Mood Can Be Affected By Weather

July 10, 2012 Amie Merz, LPC, NCC

To Every Mood, There is a Season

Have you ever noticed a pattern to your moods? Do they follow the full moon? Or the rain? Do you get the winter blues or feel more hyper in the summer? Many people do see a cycle with the calendar and the weather. My third grade teacher said kids are more wound up when it’s rainy because there are more ions in the air. I don’t know if this is true, or if it had something to do with inside recess, but something indicated a change in behavior. And when things seem weird around us, how many times do you hear, "must be the full moon"?

Not Just Winter Blues

Mood Can Be Affected By WeatherSeasonal Affective Disorder is widely accepted as a winter absence-of-sunlight-and-vitamin-D issue, and experienced commonly. But what isn’t as well known is the incidence of increased mania in the summer. And anger, rage and violence often accompany days of intense heat. People get uncomfortable and have a harder time controlling their moods. Another common cycle is substance abuse relapse at season changes, like a new year, or summer starting, or summer ending. One client once told me he relapsed every January because his vacation time at work started over. I also think some relapses occur at season change because people have difficulties with change and transition.

Time Change, Sleep Change, Mood Change

Daylight Savings is the American tradition of changing the clock forward an hour in the Spring and back an hour in the Fall. This was created to allow more sunlight for farmers to harvest their crops. What was not anticipated was how changing the clock an hour would mess with sleep cycles and how sleep cycle disruption can shift moods. If you have successfully created a consistent schedule for your children, this can really throw them for a loop. It can take weeks to get back on track and feel normal again. When the tsunami hit in India, it was stated that the disturbance shifted the Earth on its axis a tiny amount which changed time by a millisecond. While this could be an urban legend, the idea that changing the planet can change our bodies and our moods is definitely feasible, regardless of whether this is due to additives in foods, pollution, or a full moon affecting the water balance in our bodies.

Everyone is different with regards to what affects them and how. Paying attention and knowing your own patterns can help with relapse prevention and for you to be proactive in your own mental health treatment and stability. Keeping a mood journal for a year could offer insight into what internal and external triggers to watch for and help you to be in charge of you instead of the world around you running the show.

APA Reference
Merz, A. (2012, July 10). Mood Can Be Affected By Weather, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 25 from

Author: Amie Merz, LPC, NCC

Leave a reply