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Seasons: Mood Swings or Mood Sings?

We've entered August, and summer is still very much here, as Columbia reminds us of its prolonged heat and humidity. However, there is something about waking up to sunshine, birds chirping, and warm air that puts many of us in a better mood. Sunlight is vital to our health and happiness, and the benefits are significant when you use it correctly. For instance, when you get sunlight, your body produces vitamin D from cholesterol, which helps your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is essential for our bone health. Fall and winter bring cooler nights and darker mornings. Along with the temperature and light changes, many people also deal with back-to-school changes for themselves or their children. Finally, there are changes in schedules, routines, expectations, and even relationships.

Though many consider spring a time of new beginnings, fall is that for many. Fall is a reflection time of summer, as well as a time of preparation for the winter and upcoming holidays. As we slowly enter the harvest season, consider the physical, emotional, and relational ways you may be affected by this transition.

But why do we notice such a shift in our feelings and emotions when the seasons start to change? While some science concludes that there is a link between weather and mood, not every study agrees on which season affects it the most and how. One study found that warmer months impact your overall happiness and well-being. At the same time, another showed that high humidity lowered concentration and increased sleepiness, which many people in this city can likely relate. Another study explained that when daylight saving time ends in late fall, the mood seems to decrease the most with the temperature drop, and people tend to feel more tired and sluggish. Simultaneously, another says fall is the season for cozy, delicious, wisdom-inducing rediscovery and warm apple pie.

It's clear that weather affects your mood, but mood itself is very complex, and many factors affect and contribute to it. It's easy to become attached and comfortable with the conditions you enjoy, but the world is constantly changing, and acceptance is key to finding balance and stability. Your body is strong enough to adapt to changes in the conditions surrounding you. Practicing yoga as the seasons change will help you find your center and establish peace of mind when it feels like time is slipping too quickly through your fingertips. It can make the process easier to let go of any resistance or aversion you may have so you can stay rooted and content through the changes.

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