May 10, 2023 | Mental Health

Woman enjoying the sunshine in a park

Shine Some Sunlight on Your Mental Health

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Can you feel that? We know, it’s the unfamiliar sense of warmth on our skin as we leave the house! This last week has brought amazing temperatures and plenty of sunshine, which we have been craving and missing over the winter. As the weather improves, some people may notice their mood and mental health improve as well. There is certainly a correlation between the weather and the way we feel, mentally and physically. Today, let’s discuss why soaking up sunshine can do wonders for your mental health. 

There are many benefits to sunshine! One of the main advantages are its UV rays which helps your body produce Vitamin D. This is important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system. We are certain you have heard of serotonin. This gives our bodies energy and can also help in managing moods, staying calm, increasing positivity and improving focus.  

It is amazing what a few minutes of sunshine can do to help boost our mental health. 

How can sunshine help? 

Better sleep 

That oh so important serotonin we mentioned above can help you sleep better at night. The sun also aids in your body producing melatonin, which is a chemical in our brains which can improve rest. If you find you are struggling with insomnia, try to expose yourself to plenty of sunshine throughout the day. You will likely find in doing so, you will fall into a deep slumber at night. And who doesn’t want better sleep? 

Increases Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is a wonderous thing! It does many things for our body including reducing inflammation and helps support immune health. However, since it is difficult to get enough Vitamin D from our diet, the sun is the best and most effective way to bump it up.  

According to Healthline, getting anywhere from 5-15 minutes of sun exposure on your arms, hands and face, two to three times a week, is enough to see the Vitamin D boosting benefits of the sun! So, be sure to lather up the sunscreen and soak up some direct rays! 

Stronger bones 

Another benefit of Vitamin D is its ability to strengthen your bones and teeth. Lower amounts of Vitamin D have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets, so adding in more sunshine can actually make you stronger. 

There are many ways you can incorporate extra sunshine into your life! Whether it be having a morning coffee on your deck, taking a brisk walk during your lunch break, or lounging outside after a long day of work, carving out a few minutes each day can have a significant impact on your well being. 

Of course, sunshine will not fix everything! If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out to your health provider for support. While the spring and summer can help improve the moods of some individuals, it will not be enough for others. In many instances incorporating more sunshine into your life should go hand in hand with other treatments, if needed. Therefore, please seek professional help if you are feeling increased sadness, depression, or anxiety. 

We have waited many months to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin again! So, be sure to head outside today and get in your daily dose of Vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin. Your mind, and your body, will be thankful that you did. 

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