It’s stimulating to know that as each new year begins, every day gets a little bit longer again gifting us some additional hours of light.

What is it about natural daylight that lifts our mood?

How might we choose to embrace that bit of extra light each day? Have we ever noticed a transformation in how we feel as we have more daytime to do things we want to?

Although each of us may respond differently, each day that we get a little more natural light offers all of our many health benefits.

A common advantage of natural light is the nutrient vitamin D. This nutrient is so important for maintaining our health and strong bones. We also get vitamin D from a variety of food sources and supplements. Nevertheless, the benefits of this vitamin we can obtain from sources of natural light should not be taken for granted.

“Research shows that an adequate amount of light improves mood and energy levels, while poor lighting contributes to depression and other deficiencies in the body. The amount and type of lighting directly affect concentration, appetite, mood, and many other aspects of daily life.”1

After a night of sleep, many of us may still spend the majority of our time indoors regardless of where we live.

We may be inside a lot of the time due to the type of job we have whether we work in an office, we’re a caregiver for someone in their home, being a homemaker, or all of the above.

Our mental health is equally as important as the physical health attributes that daylight provides.

If we do spend the majority of time indoors, there are many ways to increase our exposure to natural light to boost our mood.

For example, we can open up dark window coverings as soon as we wake up. No matter what climate we live in, we can let that natural light in!

“Re-evaluate our indoor décor. Consider the placement of mirrors where it can reflect the natural light coming in through the windows and contemplate changing room colors that may be more conducive to accentuating natural light. Natural light can help reduce the possible health risk of fluorescent lighting since some of these lighting types appear to elevate stress risk.”2

Lastly, get outdoors! Even if it’s for a short time. Take a walk, exercise, do some yard work, or just sit outside and embrace the day!

No matter where we live, we all have spent a bit more time inside than ever before. This is something special we can do for ourselves; we just need to choose something that works for us.

The dad of a childhood friend of mine used to sit out in front of his home for a brief time almost every day as long as it wasn’t raining or snowing. There were some days it was so cold his nose and cheeks would be a reddish pink from the cold temperatures and he always had a smile to share. Embracing the daylight, even for a short time, certainly seemed to lift his mood which in turn lifted ours.  

So, what might be one small thing we can do to take advantage of the healthy perks of natural light and add a smile to our day?

When we ‘embrace the day’ and boost our mood, our quality of sleep can also likely improve too.

How might it feel to add some natural light to our “ME” time routine? Has it ever felt like “ME” isn’t possible?

Today, embrace “ME” Monday® -the day each week to permit yourself some “ME” time. Enjoy the extra natural light we have for a little longer today than we did yesterday and smile!

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