The weather is a common trigger for people with mental health difficulties. For some, summer can be really tough as it means wearing short sleeves, or overheating in long ones; it means more social activities, and longer days.
For some, winter is really tough. I know my mental health is worse in winter; I feel trapped by the snow, the cold makes my scars hurt, the days are too short, and a lot of people are also low in winter and that negative energy can feel suffocating.
But the weather is something that we can’t change, so how can we cope? Here in London, UK we’ve been struck with significant snow. Instead of panicking, I’m going to wear my comfiest clothes, drink a hot chocolate, and spend time at my desk where I get daylight without seeing the snow. If I need to go outdoors, I’ll have music with me, or call a friend as I walk. One good thing about the cold is it makes me more mindful of my breathing too.
For those of you in Australia or elsewhere where it’s summer, using elasticated bandage to cover scars and if anyone asks, you can say it’s a muscle sprain. But honestly, I’d say it’s ok to not cover your scars, they are nothing to be ashamed of. People may stare, they may ask questions so role-playing this with a friend can help but remember it comes from a place of ignorance most times. Know your limits when it comes to social situations, sometimes when we’re well there’s a tendency to over-commit ourselves and then feel obligated to attend every activity; know that it’s ok to say “no”.
Does the weather affect your mental health? How do you cope?