

Believe it or not, sometimes the way we feel isn’t just connected to our brain chemistry. There are a lot of factors that determine how we’re feeling, some of which are even due to the environment! It isn’t just a lack of sunlight either - even a prolonged change in temperature can put us in a dark mood

According to Houston Methodist, the most common weather-related variables that can drastically affect our moods are: 

  • Sunshine
  • Temperature
  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Humidity
  • Barometric pressure

…That’s a lot to consider! But how can the weather affect our mood alone? Well, the reality is that more often than not, it depends on your own associations. If you’ve never favored rain in the first place, it makes sense that you would be a little upset if it rained. 

Moreover, there are less UV rays, which help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and boost your mood. 

In short, darkness and cloudy weather can make us susceptible to depression and anxiety. (It should be noted, however, that not everyone deals with this. Some people prefer cloudy weather and rain! It all comes down to preference.)

The seasons also can play a large role in weather depression. Fall and winter, for example, have the shortest days of the year, which can make some people depressed or melancholic. 

This is what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Real?

Why does the weather affect my mood so much?”, you might find yourself asking. If so, you might deal with SAD. 

In short, YES - SAD is real. SAD (an apt acronym) is a form of depression listed in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and is labeled as a “major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern”. SAD is just that - you’re okay in the summer and spring, but get a little depressed in the fall and/or winter due to clouds and lack of sunlight. 

SAD is much more than an occasional rainy day feeling, however. Those who struggle with this disorder may find that their energy is drained, their mood is somber, they’re dealing with anxiety and apathy, and they have either excessive sleepiness or insomnia, depending. 

If any of those match how you find yourself feeling during winter or fall, read on - we have some solutions for you! 

How to Boost Your Mood During Gloomy Weather

Okay, we know that weather affects mood sometimes. So, what can we do about it? Well, we here at Circadian Optics are the champions of beating those overcast weather blues! Here are a few different things you can try to combat your seasonal depression in a healthy, productive way: 

  • Limit Junk Food & Drink Water, Take Vitamin D

It sounds simple, but eating healthily and drinking plenty of water is a great way to boost your mental health. Making yourself some healthy (but delicious) food is a great way to combat weather woes.
Moreover, many people take vitamin D for seasonal depression, or just to keep their immune system up in general. It’s worth a shot! 

  • Go Outside (Even If It’s Raining)

Before you judge, just hear us out! Though there aren’t as many UV rays present, there are still some - getting outside (even in the rain) can give you a bit of a mood boost by soaking up some UV rays and getting a change of scenery. 

  • Stay Productive 

Despite what our brains would have us believe, being productive is super effective in getting rid of your dark mood. It keeps you occupied and not thinking about the weather - plus, you get a serotonin boost from completing a task! 

  • Get a Sun Lamp

The most common (and most popular) way to stave off those seasonal scaries is through a sunlight simulator! But what do these light therapy lamps do exactly?

Light Therapy Benefits for Weather Depression

LED light lamps are lamps that mimic sunlight, giving you that much-needed dose of light. Daily exposure to bright light therapy can help reduce the effects of mental health disorders like seasonal depression by giving you a much needed dose of vitamin D. 

Which Light Therapy Lamp Should I Get? 

The good news is, you can get LED light therapy at home! For home use, I personally recommend this LAMPU LED light therapy lamp. This lamp uses 10,000 LUX brightness to give you the vitamin D and UV rays you need in order to avoid serious sadness. If you’d like to look at other lamps, we’ve got plenty - just check out our website!

How to Use a Light Therapy Lamp

The best way to shake that rainy day feeling is to pick a consistent time each day to use your lamp. That could be before work, sometime at night, whatever works best for you. Next, you’ll want to plug your lamp in, turn it on, and sit in front of it for about 30 minutes a day. Make sure the lamp is 16-24 inches from your face, and try not to look at it directly. 

Final Thoughts

Can the weather affect your mood? Yes. Can we do something about it? Yes!
Weather can get us all feeling meh from time to time - but if you find it’s affecting you more than you’d like, an LED light therapy lamp may be exactly what you need. If you want to know more, or are just a little curious, check out the Circadian Optics website!

Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor