Wet weather makes us unhappy
THE grey skies have people feeling blue.
The wettest December on record has carried right on into the New Year, and forecasts predict showers through to the weekend.
While the Tweed has on the whole has been lucky to escape serious flooding to date, the wet weather is having an impact on day-to-day routines.
This is enough to cause some minor emotional disturbance, says Living Well Psychology and Counselling clinical psychologist, Michael Grace.
“When it is really raining it stops our daily activities like exercise,” Mr Grace said.
“People can go stir-crazy being caught inside all the time.”
In the Northern Hemisphere where daylight is limited in winter months, people can be disposed to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
In darkness melatonin is released by the body in place of the feel-good hormone, serotonin.
Mr Grace said people in Australia were rarely affected by SAD, but prolonged periods of wet weather and consistent disruption to the daily routine could be enough to tip those who were pre-disposed to depression over the edge.
“If people are vulnerable to depression it can be the straw that breaks the camel's back,” he said.
Mr Grace said two of the biggest impacts wet weather could have on people were their eating and sleeping habits, with eating in particular increasing due to boredom. People often also slept more during ongoing grey or rainy weather.
“But if people feel that it is not just a passing issue, they should seek help from a doctor or psychologist,” he said.
Mr Grace said people should try to keep their normal routine.
“It's about keeping active; find a wet weather activity to keep busy. Wait for a window to get outside for a walk or just put a raincoat on and walk anyway.”
If you think you may be depressed or know someone who is phone Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.