As I write this, it is a rainy/snowy/dark/somewhat depressing winter day here in Southwestern Pennsylvania. However, the other day we were teased with a 70 degree beautiful sunny day. That day, I was driving around with the sun roof open, had a smile on my face, got a lot done and felt awesome. So sad that weather was so short lived. Right now, close your eyes and visualize yourself sitting in a lounge chair on the beach with a fruity drink in hand. It doesn't hurt to dream a little, right? 🙂
That got me thinking about the mental health benefits of nice weather. Below are my top 7. Remember these benefits on the next sunny day and get outside! (Remember, too much sun expose is not healthy so be careful.)
1. Reduce stress. You can reduce your stress level with the help of proper exposure to sunlight. Taking some time to enjoy the sun can help you sleep better as you decrease your stress level.
2. Reduce anxiety. If you are feeling anxious, sensible sun exposure on a regular basis can help soothe you. Sunlight is one of the natural remedies to anxiety.
3. Fight depression. There is evidence that sunlight is a natural way to improve your mood. If you suffer from depression, adding a little moderate sun exposure might help you combat the symptoms.
4. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you suffer from SAD during the winter, you can combat the feelings with the help of natural light. Look for ways to introduce more sunlight into your environment, with the help of open windows.
5. Improve relationships. More sunlight can help your relationships because it offers a mood enhancement. Not only that, but you can knit closer family relationships by using good weather and fun in the sun as an excuse for inexpensive, quality family activities.
6. Accomplish more. I don't know about you, but when the sun is shining and I am feeling good, I have more of a drive to get things done. A sense of accomplishment will improve any mood.
7. Leads to other better choices. Health is a funny thing. When we feel better, we tend to make better choices. We tend to exercise more and make better food choices. This makes us feel better mentally too.
Remember: life is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the process. 🙂