Alice Priestley looks into how a spot of sunshine can lift your mood.
Everyone knows that sunshine has the power to make any day better. Not everybody knows, however, that decreased exposure to sunlight can actually cause depression. SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – comes from not having enough vitamin D in our systems, and the sun is the principal source of this vital element. With spring having freshly started, it can still be difficult for some of us to pull ourselves out of bed after a long, dreary winter. Though you could just say the anagram spells it out for us, there’s a lot more to it than just feeling sad. The mood disorder can affect anyone, and affects those during seasonal periods, both summer and winter. Symptoms include those associated with depression: lethargy, a lack of enthusiasm, a constantly low mood and disturbed eating and sleeping patterns to name a few.
With this in mind, here are some mood-boosting ideas which could help you hit spring headfirst, and wave goodbye to winter without a backward glance!
Set Monthly Goals
If you find it difficult to self-motivate, this will get you out of that rut! ‘Goals’ could entail anything, of any size – it doesn’t have to be ambitious at all, just as long as you are comfortable and it’s a little challenging. It could be learning a new recipe by the end of the month, or finishing the book you’d promise you would ages ago. These goals could relate to your studies, you personally or an opportunity to try something new! Making it challenging and fun will help you approach the day and have something to look forward to as we near summer. The feeling when you can eventually run for half an hour straight will be priceless!
It’s true what they say – tidy house, tidy mind. Getting rid of any clutter that gathered over Christmas and having a cleanathon is great to focus. Being surrounded by stuff we don’t use can be quite suffocating, and chucking all the pointless things out will not only give you more space, but less things to clean up after! Taking time out to thoroughly clean wherever you can in your house can make it into a home. It’s easy to leave the grease to pile up in the oven, but knowing that it’s gleaming clean is a great relief!
Get up Earlier
No one ever complained of getting up too early (unless they went out the night before). Even though it can be heartbreaking to leave the dearest bed in the mornings, you’d be shocked to see how much more you can get done. Having extra time is invaluable in busy lifestyles, and will reduce stress levels greatly, giving you more precious time in your routine which you never had before.
Even though it’s an obvious one, it’s still the most underused form of antidepressant! Exercise, as you may know, releases chemicals such as oxytocin and serotonin, which uplift our moods. As the weather improves, try cycling, jogging or taking walks outdoors – not only will you reap nature’s benefits, but improve your own health at the same time.
Though these are simple ideas, working them into your daily routine could be really beneficial in approaching spring. As the days get longer, and the nights stay brighter, it can especially make a difference to our emotions. After the long, cold winter and dark nights, it can take time to adjust to spring. So, take advantage of what sunshine England has, and use the season as an opportunity for personal growth and positivity!