Welfare blog - Warmer weather reminders

Published 20/07/2022

This is a lovely piece written by the Blurt Foundation, helping us to understand the difference between the world outside and how we feel inside and how the two don’t always match.
As the weather gets warmer and brighter, the mood of the air seems to change. It can feel lighter and less intense.

The noises we hear change, too. Rumbles of cars and beeps of bin lorries settle into background noise as the laughter and chatter of neighbours or kids playing nearby comes through.
This is all wonderful and lovely. But when our mood is iffy, our anxiety is buzz-buzz-buzzing away, or stressors are creating fug around our head, it’s hard to feel lighter or brighter. The difference between the world outside and how we feel inside can feel starker than ever.

It can be lonely

We know that reaching out for support can get harder. We might worry about ‘bringing others down’, and ‘bringing others down’ feels a lot more likely when everyone else seems decidedly ‘up’.

We deserve support

Feelings of isolation can intensify when we hear people socialising and laughing outside and we don’t feel able to do similar. At least in Winter, it can be easier to pretend that all that ‘stuff’ isn’t happening.

We are not alone

The concept of ‘wasting weather’ appears. Apparently, if we stay inside on a sunny day then we are ‘wasting’ it, even if we really don’t feel like going outside and we’re quite content in the blanket-fort we’ve built ourselves in the cool of our house.

We do not have to go outside

Anxiety can make temperature regulation difficult. Sometimes it causes us to feel hotter or sweatier, which is a bit of a nightmare when the weather is hot and sweaty.

We are allowed to stick to shade

If we have body image concerns, or worries about people making judgements based on how they perceive us, then wearing clothes like shorts, t-shirts or dresses without a jumper of cardigan might not feel doable. It can get so hot, and our brain can argue with itself for hours on end over whether or not to take our jumper off. It’s exhausting.

What we wear is up to us

Some of us usually find blankets to be a helpful coping tool. They help us to feel safe. Their weight keeps our nervous system relatively under control. Being without them leaves us feeling exposed, as though all the nerve endings in our skin start to tingle, ramping up those anxiety levels. But being wrapped in them causes us to become a sticky, melted puddle.

We can still use their textures to self-soothe

There are so many wonderful things about the warmer weather and it can do brilliant things for our mood for all sorts of reasons. But the sun coming out doesn’t mean that we have to feel amazing and everything is magically perfect. It doesn’t melt away every problem we’re facing (wouldn’t that be nice?!).

If you’re struggling with the warmer weather (for whatever reason), you’re not alone. You are still allowed to reach out for help. You are still allowed to be honest with loved ones about how you feel. You are allowed to stay inside if you want to. You are allowed to mute social media accounts that make you feel more isolated. You are allowed to use headphones if hearing others out and about is too much to cope with. You are allowed to tune into your needs and tune out society’s expectations.

Only we know how we feel. We are allowed to meet our own needs and to do what it is we need to do to get us through the icky-tricky-sticky times.
From our shady, under-a-blanket spot to yours, we promise you’re not alone.

Kim Fry
UKSA Welfare Officer