How Weather Affects Processing & Organizing

Updated: Jun 30, 2019

Black & white image on rainy day in Paris, France
Photo Courtesy of Lola Guti on Unsplash

I’m going to make a HUGE confession to you. I’ve let my organizing skills lapse in one part of my home. I’ve completely let it go due to the ups and downs of the weather. I’m not a cold weather fan at all and, truth be told, the cold weather can really affect me; physically, mentally and emotionally. The swing in the weather from warm and sunny to cold and rainy to dreary and foggy have affected this area and, thank goodness, I don’t have to see it every day! Read more to find out where...

Look around your home. For the last few weeks, have you experienced a shift in your ability to put things away including laundry, groceries or household items? Have you picked up your mail from the mailbox and immediately place it on your kitchen counter where, days or weeks later, it is still unopened? Are there things on your honey-do list or to-do list that should have been checked off by now? Do you come home from work or errands and feel exhausted or drained of energy?

The following information is taken from the article 6 Scientific Ways Weather Affects Your Mood, So You Can Adapt Your Mind And Body Through The Changing Seasons by Marion Bernstein posted on

1. A Lack Of Sunlight Can Make You Sad

When exposed to less sunlight, your body produces more melatonin, the hormone which makes you feel sleepy. And just as your body begins craving mid-day naps, your brain begins producing lower levels of serotonin — the neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite, sleep, and sexual desire.

2. Cold Temperatures Can Lead To Physical Lethargy

Cold temperatures reduce sensory feedback, dexterity, muscle strength, blood flow, and balance, which can impact your performance of complex physical tasks.

3. Sunlight Makes You Spend More Money

Sunshine makes us feel more positive, consequently, it also causes us to shop more. Consider this finding your silver lining to less sunlight — the shorter days can lead to increased savings.

4. Rain Can Cause You To Eat More

The lack of sunlight associated with rainy days can cause serotonin levels to dip, and as serotonin levels decrease, carbohydrate cravings increase. According to Judith Wurtman, former scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet, eating carbohydrates helps depressed individuals feel better because the carbs spark an immediate serotonin increase.

5. Rain Can Cause Pain

As atmospheric pressure decreases, clouds and rain become much more likely. This reduction in atmospheric pressure allows bodily fluids to move from blood vessels to tissues, causing pressure on the nerves and joints, which leads to increased pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

6. Being Outside Can Improve Your Memory, And Boost Creativity

Researchers from a 2004 University of Michigan study found that people who spent at least 30 minutes outside during periods of pleasant weather reported improved mood, memory, and openness to new information and creative thoughts.

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From Does Weather Affect Your Mood? by Therese J. Borchard on

Weather and the Highly Sensitive Person

Weather is going to affect you more if you are a highly-sensitive person, as defined by Elaine Aron, PhD, in her best-seller, The Highly Sensitive Person. If you answer yes to these and most of the questions on Aron’s website, you’re probably in the club, which represents 15 to 20 percent of human beings. Are you easily overwhelmed by bright lights and noise? Do you startle easily? Do other people’s moods influence you? Does caffeine have a great effect on you?

Research has indicated that hypersensitive people are genetically different from folks who have a normal degree of sensitivity. This might explain why the rain or cold or heat affects some of us much more than others, and why some people would thrive in a humid, hot climate, while others would wilt. Your response to weather would depend on your sensitivity type.

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After reading both of these articles, I realized that the weather can affect how we process during cold or inclement weather. This is a normal, physical, mental and emotional response based on scientific research. I also encourage you to take the highly-sensitive person quiz. Now I have a valid explanation about the state of my GARAGE that has just become a hot mess. Yeah, I know – the cold weather got the best of me this year...and to show you exactly how bad it is, I will be including before and after pics once the weather is a bit better (no photo-shopping or filtering, I promise). I have absolutely no motivation whatsoever to organize this area due to how cold it is outside.

My advice to you is to be gentle on yourself during these dark, gloomy, rainy, cold and dreary days. It’s hard to be motivated to do anything other than take care of yourself during the winter months. For the few and far between days that are sunny, revel in the sunshine, soak up the Vitamin D and rest, relax and rejuvenate for a restart in the spring. If you have an organizational challenge that you need assistance with, call me to discuss and we can strategize and plan to help you get organized and ready for spring!

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