Monsoon mood swings: Here’s why you get rainy day blues

The rains can often result in your feeling low. The lack of sunlight with a host of other facts can cause monsoon mood swings
Sad girl in the rain
The monsoon can often make you feel gloomy and sad. This may be because of less sun light. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 9 Jul 2024, 01:15 pm IST
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Be it the lack of sunlight, the disruption of daily activities due to the rain or the constant humidity, monsoon can often be a gloomy time for many of us. If you are someone who has been experiencing low moods and lethargy during the rains, it isn’t just your imagination! The shift in weather can lead to monsoon mood swings, especially in people with a history of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, people are more prone to reporting symptoms of depression when the weather is cloudy or rainy. However, while the rain can lead to a monsoon mood, it is unlikely actually to cause depression. Read on to understand the reason behind your monsoon mood swings, and how to feel better.

What are monsoon mood swings?

Sunlight gives us energy and activates us to get up and do our daily activities. Usually with prolonged rains are circadian rhythm which is activated by the sunlight and also our internal hormone, melatonin. This gets disturbed which leads to changes in the mood, which can also be categorised as mood swings, explains psychologist Rashi Agarwal.

Monsoon can also lead to seasonal depression, that is when a person showcases depression symptoms during some parts of the year, mostly on cold and wet days. A study published by the University of Groningen states that less sunlight and a dip in serotonin levels can result in depression symptoms or mood swings. However, you don’t need to be seasonally depressed to have the rains impact your mood. The rains can often make you feel demotivated, or low on energy as well.

What causes monsoon mood swings?

The rain alone is not responsible for dipping your mood, but the conditions caused by the rains can make you fall. Read on to know why we feel sad during the rain:

1. Less sunlight

While the rain may offer relief from the scorching sun, this can also be an answer to “why do I feel low during the rains?”. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that sunlight is essential to regulate serotonin levels. This is converted to melatonin when we sleep. However, cloudy days often block the rays of the sun, and this can disrupt serotonin levels. You might not be able to sleep well also, and this may affect your mood.

2. Vitamin D deficiency

Sunlight and vitamin D are very crucial in our day-to-day life activities. Rain can hamper the intake of sunlight, and this can also lead to a deficiency of vitamin D, due to prolonged staying indoors. Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, states this study, published in Springer Nature.

3. Less physical activities

While sitting on your couch, watching the rain fall sounds very relaxing, the boredom can get to you as well. A study published in Transitional Psychiatry suggests that sedentary behaviour can increase the risk of depression. Not only is it tough to work outdoors in the rain, but it seems to make you lazier indoors as well.

A girl looking at the rain
Less physical activity can also cause monsoon mood swings. Image courtesy: Freepik

4. Isolation

A lot of daily life activities are disturbed in the monsoons like going around and socialising, which leads to people being locked up in the houses and unable to meet their near and dear ones also leading to low mood.

5. Other reasons

Some people might also have associated negative experiences with rainfall like in many areas with past experiences of waterlogging, floods, and water entering the house. “This can often lead to more stress, and eventually overthinking and negative thinking, leading to depression,” explains Agarwal. A lot of people have a fear of lightning and thunderstorms again, which could be primary or could be associated with negative past experiences, which further precipitates this fear and uneasiness during this season.

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What is monsoon depression?

Are you wondering if your case of monsoon mood swings is the same as monsoon depression? Monsoon depression is not a formal term. It is somewhat related to the mood swings, and the general feeling of no excitement or wanting to stay indoors or just feeling lazy or lethargic during this time. While this condition is not clinically recognised, the symptoms mirror those of depression. “It is experienced a lot by people that suddenly the gloomy weather makes them feel sad and they are not able to carry out the activities which they had previously planned. They are not able to do things that give them happiness, and not able to sleep well in some cases too,” says Agarwal. Not being able to plan the day, not eating well, and even overall, feeling irritated or even sometimes sad, crying; these are the symptoms of monsoon depression if they last for more than two weeks.

It is important to note that people with a history of depression in themselves in the past family, history of depression are more prone to develop a new episode during this monsoon.

How to get rid of monsoon mood swings?

There are a few ways that you can feel better during the rain:

1. Physical activity

A lot of good physical activity should do the trick! Every day, try and devote 15 to 20 minutes of your time to a workout. This will make you happier. A study published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, suggests that exercise is mood-boosting and can be used as a treatment for depression as well.

2. Good sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is essential for your happiness. Make sure to stick to a sleep schedule, and try to step out when it’s sunny to get enough vitamin D. This can keep you in a better mood too. Sleep deprivation can impact mood, states this study, published by the National Institutes of Health.

A gir getting wet in the rain
Stepping out as much as you can, meeting people will help you overcome your monsoon mood swings. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Connecting with others

It is a good idea to meet up with people who are close to you during this time. If meeting is not possible, connecting with your family and friends over phone calls or video chat can also boost your mood and make you feel better.

4. Light therapy

There are a lot of sources of light that emit similar wavelengths to what the sun provides. Hence, a lot of people are also prescribed the sun lambs. A study, published in The Einstein Quarterly Journal of Biology and Medicine, suggests Bright Light Therapy as a treatment of seasonal depression.

Other things such as making a journal, having a proper schedule and following a hoppy can also help you feel better.

Summary

The rains can often make you feel sad and lonely. Monsoon mood swings are common and can be treated. Sticking to a schedule, whether it is sunny or gloomy outside, waking up at a particular time, doing our daily household chores, engaging in physical activities, eating a well-balanced diet and having a very good sleep can help you feel better.

 

 

 

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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