Those of you waking up in the UK like me may have experienced the same thought as you looked out of the window: more grey skies. Now rationally I know that yesterday the weather was beautiful. I know that we have been having very seasonal weather for this time of year (read April showers) and I know this is a good thing. However there is a part of me that, when I see those grey skies, just sinks a little. I might know that the weather isn’t a reason to feel down, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel it.
I know I’m not alone here. For many years I tried to not acknowledge that the weather had a direct impact on how I was feeling. It felt bit too “#firstworldproblems’ to complain that I was feeling a bit down simply because the sun wasn’t shining, and so I have often simply tried to ignore my feelings and carry on with the day. When you live in the UK, you’ve got to put up with very changeable weather, making the most of the sun when it appears, and pretty much always carrying a raincoat (just think of it as a chance to practice living in the moment!), but despite knowing of this, I can’t help put to sometimes wake up, and let that grey sky pull me down.
Let’s face it, blue sky and sunshine puts a spring in everyone’s step. The streets of Britain can be transformed with the appearance of a bit of sunshine and the slightest opportunity for one to discard their winter coat. It’s OK to feel a bit down when you see another grey sky at the end of what feels like another very long winter – it’s OK that I feel my heart sink just a little – but the trick is not letting that set the tone for my entire day.
Weather is weather. It reminds us we’re not really in control of much at all, but it also gives us the opportunity to learn to respond to our situations. If the skies outside are grey – like today – I simply pop open my little toolbox of resources. This is a toolbox I’ve been slowly building over the years. It contains hatha yoga for when I need to get into my body, lift the energy and feel strong, breathing and meditation practices like yoga nidra to help calm anxiety and find my sense of greater connection, journaling to keep me focused on the bigger picture, and sensory pleasure through eating delicious, nourishing food or booking in time to socialise, have a massage, or anything else I consider a luxury.
What’s in your toolbox? What do you have that can help you pick up your mood, embrace another day on this earth (even if it is a grey one) and take care of yourself if you’re feeling down for any reason, grey skies or not. It doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, make sure it definitely isn’t complicated. Whether it’s looking at that picture your six-year-old drew you at school last week, really savouring your cup of tea, or buying yourself flowers, it’s not really that hard to make ourselves feel a little bit happier.
Shrug off the grey sky, know that in 3 hours it could be completely different, and do something now to shake off the blues. After all, today is a new day. What are you going to do with it?