Don’t Let the Weather Get You Down
Winter is coming, and with that comes a change in the weather.
Here in Ireland that weather usually means rain, and cold, and darkness. We say goodbye to the worryingly hot summer, and we welcome the leaves falling from trees like snowflakes, and we layer up for the cold weeks ahead.
None of this is objectively negative, mind you, but we as a people tend to frame the rain and the cold and the dark negatively. And that’s quite surprising given we’re a people who live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. You’d expect us to have come to terms with the weather, but we seem shocked every year when the rainy season comes back.
And I’m by no means excluded from this. For years I allowed the rain to compound my negative emotions. Pathetic fallacy rained supreme, and soon enough I conditioned myself to link rainfall to sadness. It took me a long time to even question this. To question why I framed the rain negatively, or the long nights resentfully.
Of course there is a physical component. We need Vitamin D from the sun and in winter we don’t get it. So supplementing that is key for our health, both physical and mental. But for the most part, our tendency is frame certain weather negatively, and then allowing this weather to affect our moods and emotional wellbeing is conditioned and chosen. We choose to see certain weather-types negatively and then we react accordingly.
But have you ever asked yourself what is so negative about the rain or the cold or the dark?
These things are necessary – quintessential even – to life on Earth. And so to react to them with a sense of dread of foreboding would be akin to hating the sun, or despising clouds. It wouldn’t make much sense, but we do it anyway.
We cannot control a lot in the life, but we do have the ability to control our mindsets. We choose how to view the world. By doing this, we do our mental wellbeing a disservice by framing certain weather-types negatively, especially given this is a choice. Cold weather brings with it the pleasures of cosy fires, and warm drinks, and heavy winter coats. Darkness brings the opportunity to see the stars for longer (When was the last time you looked at those?)
My point is, the weather doesn’t have to affect your mental health. It’s entirely up to you. Whether you choose to let it affect you or not, you’ll get your way in the end.
If you’re reading this and you’re in Ireland, then the harsh reality is that it will rain a lot and it will be dark and it will get cold. It would serve you well to embrace the positives that come with this, rather than seeing only the negatives.
The world isn’t going to change. The rain will come either way. So it’s on you to decide how you will let it affect you.