What is it about natural daylight that lifts our mood so?
Regardless of where we live or the time of year, what other advantages might we gain each day from these hours of light?
Although December 21st is the shortest day of the year, isn’t it exciting that we can begin each new year with the days getting longer again!
So, how might we choose to embrace each day? Although this may feel different for each of us, every day we get a little more natural light, which offers us many health benefits.
A common advantage of natural light is the nutrient vitamin D. This nutrient is so important for maintaining 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” (Archdaily.com, Eduardo Souza, August 12, 2019).
This holds very true for me. Having lived in different climates, whenever the weather was cold and gloomy, I’d hide inside and moodiness was a struggle for me. Although, I can remember the dad of a childhood friend of mine who used to sit out in front of his home for a[LL1] 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.
When we ‘embrace the day’ and boost our mood, our quality of sleep can also likely improve. After a night of sleep, many of us may spend the majority of our time indoors.
We may be inside a lot of the time due to working:
- at an office
- in professional home care
- as a homemaker
- as a stay-at-home parent raising children.
If we do spend the majority of time indoors, there are many ways to increase our exposure to natural light.
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” (psychologytoday.com, Victoria L. Dunckley M.D., September 15, 2014).
Lastly, get outdoors! Take a walk, exercise, do some yard work, or just sit outside and embrace the day!
This is something special we can do for ourselves. No matter where we live, we all have spent a bit more time inside than ever before.
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?
How might it feel to add some natural light to our “ME” time routine?
Today, embrace “ME” Monday®. Enjoy the extra natural light we have for a little longer today than we did yesterday and smile!
By implementing a “ME” Monday® routine today, we can have a great new start to determine the tomorrow we deserve!