Rain Rage

>> Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout......

Is the weather washing you out? You're not alone. Our newest Strategic Planner, Tim Flood (no pun intended), has been observing New Yorkers as they deal with all the wet weather.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away, Tim:

"The New Wet Normal"

I woke this morning to CNN's anchor stating the obvious to New Yorkers, "Can you believe rain has fallen for 18 of the first 23 days of June?" As if we needed a heads-up on what's been going on in soggy Gotham. Personally, I've been able to put on a delusional shield against the weather, continually reminding myself this can't last forever. But I can't say the same for my fellow New Yorkers who seem more ornery than usual.

The constant bad weather has taken its toll on New Yorkers and it’s greatly affecting their mood, outlook and overall wellness.

This past week, I’ve heard New Yorkers tell stories of cancelled bbq parties, craft fairs, postponed trips to the Hamptons and how their personality has dramatically changed over the past few weeks. The weather is even affecting New Yorker’s health and eating habits. In fact, Weight Watchers has reported weight gain among their members this week.

Virginia Cusick, 58, a teacher from Staten Island, NY said, “I don’t feel like myself these days. In fact, I don’t feel like doing much of anything…and I’m quick to anger”. That anger is being described by The New Times as “Rain Rage” (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/nyregion/20rain.html).

In fact, this past Saturday I saw first-hand this city's wellness at its breaking point.

My father and I were at the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Bethpage Black, our Father's Day tradition. We hung out in the rain for hours, soaked, while following our favorite, Phil Mickelson. Around noon, we decided to grab a few hotdogs and a couple of beers. As we waited in line, in the rain, two 40-something guys began yelling at each other - one claimed the other had cut him in line. Profanities quickly turned into shoving, and shoving turned into a left-handed upper cut.

Watching all this happen, I realized they weren't bad guys: just average fathers in khakis and polo shirts, soaked to the skin at an event they'd probably been looking forward to all year. Their favorite weekend had been ruined & they simply lost it.

There is hope though.

Ani Kalayjian, Ed.D., R.N., professor of psychology at Fordham University NY, advises that we "can and should take proactive steps to strengthen the brain's system against weather-driven mood changes. We encourage people to take charge of their feelings," says Dr. Kalayjian. "Do things that make you feel good, like listening to uplifting music or reading a good novel. Feelings are transient; we can change them, transform them into positive," concludes Dr. Kalayjian.

As for me, I think the answer lies in sodden solidarity, reminding ourselves this can’t last forever and we’re all in this together.

- Tim Flood, Strategic Planner at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


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