How can we turn our good mornings into good days, and our good days into good evenings? One simple but potent way to help steer your mental health in the right direction is to be consistent about getting your daily dose of morning sunlight. Research heavily suggests that exposure to
early morning sun elevates mood by producing serotonin, a crucial chemical for the prevention and treatment of depressive symptoms. Being diligent in getting that morning sunshine is also a great way to create a routine that helps set the tone for the day, likely increasing productivity and overall satisfaction. It may be especially helpful to get outside in the sun for some physical activity in the morning, such as walking or running. This will increase endorphins, elevating your mood even further.
Furthermore, exposure to full-spectrum morning sunlight will help reset your circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin in your system until it is needed later in the day, while increasing your serotonin giving you a boost in both energy and mood. When consistent, evidence suggests you’ll experience more restful, uninterrupted sleep creating a healthy sleep-wake cycle which plays a huge role in overall mental health and wellbeing. This one small change to your daily routine packs a powerful punch.
So grab your cup of coffee, and a good book, or put your walking shoes on and bask in that soft, early morning sunshine as you get ready to face the day ahead!
Written by Nicole Geddie – Graduate Student in Mental Health Counseling