Weather, Space & Mood

A few years ago, a good friend of mine was always telling me what the sun was doing.  This was something I had never given any thought to – I thought, did it matter?  I didn’t think the sun affected me, beyond simply being hot in the summer, and putting me in a good mood on sunny days (I’m not a fan of overcast days). This friend was always watching NASA’s report on space weather – and she would check it every day.

Sometimes, when she asked me how I was doing, I’d comment that I was having symptoms of anxiety and exhaustion that I couldn’t assign to any known reason.  After work, during these times, I’d simply lie down and rest, because I had a pressure headache and felt like my nervous system was on fire.  When I told her about this, she’d say something like, “Well, we just had an M-Class solar flare!” I’ll admit it was a bit comforting to realize that maybe I wasn’t just “weak” during these times.  There was a lot of solar activity during that period of time.  And whenever there was a large solar flare, I would be stuck in bed during my time off, sometimes for days. Solar flares happen when a buildup of magnetic energy bursts out of the sun and crashes into another burst of energy.

The explosion happens with the force of millions of hydrogen bombs.  This explosion releases a lot of energy. The majority of the energy and radiation won’t affect us on earth, but some of it does reach us.  If a solar flare has a large enough magnitude, it could disrupt radio waves or worst-case scenario, electrical grids.   Most solar flares are small, though.  But if you are sensitive, I believe you can be affected physically, with sensations of pressure, anxiety or headaches, as I have.  Just a week ago, I suddenly recognized that I had all the typical symptoms of being exposed to a solar flare – I felt displaced anxiety and pressure and a tension headache.  So out of curiosity, I decided to check on space weather and sure enough! During the first two weeks of September, we had the largest solar flare in over 10 years!

It was what’s called an X-class. It’s something to keep in mind.  The way that I deal with the symptoms of intense solar flares is to give myself permission to take it easy.  No need to pressure myself to exercise or exert myself.  Breathing exercises can help keep the nervous system calm, and it’s okay to take a nap.  It’s a time for self-care. We all need a little more “me-time” anyway, so as far as I’m concerned, a solar flare is as good an excuse as any to take it easy!  There’s a lot happening on this planet that can cause sensitive people to feel overwhelmed.  Having more knowledge of exactly what affects you is always useful.