Weather can hurt our mental health

Jacquelin Ornelas

Studies show that extreme weather changes can negatively affect mental health.

Currently, during winter, people tend to stay in more and detach from normal activities which causes people’s depression to increase. With winter days being shorter and having limited sunshine, our bodies produce less serotonin and more melatonin. According to, this means the neurotransmitter associated with happiness is decreased while the chemicals associated with depression and sleepiness are increased. In a random survey of 96 Morton East students, 51% said they’ve been sadder during winter. Meanwhile, 36% said they’ve felt the same. Having only 13% say that winter has made them feel happier.

“Winter had some negative effects on my health. I can’t go out because there is too much snow and it’s way too cold so I have to be stuck inside. Also with it getting dark so early in the day, I have no motivation to do anything and I just end up napping, ” senior Isabela Alvarado said.

Additionally, another Morton East student believes the snowstorms are what makes them feel dispirited.

“Winter I think took a toll on me. At the beginning of winter, I say I was fine like I was pretty good during December and January but I think I felt pretty bad when it began to snow. Before the snow, I’d go beyond the expectations with homework and I’d feel fine. But Once it snowed, I felt super unmotivated and I would stay in bed. I don’t think winter specifically takes a toll on people but the winter storms are what discourages us,” student Jennifer Reynaga said.

Meanwhile, others say winter has brought happiness to their lives.

“Winter hasn’t impacted me in any negative way. It brought me and my sisters and happiness. The snow made us wanna go outside and build a snowman,” senior Josue Díaz said.

For some, winter may be a downfall for their mental health while for others it may have a positive effect. But some people feel the same.

“Para mi todo se siente igual durante todo el año. No importa cual sea el clima, me levanto a trabajar y hago las mismas cosas que hago en el verano. Sin embargo, supongo que es diferente para los niños más pequeños porque, como a mis hijos, a ellos les encanta is a la playa y caminar por el centro en el verano y obviamente no pueden hacer eso en el verano,” mother Camila Reyes said.