Feeling SAD Over the Rain

Thankfully the forecast is looking brighter this week after what feels like a month of nonstop rain. I like the rain and the staycation that it temporarily forces upon us when sports or other activities get canceled or even running errands gets postponed to avoid getting wet, but I’m always naive as to how I feel after day after day of rain. I accomplished a lot today with a noticeable upswing in my energy level, which was when I made notice of the sun. It’s no coincidence that I regained some pep once the rain subsided and the sun returned. It gave me the perspective to look back over the the past week and notice how sluggish I’d felt, which made me behind on everything, and how little I seemed to care.

Last week our backyard turned into a swimming pool, with our retaining wall looking like a water feature as runoff poured out from any opening, and a small waterfall formed on our hillside. “Did you have any mudslides?” someone asked me today with the peppy tone one would use to ask a three year old about a cupcake. No, thank you, we did not, and I would not be stopping to chit chat if our hillside had come barreling into our family room, which happens to be the preeminent thing on my mind during prolonged heavy rains.

With my mood uplifted after one day of sunshine, I looked into the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and I think I experienced almost every one of them:

Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration

Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more typical of other forms of depression)

Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness (problems sleeping are more typical of other forms of depression)

Lack of energy and loss of interest in work or other activities

Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement

Social withdrawal

Unhappiness and irritability

My sleepiness can be partially blamed on the time change and how much I hate waking up when it’s dark, and I didn’t have any social withdrawal, but the rest pretty much sum up my last week. I started to hate coffee, which was a sign things were really getting bad. Sometimes it was hard to tell if it was the weather getting me down or the kids. My kids only seemed to get wound up by the rain, turning into caged animals keen on destroying the house (even though we let them play outside in the mud) while shouting as loud as they could, which increased my irritability dramatically. To be honest, there was some social withdrawal in my week because I tried to hide in my bedroom until the kids’ bedtime as often as I could. They broke a foosball table this week, I didn’t want to wait to see what they had planned for me.

Luckily rain storms don’t usually last all that long here, but just as the weather hits its highs this week (mid-70s on Thursday), I’m headed to Seattle. Guess what the forecast predicts? Rain. Bah!

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