Wet washes in the blues

Finlay Winfield, aged 9 of Fernleigh peers outside of a window at The Eltham Primary School with the wet weather blues.
Finlay Winfield, aged 9 of Fernleigh peers outside of a window at The Eltham Primary School with the wet weather blues. Patrick Gorbunovs

IF YOU'VE been feeling a bit miserable due to all the rain we've seen lately, you're not alone.

 

Constant rain and lack of sunlight has been known to bring on symptoms of depression, with the winter blues known formally as seasonal affective disorder.

But what about when it's not winter, but simply miserable weather?

Professor Brett McDermott, psychiatrist and director of BeyondBlue, said it was possible to catch the rainy-day blues.

"The formal diagnosis is something called seasonal affective disorder, but it's never been found to happen outside of winter," Prof McDermott said.

"However there is no doubt that some people do get despondent and begin feeling a sort of hopelessness and a stress that goes on and on and on.

"But if it gets to that, you're probably more at risk of depression.

"These things can be a little bit infectious, so not becoming pessimistic and sad is good for other people as well.

"These things can rub on other people."

And in the spirit of pessimism, it might be a good time to point out that while it feels like it has been raining for the entirety of 2013, that's not quite the case, said a climatologist from the Bureau of Meteorology, Acacia Pepler.

Out of the 63 days of 2013 we've had so far, 40 of these have had recorded rainfall.

While it's easy to forget, Ms Pepler said we actually did have some sunshine filled days at the beginning of January.

In total, 14 days of January recorded rainfall.

February was a bit wetter, she said. In fact, it was Lismore's wettest February since 1999.

Twenty-three of the 28 days of February were burdened by rain, and so far this month we've had three out of four days of recorded rainfall.

Nine-year-old Finlay Winfield, of Fernleigh, admitted he hasn't been enjoying the recent wet weather.

He said it best when he explained he didn't like the constant rain because: "You can get flooded in and you run out of food because you can't go out shopping, and houses get flooded and destroyed and their stuff gets destroyed."

 

Combat the rainy-day blues:

  • Keeping up social connectivity.
  • Trying to remain optimistic and centred - remember that the rain won't last forever.
  • Getting as much light as possible. If no sunlight is around, try light-coloured fabrics, rugs and walls in your home.
  • Trying to keep a balanced diet - avoid reaching for comfort foods and junk.
  • Moving more - try to get some exercise, even if it's a yoga DVD in the lounge room.
  • If all else fails, take a holiday to a sunnier climate.


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