Spring as an antidepressant

The onset of spring can bring relief for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. This usually starts in autumn or winter, due to a lack of sunlight and is characterised by low mood. It might include sleeping longer than normal, eating more and loss of interest in any daily activity.

Vitamin D is also a powerful tool to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, which are often at their peak during the colder seasons. It can help improve muscle strength, the immune system, and our mood.

With the lengthening of the days and the clock change in spring the production of Vitamin D, which our bodies cannot produce without direct sunlight, is higher.

Sunshine can help us increase our energy levels and motivation, necessary for a healthy life and mind. According to Mind UK, it can promote mental health and wellbeing.

Another benefit of sunshine, which explains why our mood is usually better towards spring, is the reduction of stress. Natural light moderates our circadian rhythms, helping our bodies to relax and refresh our nervous system, making us more focused and less stressed.

Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which can influence mood, and wellbeing. When the rays of the sun enter your eyes, signals are sent from the retinas to the brain, causing a stream of serotonin. Not enough exposure to the sun can reduce its production.

A lack of sunlight can also interfere with our natural body clock. Sunshine is fundamental for our sleep cycle, as it produces another hormone which is melatonin. This manages our sleep schedule, rising at night and decreasing during the day.

All the benefits of Vitamin D, including protection from illnesses and lowering the blood pressure, can also be achieved through some foods, such as oily fish, egg yolk or red meat, but it is easier to just let the sun hit your skin and let your body do the work.

With the beginning of spring and the sun coming out there is no excuse not to go out and enjoy the sunny days, letting them boost our moods, without forgetting about the sun cream of course.

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