How The Weather Can Affect Your Anxiety & Depression #mentalhealth

So, I haven’t been online in the past week and a bit. I caught a nasty bug, coughing hard and congested. We also moved. We downsized from a 3 bedroom 1500 square foot townhouse to a small 900 square foot 2 bedroom apartment. And although I’m extremely happy about the move. I really am. BC got hit with a storm front with us in the Valley getting hit the hardest with 48 cm in less than 72 hours of snowfall, and it’s still falling. 

I love the snow. It’s beautiful. I love it especially at Christmas. Not during Valentines. And although city workers are trying hard to keep the streets clear. The kids have been off school, and several times we have tried going out, we cannot even get our car out of the parking spot because there is so much snow crammed up against our vehicle. All this snow has me feeling utterly depressed and anxious. 

The weather is something that always affects my anxiety and depression, but this time it was really bad. I looked outside and saw blankets of snow above the grass almost reaching my balcony and felt suddenly trapped and isolated. 

The doom and gloom feeling is something not nice to cope with. Neither is the sudden onslaught of feeling loneliness and sad because the weather is cold, damp, bleak and creating a mixture of mood swings that come along with each shift of wind.

So how can you cope when the weather is getting you down? 

For me, the first thing is to let the light shine down on me even when there is no light. I literally force myself to get outside and take a walk. Even if it’s dark outside, the chilling air and whip of wind feels great on my face and takes me from beyond peeking out through the curtain, and into the big bad outdoor world where the hustle and bustle of people are all around. 

The next thing you can do to help your weather-induced anxiety is to exercise. Exercising is a great way to alleviate and lower stress, which is often a key factor in bringing on anxiety and depression. Exercise raises serotonin levels which is another way to help combat anxiety, providing you with more energy in the long run. 

With the bad weather came ‘Snow Days’ which meant being cooped up in the house with the kids. This so didn’t improve my mood at all. The kids became grouchy, and I continued to suffer with the empty feelings plaguing me.

So what did I do?

I left the house. I left the kids at home because they are old enough to do so, and I went to visit my parents and a few friends. Getting out and surrounding yourself with people may not be something you want to do, but it’s sometimes something you need to do in order to pull yourself out of the depressive funk the weather can put you in.

Bad winter weather can lead to spending too much time alone, cabin fever, or being with the same group for too long. Getting out and expanding your horizons, even if just a quick coffee date with a friend can do wonders for your mood. 

Do you ever suffer from seasonal or weather-induced anxiety or depression? What are some of the things you do to cope with it? Share them below so others can benefit your advice. Thanks for reading! 

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