[Healthline] The longer the day, the happier the mood: How to make the most of summer days

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  • The changing time of the summer day provides an extra hour of light that can brighten the mood.
  • Research shows that exposure to sunlight activates the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is involved in boosting your mood and feeling calm and focused.
  • Exercise, eat, and meet people in the sunshine outdoors.

As spring and summertime approaches, more sunlight can brighten up the mood.

Indeed, previous research has shown that exposure to sunlight activates the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is involved in promoting mood and feelings of calm and focus.

When your serotonin levels are low, you’re at increased risk for major seasonal depression (also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Dr. Nicole B. Washington, a psychiatrist, told Healthline: “Several commonly prescribed antidepressants have an effect on serotonin.”

She says exposure to sunlight can also increase vitamin D levels.

“There is data to suggest that low vitamin D levels can have a negative impact on mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety,” Washington said.

The good news is that when there’s more sunlight during the day, you’ll have more chances to get outside, while also raising serotonin and vitamin D levels.

“For anyone who works on a traditional work schedule, the time shift means it’s no longer dark when you leave the office and gives you more time to do the full work,” says Washington. excitement for pandemic days”.

In addition, Gracy Obuchowicz, personal care coach, believes that humans have a natural overflow of energy until the season changes to spring.

“Look at the other animals around us; they are coming out of hibernation and back to life. I know personally I feel this is the desire to clean the house and get out whenever possible,” Obuchowicz told Healthline.

“That said, I think that after spending the winter in pandemic isolation, many of us have an unprecedented craving to get outside and be with the people we love. different,” she added.

Use bright days and positive hopes to improve your mood

As you adjust to the time change and get in the extra hours of sunlight, Obuchowicz recommends getting in the habit of planning an outdoor activity every morning when you wake up.

“Since positive hope is so important to our moods, you might get excited when you think about that post-lunch hike you would do while listening to your favorite podcast or look forward to sitting out in the sun while check email,” she said.

You might consider adding the following ideas to your daily plan:

Outdoor walk

Longer daylight hours and warmer weather help people remember their body’s energy, says Obuchowicz.

“We were trapped in the house and our bodies were also eager to walk, cycle and run. Since the start of the pandemic, I know my interest in outdoor exercise has changed, from feeling like something I should be doing for my health, to an activity I desperately want. for every level of my health,” she said.

If traditional exercise isn’t your thing, Washington recommends gardening and working around your yard.

“Spring means focusing on flower beds, getting your outdoor space ready for warmer weather, and cleaning the house. These activities are a great transition and definitely give hope that warmer weather is coming,” she said.

Going out for lunch and dinner

While picnics are great, if you don’t have time to prepare or are away for a long time, prepare food and eat in your backyard or front yard and then get back to work or housework.

Another option is to make it a habit to go for a walk after every meal.

If the weather is favorable, Obuchowicz said her family always goes out after lunch for at least half an hour.

“It makes a huge difference in our mood and helps break the monotony of the day,” she says.

Washington added: Make after-meal activities part of your plan.

“Outdoor playtime for families with kids can include ball games, races, hurdles,” she says.

Obuchowicz notes that combining food with exercise is more beneficial.

“During this transitional time, it’s exciting to start a diet high in greens and try new, more vigorous forms of exercise. Especially if you know you get bored easily, swap out your workouts for the seasons to lift your spirits and improve self-care,” she says.

Hanging out with friends under the sun

Whether it’s exercising, eating out, or another activity outside, Obuchowicz says make sure you’re doing it with a friend once or twice a week.

“Then you really get to have fun doing it! Even if you’re just meeting at a local park for a solo walk, it’s important to make sure you’re meeting your social as well as physical needs this spring.” She added that this applies to both people who live alone and those who live with others.

“We all need to see new faces right now,” says Obuchowicz.

Washington agrees, saying that socializing outside in COVID-safe ways should be a priority this spring, especially for those who are social distancing.

“More daylight could mean the ability to connect with friends you haven’t met in person during the winter for a picnic at a restaurant, or a picnic in the backyard,” she says. your home or at a local park.

Cathy Cassata is a freelance writer specializing in stories around health, mental health, medical news, and inspirational people. She writes with empathy and precision and has a knack for connecting with readers in a deep and engaging way.

Source: Longer Days, Brighter Mood: How to Get the Most out of Daylight Saving

Article edited and translated by medical.org – please do not reup without permission!

Translator Thao Ngan

Editing: Bao Ngan

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