The winter can leave us feeling gloomy with low-energy and depleted of vitamin D. Now that summer weather has arrived, it’s time to recharge our minds and bodies with some much needed sunshine.
Our body clocks, mood and hormones depend on light to regulate hormones, sleep cycles and serotonin and melatonin levels. You may notice that during the summer your energy levels go up, and you feel more motivated to start the day and rise with the sun. Vitamin D allows for healthy cell growth, the healing of various skin conditions, lowering blood pressure and even lowing the risk for developing some cancers.
Here are 5 ways to enjoy the sunshine while being sun-smart this summer that will benefit your mental health, and get you out of that winter slump.
Go On a Hike
Enjoying the sounds, smells and views of nature can have an overwhelmingly positive affect on our mood. Go on a hike, nature walk or even play your favourite sport in the sun. No phone, no music, just the sounds of the birds with the heat of the sun on your back. This can greatly help in decreasing stress levels, and the endorphin rush post physical activity will elevate your mood even further.
Paint or Write in the Sun
Painting, writing or doing your favourite hobby outside rather than indoors as a way to make the most out of summer is a great way to take baby steps towards bettering your mental health. Painting and writing are meditative, relaxing and will help slow down the rush of daily life, inspiring you to enjoy the moment.
Spend Time with Animals
Animals live in the ‘now’, without worrying about the past or future. They unconditionally love us without judgement or preconceived notions, and being in their presence can allow us to laugh and smile even in our lowest moments. So go for a walk with your furry friend or spend time with the little creatures that roam around our beautiful Vancouver parks.
Enjoy Seasonal Fruit
Eating seasonally has immense benefits on our health as our bodies adjust to the changes in weather and temperature. During the winter, it’s normal to crave warm, hearty, filling meals with root vegetables while during summertime fresh fruits and lighter, non-starchy dishes are ideal. Enjoy the magical gems the Earth provides us with this summer, grown by the sunlight and rich in brain-happy vitamins and minerals.
Spend Time with Your Friends
As humans, it is in our nature to feel a need to connect with others and feel loved and appreciated. During wintertime, we tend to coup up in our homes and spend less time with the people we love. Use summertime as a way to reconnect with friends, socialize and most importantly, laugh. Laughing really is the best medicine.
If you are going through a rough time, I would love to connect with you and help guide you towards implementing positive life changes. Get in touch to learn more about my Vancouver counselling services and schedule a time to meet.