Study Finds ‘Sunshine Guilt’ Affects Many During Beautiful Weather Days

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A recent study sheds light on a phenomenon called “sunshine guilt” which affects individuals during sunny days. The research, conducted by psychologists from the Moment of Clarity Mental Health Center, delves into the feelings of remorse experienced by individuals who choose to stay indoors on pleasant days.

According to Dr. Nadia Teymoorian, a psychologist involved in the study, “sunshine guilt” manifests when people opt to remain indoors despite the beautiful weather outside. This feeling of guilt can intensify when individuals perceive that others are enjoying outdoor activities.

The term gained traction on the social media platform TikTok, with many users expressing relatable experiences. In a video posted by user @thereneereina, which garnered over 230,900 views, the individual narrates feeling pressured to go outside and enjoy the weather despite feeling tired.

The sentiment resonated with many viewers, with comments reflecting similar experiences of “sun harassment” and the struggle between indoor relaxation and outdoor enjoyment.

Factors responsible for Sunshine Guilt

Kevin Belcastro, LMFT, a therapist, explains that societal norms and values contribute to this guilt, particularly regarding the stigma associated with not taking advantage of good weather. However, he emphasizes the importance of individual needs and self-care, suggesting that it’s acceptable to prioritize relaxation indoors if that’s what one requires.

Dr. Teymoorian advises against letting “sunshine guilt” dictate behavior, urging individuals to focus on their own well-being and priorities. She encourages shifting the mindset to embrace self-care and happiness, rather than succumbing to the fear of missing out (FOMO) induced by societal expectations.

Previous studies have suggested the benefits of embracing leisure time, with research published in Sleep Health indicating that extra sleep on weekends can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, especially for individuals with insufficient weekday sleep.

As society grapples with the pressures of productivity and outdoor activity, understanding and addressing “sunshine guilt” could contribute to promoting holistic well-being during beautiful weather days.


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