I grew up in Michigan then lived in New York, where winters are freezing and snowy and summers are hot and humid. Now I live in San Diego, in Southern California, which has arguably the best weather in the country. There aren’t discernible seasons: it’s nice year-round, with little rain and temperatures that never approach freezing.
Jim says that I have a “5-degree comfort zone.” I’m frequently too warm or too cold. Any time we go anywhere, I bring a sweater or long pants or shorts or an entirely different outfit, in case the weather changes and I get too hot or cold. In fact, at all times I keep a sweater, hat, and sunscreen in the car. I hate being caught unprepared, and being dressed inappropriately for the weather really irritates me.
A couple years ago, I visited my small hometown in Michigan for the first time in a few years. It was the perfect time of year to visit–October. The trees were changing colors and the weather was crisp and cool. I sat alone in my parents’ big backyard and stared at the giant trees swaying the wind, the same ones I stared at in my childhood, in complete silence, save for the airy fluttering of the golden leaves. It was so beautiful, inspiring, and moving, and brought me a sense of peace and clarity that I’d never felt before. I felt like writing a freaking poem, and you guys know I’m not super into poems. I felt amazing.
I had no clue that that weather and that setting was so important for me. Fall feels so good. It is comforting and relaxing. The temperature is not too hot and not too cold. It’s cool enough to drink tea and knit and take long walks through crunchy leaves. I love weather that is cool enough to wear jeans and a cozy hoodie.
Warm weather makes me sweat and feel uncomfortable. I don’t like being uncomfortable. And freezing winters are obviously uncomfortable, too.
Weather also has a huge impact on my first impression of a new place or activity. When we were in Croatia last year–a place I was so excited to visit–there was an awful heat wave that totally hurt my enjoyment of the place. Instead of looking back on the time fondly, I think about how uncomfortable I was. ugh. (See my tips on how to travel the world long-term when you are an HSP.)
Then there have been other times when the weather is JUST perfect, and it makes me feel almost giddy–like I’m on a high. I enjoy perfect weather so much (say 65 degrees?), it just feels SO DARN GOOD!!
Which places make you feel supremely peaceful? What is your ideal temperature, and does perfect weather make you feel giddy?
Oh man, I hear you on the temperature thing- I’m also always either hot or cold. If its not between 65-75, I’m usually so cold I’m in pain or I’m so hot I feel like I’m going to explode.
Its been a long time since I’ve been there, but I remember Joshua Tree being very peaceful. Sleeping under the stars on one of the giant rocks, I’m pretty sure thats the only place I’ve ever been where I’ve experienced complete silence.
Same here on the temperature! When I’m uncomfortable, I can’t STOP thinking about it.
I’ve never been to Joshua Tree–I’ll have to check it out!!
Oh my god lol. I thought I was the only weirdo with this temperature issue! I laughed to myself when I saw the part about bringing a sweater and pants everywhere you go! I do that too! I check the weather every morning and try to prepare as best as I can to be able to alter my outfit to weather that will get hotter in the middle of the day or cooler in the evening.
The more of your posts I read, the more I realise all these things I was doing that I thought were weird and nobody else was doing them, turns out all along it was a HSP thing!
I also used to live in a colder city too, in Australia, and find that the weather here now on the Gold Coast is warmer in winter than Sydney and cooler in summer.
When I was there, I really enjoyed Maui. Probably because I had been looking forward to a school break for so long, after having succumbed to a cold Canadian winter already, and I had been saving up for it for a while. I was also prepared for the heat with lots of bareless clothing, and I was situated right next to the water, both of which added to my own personal comfort. I remember the temperature being very warm, but not so much that I felt shocked and beat. It was a humid, sweet warmth, with lots of clouds at times, throughout sunny days, that balanced it out. There was a constant refreshing wind, and the scent of the island was real – lush, salty, perfumed with flowers, fruits and coconut.
Other than that place, (lol, which is like a dream now), I’ve been to BC, Canada a few times and really enjoyed it. The scenery and smell are like above, though the Canadian version, and there’s more rainy days in a week than where I’m currently residing (Ontario, Canada).
What I’m finding as I get older is that I prefer the cooler, more overcast days, with a mixed humidity that may or may not call for rain. It energizes me!? And my emotional reserves are more plentiful, both for myself and others. On hot, sunny days, I feel automatically drained sometimes, and irritable. I oddly often resent that people expect me to be otherwise and show or say that I should “cheer up” (like the sun, I suppose?). I can admit I’m not inclined to love rainy days for days on end, like the very wet, soggy, hard downpour types, but light rain with a cooler temp, and varying paler skies, these I find more uplifting than the former, in addition to soothing.
I had to look this topic up online because I wanted to see if I was as alone in this matter of mind and heart as I thought, or if I was normal (but it’s only that we folks fall under the radar of what’s projected as more socially acceptable).
Thanks guys! Have a great day 😉
Thanks for the comment, Nat! I have to say, I think I agree with your preferences 🙂
Did I clone myself and write this? How comforting to find people who feel (really FEEL!) the same as I do!
I have always loved storms…right before a storm hits. I liken it to what it must feel like for a bird to ride up on a thermal current. Storms do for me what caffeine does for others. Music also does that to a slightly lesser extent. If I want more energy for the gym, I listen to fast paced dance or angry rock music. I have always been a more physical HSP than emotional so perhaps that is why. Other people’s emotions do affect my energy levels though and I have to be careful who I am around as I tend to absorb that energy. Also very loud people, crowded areas tend to wear me out. Though I have learned to build up a tolerance, it is like holding your breath. You can only do it for so long.
I have found that I know when someone is attracted to me long before they give any signs. Unfortunately there has been times that I have been with a person I was not attracted to or was not comparable at all because I was inadvertently feeling what they were feeling, if that makes sense.
I too have found that I prefer a narrow temperature range that I find comfortable; temps 60’s are my favorite and fall is my favorite season because of the smells and the temperature.
Does anyone else have any of these experiences?
Need advice; I’m originally from Long island where I felt like I was in a “prison of cold weather” from October to April. I moved to to Atlanta which was definitely better, but still cold in the winter most days (50’s) it could even snow or have freezing rain. I HATE cold weather. It makes my body stiff, my nose run. It puts me in a bad mood… like I’m ANGRY all the time. We moved to LA, where my body felt HOME. But my wife’s job change had us move to Sacramento after three years in LA. Sac weather sucks, (to me). From October to March it’s in the 40’s and 50’s (30’s at night). Like Atlanta. I’m so damn angry again because I remember how happy and comfortable I was in LA. It’s just too expensive to live there for us. So… I need to understand how to cope with feeling uncomfortable for so many months. I’m in a climate prison again. Hate to be dramatic, but this is how I’m built.
Hi there, thanks for sharing. This is a tough one!! How to cope with being physically uncomfortable for many months….as annoying as this may sound, the first step might be accepting your situation. If you keep wishing things were different, you’re gonna be upset. Boy, can I relate to this in SO many ways. Once I accept how things are, I can start figuring out how to live with them. Personally, I hate extremely hot weather. I lived in a very hot, humid tropical climate for a few months and my body did adjust a bit, but I hated always being sweaty and feeling dirty. But when I just accepted it, it was a bit better. That said, I was happy to get away from that heat once I left….
It feels so good to read about other people with same experiences.
I think about when I drive in another persons car and the temperature is too hot or cold (Most often too hot). Its very unconfortable to me but I dont want to be rude and ask them to change it for me.
Or when I go go work and it’s cold outside and I have to wear winterjacket. When I get inside I need to take it off, but its also annoying to hold it in my hands, haha.
I try to laugh about it but its really not fun at all.
Sorry for my english, Im not english-speeking.
Thank God I’m not alone lol.
My WORST nightmare, is the heat. I just can’t stand hot weather, because I swear like hell.
If it’s humid, then any temperature above 53, makes me feel uncomfortable. If it’s dry, then it should be anything under 59.
Storms,snow and heavy rain, make me feel energetic and happy (almost high).
I lived in a tropical humid weather (Thailand) where I had to shower 3 TIMES A DAY!
In the morning, if the sun rises behind a foggy horizon, I then know it’s gonna be a hot day, and the bad feeling kicks in immediately.
When it’s cool, I walk the streets in short sleeves, while people in coats, scarves and thick jackets, stare at me and whisper, which ruins my enjoyment!
I absorb people’s energy, and their mood affects me right away.
I need to withdraw in quiet places to enjoy anything I’m doing.
Disputes, noise and smells, are just unbearable.
I’m in Paris right now, and I’d love to meet people with similar traits.
In line 4 above, I meant “I sweat like hell”.
I become a hermit during most of the summer. My body and my mind react negatively to hot humid weather. If the temperatures stay below 75 and the humidity no higher than 52 percent, I do not suffer. But most summer days in Central PA (where I live) are more often in the high 80s or 90s with humidity levels between 65 and 80 percent–sometimes as high as 100 percent!!
I hate the way summer weather makes me feel. Fibromyalgia is worse, as is depression and anxiety. I feel trapped, it’s hard to breathe, anxiety levels are off the charts and panic attacks are not uncommon.
Being HSP, combined with fibromyalgia, bipolar type 2, PTSD, and anxiety disorders make every day a challenge, but the worst of all is during summer. As late spring approaches, I tell myself that humid hot weather is not as bad as I remember it. But it is. As I grow older (I’m currently 64) I feel worse each summer.
Winter is much easier, as long as the wind isn’t strong during extremely cold days. But give me winter over summer humidity any day!
I wish there were a solution that worked for me, for all of us. Well, there is a solution: Move to a low-humidity area, where temperatures are between 28 – 75 degrees F. But I cannot afford it.
Yes! This makes me feel like I’m not alone. I’ve always gotten guff for my “particular” needs in these matters. I’m not outdoorsy mostly because the temperature is almost never perfect. I especially hate the heat. I live in Texas and the summers are just unbearable…and long. I love the Fall. I think those are my favorite temperatures. Cool enough to wear a jacket and boots. Dry air with a slight breeze.
San Diego was pretty darn great, weather-wise, too, but I’d miss the Fall/Winter. I think I’m just so relieved not to be hot anymore that I’m grateful for anything else.
Thank you for sharing this. Even though I know I’m an HSP, I sometimes still question myself on things like this. I wish non-HSP’s understood.
I despise every type of (prolonged) weather imbalance – too hot, too cold, too gloomy/humid/wet, too dry.
For me the “best” weather occurs when the jet stream has a high zonal index and the weather systems move quickly from west to east bringing frequent but not excessive precipitation and mild/moderate fluctuations in temperature.
5 degree comfort zone? That’s big! I’m kidding because my husband and I have always joked that I have two degrees of comfort 😆
Definitely glad it’s not just me.
My mother is highly sensitive to temperature as well as wind, noise, pain, dirt/germs, crowds and moods of others. She tends to avoid alot of activities and people as a result. Do any of you have a combination of sensitivities like these? how do you manage them?
I can relate to all of your mother’s sensitivities. I manage them by firstly acknowledging them – knowing they exist and that is okay, and in uncontrolled environments it is only temporary. I have come to accept that I don’t have to be as sociable as others think I need to be. When I do want to engage in an outing, I mentally prepare myself that I will need to relinquish some control. I pick and chose my outings carefully. And after an outing, I give myself a pat on back for stepping out of my comfort zone. And oftentimes, I realize I actually did enjoy myself.
Cynthia, I forgot to add in my original comment that I keep earplugs in my purse at all times to help with places I find too noisy. I carry packets of sanitary wipes as well as a hat, sweater and scarf for places I find too cold from over air-conditioned buildings/buses etc.
I share your mother’s sensitivities. I deal with it by mentally preparing myself for my chosen outing. I acknowledge and accept I will need to relinquish some control over my environment. I pick and chose my outings carefully by what is meaningful for me and the people close to me if I am attending with them. I tell myself the situation is only temporary and I can do it! I sometimes give myself a pat on the back following an outing, as well as often realizing I actually enjoyed it (or most of it) after all.
I keep earplugs in my purse at all times to help with places I find too noisy. I carry packets of sanitary wipes as well as a hat, sweater and scarf for places I find too cold from over air-conditioned buildings/buses etc.