Do you remember that song by Supertramp?
It’s raining again
Oh no, my love’s at an end.
Oh no, It’s raining again
And, you know, it’s hard to pretend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Too bad I’m losing a friend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Will my heart ever mend?
Well, it’s raining here, and it seems like it’s been raining for ever, although it’s only been for the month of July. June was dry, July – not so much. While the rest of Europe has been baking in unprecedented temperatures the UK has seen day after day of grey skies and drizzle.
Thinking about it, there seem to be many songs referring to the weather in terms of emotions. Songs about how it’s “Raining in my Heart” and it “Might as Well Rain until September.” On the other hand, we have cheerful songs about better weather: think of the Beatle’s “Here Comes the Sun.” One of my all-time favourites is “Mr Blue Sky” by ELO. Songs about sunshine are happy songs.
Does the weather affect your mood? When you look out at grey skies do you find you mood matches that grey? Does your mood shift positively when the sun comes out?
If you are one of those people, are you also subject to Seasonal Affective Disorder, finding winter, with its shorter days and lack of light, more difficult?
Some people find they are affected by light and weather and for some of us it is irrelevant. Last year, the depressive part of my bipolar cycle coincided with the heatwave – and I was huddled on the sofa, under a blanket, shivering. My brain told me it was hot and sunny, but my mind overrode that information, so I was cold and clammy. Mentally speaking, I’m well right now and I’ve just been out for a walk in that blustery rain, celebrating the fact that I’m – at least temporarily – physically well enough to be able to walk after being chained to the sofa for so long. The endorphins released through battling the elements give a wonderful feeling – especially when the afterglow is accompanied by a nice hot cup of tea.
Whether the weather affects our mood is a question worth pondering. After long consideration, one of my friends took the rather drastic approach of moving out to Tenerife, where the weather is consistently sunny. It has done her the world of good but is perhaps not practicable for the rest of us.
If you discover the weather does have a noticeable effect on your mood, then paying attention to the weather forecasts and planning your activities accordingly might be the way to go. After all, it may be July, but there’s no rule to say you can’t go into hibernation until the sun comes out again!