Did you know that every one in three people in the UK is affected by Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
If you’re not familiar with SAD, it’s a disorder where people’s moods can become seriously affected by the weather, often in the winter.
But, winter isn’t the only season that can influence your mood, so can summer and the in-between seasons like spring and Autumn.
Not just that, but there are also major holidays worldwide that are known to be tied in with the mood. Basically, more than just biological factors can influence your mood. The environment, weather and events can have a significant impact.
To know more about this, keep on reading.
How seasons affect mood
Have you ever noticed your mood declining or improving around certain weather? You’re not alone; the weather is known to have a monetary effect on your mood. It’s nothing new either; research dating back to 1983 shows that more people tend to be happier on sunnier days, whereas moods tend to be a bit low on rainy days. Another study in 2013 also found that people are more satisfied with their life on really sunny days.
Part of the reason behind this is that your body produces vitamin D when it’s in front of direct sunlight. If you’re not experiencing enough sunlight, your body might not produce enough of it and depend on it from food sources. Therefore if you’re not getting it enough through food, you may be experiencing mood swings. However, often mood changes around the seasons can be fleeting thoughts.
More about Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
SAD is a pretty big deal for many Brits and others. This disorder is a form of depression, and it happens to many people at the same time each year. Typically people start to feel more moody, sad and exhausted in the winter months. Then usually, their symptoms start to ease towards sunnier or warm weather like in the spring or summer. SAD rarely starts in the spring or summer. Other symptoms that are typically associated with SAD are the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling down or sad every day
- Problems with sleeping too much
- Feeling lethargic and sluggish
- Losing interest in the activities you enjoy doing
- Weight gain
- Low energy
If you feel any of these symptoms, you might be experiencing SAD. Therefore it might be best to see a doctor who will diagnose it for you. Often, those who have SAD are prescribed medications or undergo light therapy or psychotherapy.
How can occasions change mood?
Sometimes major events or holidays like Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and more can take a turn for the worst. While you might think they’re a time full of joy, they can also be a negative experience for others. There are multiple reasons why this can occur, such as the following:
Part of the reason for this is that certain occasions and events can be filled with extraordinarily high expectations, making them difficult to be met. Then when they’re not met, that person can significantly take an emotional toll on them. Sometimes, major holidays can worsen symptoms, making people feel depressed.
Alcohol and food
Often, people can become victims of overindulgence at special events or over holidays, especially in food and drink. Alcohol, in particular, can act as a depressant, causing people’s mental health to decline without realising.
Grief and loss
Sometimes if you’re dealing with trauma, grief, loss or even are lonely, it can be easy to look at your situation compared to others. Simply by looking at others, your feelings of sadness or loneliness might intensify, making the holidays a bad experience for you.
If you’ve got a holiday or an event coming up where you feel inclined to give gifts, that can be a stressful experience too. Simply taking time out and dipping into your savings to buy someone a present can greatly impact your mood. Also, you might be faced with the stress of balancing out your budget and keeping it on track.
Common mood changes in each season
Generally, each season isn’t known to trigger the same moods; it’s more about the sunlight levels and temperature associated with each season. Therefore based on the sunlight and temperature, you might experience the following mood changes:
Changes to energy levels
Your melatonin levels might increase in the winter, making you feel more sluggish and tired. Similarly, your brain depends on more serotonin to produce melatonin, decreasing your serotonin levels, making you feel less motivated and having less energy in the winter season.
When the weather tends to be hotter outside, your body requires fewer calories to maintain your body temperature. However, when it’s cold, your body requires more calories and starch like foods. In the summer, you generally eat cooler foods filled with water to keep you fresh. These foods are typically lighter, and often you feel better with less heavy foods.
Overall, there are multiple reasons why your mood can change from time to time. One of the biggest reasons may be your exposure to the sun and temperature. Many people suffer from symptoms of SAD and struggle in colder climates. If you feel that might be you, you might want to check out our range here to know more.