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How excitement fills the air when those first nice days of spring arrive. Yesterday was definitely one of those days; above average temperature, and delightfully sunny. By the time I came out of my office to get some fresh air, about fifteen minutes before noon, already there were people outside the Yonge street business district basking in the sun, sitting in a nearby patio sipping on their favorite summer drink, chatting away, with plenty of smiles on their faces. Others were enjoying their alone time, reading under a cool breeze at Mel Lastman’s square, while some simply strolled down the street in an attempt to take it all in one stride at a time.
Being a resident of Toronto for the last twenty five years, I am all too familiar with the winter blues. The winter season in Canada can be long, dark, and very cold, and it’s no wonder that as soon as spring comes around the corner, we welcome it with open arms, like a dear old friend that went away and has finally returned. But why is it that climate can have such an effect on our mood?
Weather is commonly believed to impact people’s mood. For example, the majority of people think they feel happier on days with a lot of sunshine as compared to dark and rainy days. As the old song goes — Listen to the song:
“Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red
Crying’s not for me…”
The writers of this song may have been onto something. The most severe form of weather-based emotion is known as season effective disorder, or SAD (perfect acronym by the way). Patients tend to exhibit signs of sever hopelessness or anxiety, particularly during the winter months, or during periods when the sun never comes out. This means that for most people, taking a trip to someplace warm in the middle of winter or lingering outside when spring arrives can be particularly beneficial. Certainly, for people of sound mind and body, a warm, sunny day can be an instant mood-booster, cheering us to get outside and enjoy life to the fullest. By the same token, limited daylight hours and harsh elements can be debilitating for the victims of seasonal defective disorder.
I am fully aware that there’s still a lot of research left to be done on this subject, but until then, researchers offer a straight forward prescription: “If you wish to reap the psychological benefits of good springtime weather, go outside.” I, on the other hand, having gone beyond the over the counter prescription offered by researches, can recommend a prescription with a higher dosage, and longer lasting effects: If you wish to reap the benefits of warm weather, and glorious sunny days abroad, travel to destination like the Island of Majorca, Spain, and take great pleasure in what these sunny destinations have to offer.