It’s heating up in the South Bay, which means weekends will soon be filled with outdoor activities, from trips to Hermosa Beach to exploring new hiking trails. Just as exercise reduces stress, the warmer weather also plays a role in your overall mood and health. Studies have shown that the sun’s rays can actually boost our moods, similar to how a lack of light triggers drowsiness and helps us fall asleep. Plan your free time and weekends accordingly, because there are many health benefits of spending some time in the sun!
When you go outside to soak up some sun, the rays enter special areas in your retina and trigger the release of serotonin in your brain. This hormone helps you feel more calm, relaxed, and less anxious, in addition to producing an overall happier mood. Sunlight has also been shown to benefit people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, non-seasonal depression, and pregnancy-related depression. Incorporating a daily walk or run into your schedule is a great way to get your daily dose of sunlight, as well as reduce stress.
Unlike other vitamins, which need to come from our daily diets and beverages, vitamin D comes directly from sunlight. Overall, it’s recommended that you spend 2 to 3 days per week in the sun, for about 5 to 15 minutes to promote healthy bone growth and prevent potential deficiency. Depending on the amount of sunscreen, clothing, body fat, and skin pigment you have, you can absorb different levels of vitamin D, so be sure to protect yourself if you’re outside for extended time. Dermatologists at Edinburgh University suggested that safe sun exposure can also lower blood pressure, which can reduce your stress levels and risk for related diseases. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to higher instances of breast cancer, colon cancer, seasonal disorders, and depression. So, it’s important to take a few minutes out of your day to step outside, as it can benefit your long-term physical health.
Depression, anxiety, and other life challenges can be difficult to face regardless of the season, and you do not need to face these struggles alone. For all your Hermosa Beach and surrounding South Bay therapy needs, feel free to contact me using my online contact form or by calling 310-892-2572. My services include adult therapy, teen therapy, couples therapy, and more. I look forward to hearing from you soon.