Will this week’s rain make us feel better or worse during the pandemic lockdown? Here, Stylist writers share how they felt when waking up to the wet weather this morning.
After weeks of glorious sunshine and some of the best springtime weather we’ve had in years, people across the UK woke up to the pitter-patter of April showers this morning. According to the Met Office forecast, the rain and lower temperatures will remain for the rest of the week. With such a stark change in the weather, which seemed to happen overnight, will our moods be affected?
The sun has been one of the things keeping me going through this pandemic. Walking, running and cycling through the blossom splattered streets of Hackney with the rays hitting my face has been a daily highlight. The sky has surely never been this blue? It means I can sit on my balcony, taking me away from my boring living room. It also motivates me to be productive, paint on a smile and stay positive.
But such good weather during the pandemic has made me feel very uncomfortable at times. How can the natural world be at its most beautiful when such a horrendously ugly thing is going on? Why do I get to enjoy this while key workers and NHS staff probably don’t even know the sun is out?
This unease probably helps to explain why I woke up with a sense of relief when I heard the raindrops hit my window. It just feels like the “right” weather for now. It makes me feel safe, cosy, comforted, lucky to be in a nice, warm shelter – all the things I need to recognise. I also tend to get reflective in this weather, staring out the window while pondering life. The rain is reflecting my true feelings, whereas the sun’s shine was masking them.
There are plenty of articles and pieces of research to suggest that rain alleviates anxiety. There’s the Pink Noise theory, which means the sound of the frequency of rain dropping engages with your subconscious, without distracting you. And a 2015 study by Professor Franz Buscha, principal research fellow, economics and quantitative methods, at the University of Westminster, suggested that there is no evidence to show that the “assumed relationship” between sunshine and happiness even existed.
So is it true that rain can make you feel better? And how does that apply during a pandemic? I asked around the Stylist team to check in on their moods.
Kayleigh Dray, digital editor-at-large
“There’s nothing I love more than cuddling up on the couch and listening to the rain outside. When you have nowhere to be, and a big mug of tea to hand, there’s genuinely nothing more soul-soothing.”
Alyss Bowen, social media editor
“The rain is meant to make us feel miserable but one of my favourite things to do in this weather is sit inside with a blanket and no plans. There’s no need to go outside, no commute to work and no treks home after a pre-planned night out you can’t cancel on without an umbrella.
“I find being inside when it’s raining strangely comforting, so right now in lockdown it’s actually lifting my spirits a bit knowing I can relax and not ‘miss’ the sunshine while stuck inside without a garden. Ask me again in a week if it carries on though…”
Megan Murray, senior digital writer
“I don’t have a garden. I don’t have a balcony. I don’t even have a window that I can lean my head out far enough to catch some rays. But somehow, the weather is still dictating my mood.
“Waking up to a bright, sunny day just makes me feel like everything is going to be OK. Sat at my pokey, little kitchen table with rays of sunlight shining across my morning cup of tea feels so… aspiring? Instagrammable? An aesthetic I can get on board with?
“It sounds stupid but maybe it’s the little things right now that I’m holding on to, and when a cold, grey day means my daily walk is even taken away from me, I feel so grumpy.”
Lauren Geall, junior digital writer
“Seeing the rain drizzling outside as I woke up this morning, I felt a small flutter of excitement in my chest. This doesn’t normally happen . In normal circumstances, rain would be pretty unremarkable. But the idea of spending my day in lockdown with the soundtrack of rain pitter-pattering on the windows is just what I need right now.
“Curling up on the sofa with a blanket and watching the rain fall makes staying home feel like a treat rather than a punishment, and today, after work, I’m going to indulge in it.”
The general consensus is that yes, this weather is exactly what many of us needed. But we do want the sun to make a welcome return soon enough. For now, let’s just use this chance to stay indoors, share good thoughts with those on the frontline, and get your favourite blanket out.