PERSPECTIVES: BE WEATHER WISE

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“Snowmen fall from heaven… unassembled.” Author Unknown

“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, available from Partridge Publications during Q3 2015

Weather – part attitude, part nature. Handle it. Don’t let it handle you.

Weather and seasons have affected Life since the dawn of our planet and before our species built mud huts to shelter in. So, if you can handle the weather, you can handle almost anything.

Whilst cold and wet weather may intensely affect the mood of some people, bad weather often spells damage and danger. It may wipe out complete towns, impacting its victims physically, socially and financially – fracturing them mentally, emotionally as well as spiritually – through loss of life and livelihood. Ask those who live in Tornado Alley and places like the Philippines.

Good weather on the other hand serves a positive impact on our disposition and life in general. Warmer weather is more sympathetic to pains that come with advanced age and understandably many people have a preference to holiday or retire in more subdued and warmer climates.

Physical

Our brains are wired such that sunlight produces a natural anti-depressant which makes us feel good on bright and sunny summer’s days. Equally true, cold winter weather may affect our sleep and make some people more hesitant to get out of bed.

To counter that, my wife and I have developed a “rise and shine” method for winter mornings: We count to three and the one who gets up first pulls the blankets from the one who is still in bed. But of course only after we wake up slowly with some bright uplifting music.

Occasionally I have also watched sport being played in the rain – and my attitude is that if dripping-wet and cold players can entertain us out there, the least I could do was to applaud – snuggled under my umbrella – or perhaps even from the sanctity (and sanity) of my couch at home.

Social

Some people dance in the rain, others just get wet.

Temperature, sunlight, rain – they all work together to form our own personal climate.

A balmy night leaves us refreshed. Enough sunlight stores Vitamin D which helps to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Going to work and returning in sunshine peps us up for an upcoming weekend of fun.

On the other hand, chilly winters and too little sunlight causes Vitamin D deficiency. Going to work and coming home in the dark eventually takes its toll on body, mind and spirit. Rain will complicate our way to work, perhaps leave us uncomfortably wet. An already taxed immune system may succumb to a cold or worse still, flu that results in greater loss of energy – and less time to socialize (or work).

Mental

Catastrophic weather and other nature-borne events across the globe have shown that different societies display different psyches in times of crisis. Our attitude, and how we react to these events depends on us. And we will do well to put and keep ourselves in positive control of our attitude to weather in general.

Emotional

Individual characteristics play a part in our approach to weather – good, bad or indifferent. Emotionally strong and stable individuals can resist its influence on their emotions far better than others.

“SAD”, short for “seasonal affective disorder” – also known as winter depression – is normally related to the amount of sunlight we get in a day. The lesser sunlight we get the SAD-der we become. Again, our attitude is at the center of being able to handle it.

Intellectual

Climate change conjures up visions of a world engulfed in catastrophe for all life on the planet.

It powers political parties, producing documents that argue the pros and cons of remaining on our Arc of Development / Destruction. Some raise alarms of rising seas and consequential global hunger, whilst others point to earthly cycles outside the control of humankind.

Whichever camp you support, there is something to be said though about the impact of producing more than 60 million cars every year, most of which guzzle oxygen and produce carbon monoxide.

Spiritual

Spiritually we live through a season in more ways than one – and with it, all kinds of “weather”. For those of a religious persuasion a passage from the Bible describes a time and season for every purpose, which leans itself to several interpretations including what many believe to be a Call for World Peace.

For those who are less religiously but still spiritually inclined seasons also map to Life: Spring is a time for planting, for enjoying the budding beginnings of Life. As Spring becomes Summer there enters a time for growth and maturity in preparation of Life’s harvest. Autumn/Fall brings with it a time to harvest and store the fruits of the seasons that came before. The Winter of our Days brings with it a time to snuggle up to the warmth of memories, nourishing ourselves with meditation and mature relationships – in preparation for the Next Cycle.

KEY SUMMARY

  • Sunlight produces a natural feel-good anti-depressant. Winter makes some feeling depressed.
  • Temperature, sunlight and rain all work together to form your own personal climate.
  • “Some people dance in the rain, others just get wet” sums up the attitude to bad weather.
  • Emotionally strong individuals resist the influence of weather on their emotions better than others.
  • Climate change conjures up visions of a world engulfed in catastrophe for all living creatures.
  • Spiritually we live through a season in more ways than one – and with it, all kinds of “weather”.

ACTION STEPS

  • Remain in control of your attitude.
  • Look after yourself in winter and remain healthy. Payback? More time to socialize.
  • “Dance in the rain” and remain of positive attitude.
  • Get enough sun – don’t contract the SAD-ness of “seasonal affective disorder”.
  • Be a realist in terms of humankind’s effect on the global weather.
  • Prepare yourself for Life’s Seasons.

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