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Calendar >  Healthy Community Healthy You – Weather & Mood – Behaviors based on climate

Healthy Community Healthy You – Weather & Mood – Behaviors based on climate

By   /  January 28, 2024  /  No Comments

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough – -We all know that temperature can affect our mood. Everyone has weather preferences, and our behaviors can change with the seasons. Different times of year entail different life occasions such as holidays and events. Various weather patterns bring certain illnesses like flu and colds. There may be times when you travel based on weather or become slower or busier at work. We feel differently at different times in the year, and that’s just how we adapt to our surroundings. It’s not abnormal and it’s not a psychological diagnosis to be concerned about. However, being aware of our moods based on our environments is surely a good practice to support healthy relationships, healthy physical status, and mental health.

In the winter, many people get the “blues”. This is sometimes called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which about 5% of people experience. A person might be overall negative in their demeanor, have less energy, might sleep more, and might even eat more. Sleep and appetite changes are common. This is mainly caused by less exposure to the sun during the winter. People stay inside when it is cold, so the natural source of Vitamin D is lessened. The winter can mean less social activity for some as they prefer not to go out in the evenings when it gets darker earlier. For others, this is the time of holiday parties. It can also mean hosting guests/family and/or traveling to see others. Workwise, it can be associated with end-of-the-year deadlines to meet. Stress during the winter is rampant. For others, they have about two weeks off work between Christmas and New Years. Shopping can become a hassle with more people getting food for cooking and more people looking for gifts. People are more generous and giving during
winter.

On the other hand, when it is hot outside, people can become more irritable. More aggressive behaviors come out. This is more like honking the horn in the car because you’re hot and annoyed that traffic isn’t moving, and the sun is beating down on you in the car. Summer is often associated with peak sexual activity. Some studies say women are more likely to ovulate when the days are longer with more sunlight. It has been said that people lose more focus during the summer and do more “playing” rather than staying grounded with responsibilities. Kids and adults are on break from school, so there’s less structure and more free time. People travel more and relax during summer, not with the pressure of holidays and work events, but by going places they really want to see and experience.

Every person is different when it comes to behaviors around the year. It isn’t easy to always be happy and no one wants to be sad all the time. Maybe the people in California have it best, having a steadier 70 degrees all year round. That’s a study to look into. Being bundled up in blankets or in our swimsuits would influence our choices and actions. Seasons come and go as do our moods. We do need to be self-aware and notice our highs and lows in life to be better all- around in how we go about this thing called “life”.

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