This past weekend the sun was out. The first time in what seems like a long time we had a sunny weekend in Vancouver. As I have been working on checking in with myself about my mood through self-reflection and tracking through the Mood Meter app which I will be sharing in the future, I can't go without giving recognition to the sun. Exposure to the sun has many benefits on mood and decreasing depression. The lower your Vitamin D the more likely you are going to experience the blues. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs in the winter months but does not thrive in the summer months. This is no surprise as we often hear terms such as "winter blues" or "stir-crazy" or "being cooped up" to describe when we spend too much time indoors or have lack of sunlight. To make it more complex, COVID has taken advantage of our ability and freedoms to be outside.
Although you can take supplements for Vitamin D, the sun accounts for 90% of our Vitamin D intake. Being out in the sun is also much more fun than taking a pill or eating something rich in nutrients like fish (Seaspiracy anyone?). This weekend I could feel my mood being lifted. Was it the BBQ we ate? Was it that my children were enjoying playing with their sand table for the first time this year? Was it that my son started summer soccer which was a proud parent moment? Was it the laughs we were able to have with family now that we can be outside with 10 or less people due to COVID? All of the above, I am sure. The sun gives opportunity to do more especially in these times of uncertainty and constant fear of our health due to the virus. Moral of the story, get outside, it is required to take care of your self, both mind and body.