Do you/your child change moods with the change in season? Does selective mutism get worse at certain times of the year as the weather changes? Let’s talk about how the weather affects certain conditions, including selective mutism.
Imagine the rain pouring down outside and the darkness surrounds you. How do you feel? It’s common to feel:
But why do we take on some of these feelings when it rains? Well, it’s not actually the rain that is getting you down, it’s the darkness (and the dropping of the barometric pressure causing increased pressure in your joints, which can cause the achiness, especially if you have arthritis).
If you’re already prone to mood issues, emotional disorders, or anxiety, the darkness can have a larger effect on your serotonin levels causing a negative mood. For someone with selective mutism, this can increase their anxiety and make them less open to change. They would be less likely to feel brave enough to communicate with others.
But do we have to wait on the rain to stop or the season to change before tackling anxiety? No, that would take too long. Instead, boost the serotonin levels by adding light to your environment. Turn on the house lights or if it’s not raining too hard, go outside. It may look dark and dreary out there, but you’ll still get some UV rays exposure which will improve your mood.
Other ways for increasing the attitude and feeling better when the weather is working against you:
- Engage in a craft you enjoy
- Read a book
- Watch an uplifting movie
- Play a game
- Spend time with a pet
- Exercise (this increases endorphins which help lift your mood)
So, no matter if it’s the rainy season or the dead of winter, you can take steps to improve your or your child’s mood, which will have a positive effect on selective mutism and/or general anxiety.