Periodically, I’ve delved into research about whether the weather affects people’s health. Some arthritis sufferers, for example, insist that their condition worsens as rain approaches, and some who suffer from depression often report that their mood is darker when the skies are also cloudy. One theory for which there is some credible work is that the change in barometric pressure may cause some to feel their aches and pains more acutely. Other research seems inconclusive, although there is a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is known to cause mood changes, especially during the darker, drearier days of winter.
As a lupus patient who cannot spend a great deal of time outdoors during the day, and thus does not “soak up the vitamin A” like other people do, I can empathize with people who feel a bit at the whim of the weather or, at least, at the whim of a sun-dappled day. But I also think that much of our reaction to the weather outside is due to our perceptions within. A sunny, beautiful day begs for us to go outside and play, whereas the steady beat of rain and howl of wind reminds us all too well of our mere mortality – God’s nature getting the better of our outdoor aspirations.
I’m certainly not downplaying the very real affects of SAD, nor do I think that other symptoms thought to arise because of weather phenomena are “all in one’s head.” But I also think that how we allow ourselves to regard nature can to some extent be tempered and, thus, we need not curl up into a proverbial ball when a storm looms on the horizon.
One of the ways that I try to turn a day-made-“bad”-by-rain around is to marvel at the natural event itself and think of all the good it does. Nurturing dry land. Washing the landscape (or cityscape) clean. Bringing variety to an otherwise unbroken string of moderate weather (a really great thing in California!).
Another way to greet a stormy day with optimism is to have other plans at the ready. Raining on your parade? Picnic indoors. Can’t exercise because you can’t get out? Pop in an exercise video and go to it! Feeling achy because it’s cold/windy/ugly outside? Allow yourself the luxury of an at-home spa day and relax!
Bad weather need not limit us, it just might make us change our plans a little. After all, we know the clouds do lift, and better days come. And in the meantime, we can admire God’s imagination and handiwork drop by drop and cloud by cloud.
Blessings for the day,