Sunlight: How It Affects Your Health and the Importance of Getting Outside—Even When It's Cold
As the leaves begin to fall, signaling that the cold weather is here to stay, you may feel tempted to spend your days bundled up on the couch binging your favorite Netflix show. While this is perfectly fine to do every once in a while, it can begin to take its toll if you don't make the time to get yourself outside. You may be cringing at the thought of stepping out into the bitter cold, but trust me when I say that squeezing a few minutes of sunshine into your day will be worth it.
The Benefits of Sunlight
Sunlight has many benefits to offer both your brain and body. Exposure to sunlight triggers a release of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. If you lack serotonin, your entire mood will be negatively impacted. This drop in mood is believed to cause mental health issues like seasonal depression. The sunlight has also been shown to benefit your bones and help alleviate the symptoms of a ton of skin and other health issues.
How to Help Someone with Seasonal Depression
When the winter months begin, the sun is out for a shorter period, and the weather often feels too cold to get outside. This can leave one vulnerable to seasonal depression. If you believe someone you love is struggling with seasonal depression, one of the best things you can do for them is offer support, love, and validation. Seasonal depression is challenging to deal with, so knowing that there is somebody to them through it will be so helpful to their healing.
As your loved one opens up about the feelings they are struggling with, you may want to suggest they talk to a counselor about seasonal depression. Getting the help of a professional will be crucial to getting your loved one feeling happier and healthier this season.
Suggesting ways your loved one can get some sunlight in might also be helpful, especially if they are struggling with fall or winter seasonal depression. Suggest spending some time outside, opening the windows so sunlight can pour in, or getting a lamp intended to imitate sunlight.
Tips for Coping with Seasonal Depression
If you are struggling this winter season, you may be wondering how to cure seasonal depression. Pairing a few healthy coping mechanisms with the help of a mental health professional may be just what you need to get yourself feeling happier and healthier.
Talk to a Counselor
Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression, which means that getting the help of a professional is critical. Working with a mental health professional can help you find the right treatment for you.
Give Artificial "Sunlight" a Try
Since seasonal depression is often associated with a lack of sunlight, using an artificial sunlight device just might provide you with the relief you are looking for.
Whether you decide to walk to your local supermarket or have a picnic outside, any exposure to sunlight can provide your body with the serotonin levels it needs.
Reach Out to a Loved One
Getting social can be highly beneficial to your mental health. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel loved will be so supportive in your journey to healing.
Sunlight has so many benefits to offer your body and your mind. The winter months can make it challenging to get outside, though, causing a drop in mood and mental health struggles. If you are struggling with seasonal depression, we are here to help. Contact us today.
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