Weather VS. Mood


Thalia Gonzalez, Junior Editor

The snowy days and grey skies have finally fallen upon us. After our crazy weather changes lately, people’s moods seem to be switching everyday. Most people can easily pick up on their mood changes during certain times of the year. Just think about how in the summer people are usually filled with happiness, and in the winter most people are gloomy and seem to be a little off because of the cold.

When I think about my own mood and how it connects with the weather, I often think about daylight savings and I’m sure many others do to. Once it starts to get colder we set our clocks back an hour and it starts to get darker “earlier.” This often keeps people inside, instead of going out on Friday nights. People tend to stay in because, well, it’s cold and dark.

Surprisingly, this is not just a myth; there is actual science behind how the weather changes your mood. One way it does is when there is a lack of sunlight. This simple lighting change could make you “sad.” A lack of sunlight can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Although this disorder may sound a little ironic, it is real. This disorder usually affects people from October to April when there is less daylight. When your body is exposed to less sunlight, it produces more melatonin: a hormone which makes you sleepy. People have often tried to combat this issue by setting a timer for their lights to come on before they wake. This little hack is supposed to give your brain the illusion of sunlight.

Another noticeable mood change is when it is rainy. When it’s cloudy and wet outside people seem to be less active. The rainy and gloomy days make you feel a little more sluggish, but the lack of sunlight, plus the rain, can cause serotonin levels to drop. As these levels keep decreasing, carbohydrate levels increase and while eating carbs may make you feel better, it is a short-lived happiness. The solution for this is to reach for more starch filled vegetables. They are just as comforting and will help keep these serotonin levels up, unlike carbohydrates.  

Mr. Bailey, our Assistant Principal, talked with me about how he has noticed the weather changing his students’, or even teachers’ moods. “When it gets to winter time and the dark days students seem more down, I don’t think it impacts if kids act out, but I think it impacts their overall mood and behavior. They’re definitely more down and not as wild and rambunctious. When the weather warms up, then people get ‘crazier’ and sometimes make worse decisions. Sometimes it does have to do with the weather, but many times it just has to do with the end of the year. So at the end of the year, students and teachers get tired of school and then we start to see more problems happen.” So, as Mr. Bailey explains, it may not always be the weather, but also the time of year.

The weather can change many things, but often times, mood seems to be overlooked. So, maybe now when it is a gloomy day and your friend or family seems down, try and do some little things to bring them back up and make them a little happy.