Woo! Today was the first day in a bit that it was actually sunny and warm, and it felt great. We've been having some (May) June gloom here in Los Angeles for a few weeks now it seems, especially in the mornings and evenings. This kind of weather really brings my mood, efficiency, and motivation down a notch. Waking up in the morning gets harder and staying productive during my days off from the hospital are tough.
As you might know, our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Vitamin D is essential not only for our bodies to absorb calcium and maintain strong bones, but also for our immune systems, muscles, and nervous system. (DO put on sunblock if you are going to be out in the sun for any longer than a few minutes to prevent skin cancer.) Also, without direct sunlight and enough Vitamin D, we tend to experience mood changes, which after a few months, can become Seasonal Affective Disorder.
While direct sunlight is needed to boost up vitamin D production, during June gloom days, we can counteract the mood changes by being physically active. This can just mean going for a simple walk around the block.
So this week's Stressbuster Challenge is to go for a walk!
If you already do that daily, keep it up! If you don't, try to take a walk one more time than you usually do this week. Maybe even incorporate some of those stretches from the Stressbuster Challenge: Quick Stretch Sequence post .
Keep track of your mood before and after your walk. Do you feel better?