What is it about natural daylight that lifts our mood so?

“ME” MondayTM 1-20-20 

By Lynn Lessell

What is it about natural daylight that lifts our mood so? Though 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, embrace the day! Every day we get a little more natural light, which offers so many health benefits. A common advantage from 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; however, the benefits we get from being outside 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 the northeast, the weather was often cold and gloomy. Moodiness was a struggle for me. Personally, I love the sun, warm weather climates, and, I admit, I love palm trees too! This is what made me leave the northeast in search of a better place for me to embrace my day! The days still get shorter and longer here as they do everywhere. Let’s face it, that’s science; however, now I get slightly longer days of light in the winter and, of course, the longer days of summer we all love to experience. When we ‘embrace the day’ and boost our mood, our quality of sleep will also likely improve. After a night of sleep, many of us spend the majority of our time indoors. You may be inside a lot of the time due to working in an office, maybe you are a professional caregiver, maybe you are a homemaker taking charge of getting all the indoor tasks completed, or maybe you’re a stay- at-home parent raising children. If you do spend a majority of time indoors, there are many ways to increase your exposure to natural light. For example, open up dark window coverings as soon as you wake up. No matter what climate you live in, you can let that natural light in! Re-evaluate your 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 you can and should do for yourself. Today, embrace “ME” MondayTM and enjoy the extra natural light we have for a little longer than we did yesterday. 

Have you met the best version of yourself yet? Who would you see?

This is your now!

Lynn Lessell CHC, CLC

The Identity Coach

Certified in Health & Life Transformation  

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