What effect do weather and planetary movement have on us?
Twice every year, the equinox happens. Around the 20th of March and the 23rd of September, the centre of our visible sun is directly above the equator. Slightly more scientifically, it’s when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes through the geometric centre of the sun’s disk. This is also the two times a year when the day is equal in length to the night. We’ve recently been through the autumnal equinox, the biggest difference you’ll have noticed if you don’t follow these days is the seasonal change and how it’s affected our environment. But, it’s likely you’ve also felt something change within yourself and if you don’t follow these planetary moments it can be quite difficult to pinpoint why you feel different, from a change of mood to increased energy. So what effect do the weather and planetary movement have on us?
Solstices and equinoxes
As briefly mentioned above we’ve recently had the autumnal equinox. These days of the year are balanced by two solstices. A summer solstice around June 20th and a winter solstice around December 21st. The summer solstice marking the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. It’s opposite, the winter solstice being the shortest day and marking the beginning of winter. These days are significant as they mark the changing of the seasons. Simply, because the earth is tilted on its axis, at different times of year certain places receive more sun than others and these four days mark these significant changes. Solstices are when the sun is at its farthest point north or south from the equator in comparison to equinoxes when the sun is closest to the equator.
Solstices and equinoxes are very significant when we think about the weather. They mark each seasonal change and therefore are involved in sometimes quite dramatic shifts in our climate.
‘Scientists have known that humans and other mammals have an internal clock that governs our sleep-wake cycles, among other daily functions. Light provides us with nonvisual cues that influence things like our pupil dilation, alertness, melatonin levels, and heart rate modulation, according to Provencio.’
The reduction in daylight plays a massive part in our well-being. Lack of daylight can make us have lower moods and disrupt our internal body clocks. We can begin to struggle with waking up because of the darkness in the mornings, but one of the common autumn wellbeing complaints is an increase in anxiety and stress. Some experts believe this is to do with a desire to achieve a certain amount of things during the summer months that don’t get completed, a new school year beginning or the reminder that the Christmas season will shortly follow. However, one of the positives during the season is many recognising an increased appetite for productivity. Many people find a sudden energetic movement towards being productive and getting things done. So if you’re wondering why all of a sudden you’re being more productive or you want to harness something this season, try looking at how much you can accomplish.
‘Seasonal affective disorder occurs in 0.5 to 3 percent of individuals in the general population.’
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that happens during seasonal change. It becomes most prevalent when the days are shorter, we have less light and we spend more time indoors. People suffering from SAD often experience low moods, unwillingness to want to participate in day to day tasks, irritability, low energy and wanting to sleep more amongst other symptoms. Winter’s rain, cold and harsh weather makes some of us want to stay at home all wrapped up and cosy but for others can be a very taxing time.
“People may feel more energy or a renewed sense of self in the spring,” McCord said. “They may become inspired to do some spring cleaning or start to eat healthy. Do not be afraid to take advantage of these feelings.”
SAD doesn’t just happen during the winter and some sufferers experience these symptoms within the opposite months. Spring fever occurs when someone experiences these low feelings in this season. However, a lot of people feel a sense of renewing and positiveness as the sun begins to warm up this part of the world. It’s important to make the most of this excitement and advance all the things you could ever possibly want to!
‘The warmth, relaxation and the flexibility that summer brings can be an exciting time for filled with vacations and sunshine. But for some, summer months can have the potential to trigger feelings of being overwhelmed and losing control.’
Summer isn’t the season to relax with your mental wellbeing routines. There’s a sense of uplift and enjoyment for life, a potential holiday on the horizon but ultimately the feeling of wanting to relax. The sun brings us joy and some well needed Vitamin D! It’s time to enjoy ourselves but whilst maintaining a happy and healthy mind too.
Creating your own wellbeing routine can help provide you with a well needed moment of grounding as the world moves through its seasons. The repetitive nature of spending time on yourself each day from a few minutes to a few hours ensure that no matter where we are in the planet’s movements, you can feel a sense of peace and a desire to continue each day with a positive mindset, no matter how long it takes for the sun to come out.
To make things easier when beginning or wanting to have a bit of change in your wellbeing routine, we’ve put together the perfect package to reach all your senses and make you feel grounded and peaceful: Self Care Bundle. For a quick fix, check out our Calm Collection and if you’re struggling for sleep or time to look after yourself why not try Night Time Ritual Kit. You can also find the answers to all your self-care routine questions here: Self Care: What are the best things to include in a routine? But we recommend having a look through our Journal for more ideas!