This past week has been beautiful and sunny, it has been fantastic to enjoy the sunshine, getting out and about when I can, to feel sunshine on my skin, and feel the warmth.
Chatting to people I work with, they acknowledged the sunshine definitely makes people happier. It’s so true. Us Scots know that the sunshine will disappear and the dark days of winter are never too far away. So whilst we can, we grab the opportunity to get outdoors and be in the beautiful weather.
It makes me think about us, as humans, are we powered by sunshine? Maybe us Brits are, because our sunlight is dependent on the time of year, we seem to be brighter and have a sparkle in the sunshine, but when it disappears and those winter days come along, we tend to keep our heads down and do what we need to get through the winter.
I’m not sure if it’s similar where you live, but there are more houses getting solar panels on their roofs than ever. New houses nearby are being built with solar panels, it is wonderful, we are harnessing the suns light to create electricity to give us heat, light and hot water!
When we look around there are several other everyday items powered by the sun – we’ve got solar lights in our garden to give it that magical feel when the darkness comes. When all is quiet and you look out into your garden and a pathway is lit up. We’ve likely all used those solar powered calculators when we were at primary school, the small pocket sized ones. If you are someone who likes to go camping, you can buy solar chargers to charge your phone, great when you are out and about….it may not be the quickest way but when needs must it can be an essential piece of kit. What other things can you think of that use the power of the sun?
Flowers, plants and nature are powered by the sun, so many things grow and develop with the help of the sun and photosynthesis.
Going back to us, what do we use the sunshine for in our bodies? We use solar power, we use it to get vitamin D in our bodies, to help keep our bones in tip top condition. When our skin is exposed to sunlight it enables the body to absorb calcium as well as phosphate. But please use sunscreen as you certainly don’t want to burn your skin with those harmful rays.
Take a moment and think about how you feel in the sun. Is it something you get a daily dose of? Perhaps you live in a country which naturally gives you lots of warmth and sunshine so you don’t notice any changes to the seasons or yourself. Do you think of yourself as being powered by the sun?
It is funny though, even in this article I’ve mentioned the dark days of winter, however, the sun does still appear, It may be for less time, there is little warmth, but you can still see it. It just doesn’t have the same feeling as we get in the summer. Plus in the winter, we are all wrapped up warm, so there is only a tiny part of us, usually our face or hands (if you forgot the gloves) that will feel the sunshine, our body area for absorbing Vitamin D has dramatically reduced, which is why, quite often, people suffer from SAD.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a seasonal depression, usually meaning the individual’s depression becomes more evident in the winter months when the light levels are low. Symptoms can include:
- Lack of energy
- Finding it difficult to get up in the morning
- Feeling Low
- Feelings of despair or guilt.
Whilst you may only suffer mild symptoms it can still be disruptive to your mood and your day to day, but if you find it is something you are struggling with, then have a chat with your GP, or speak with a therapist. Perhaps you could source a SAD lamp to help simulate sun exposure. Exercise can help too.
Whilst many of us are lucky not to suffer from SAD, if you think you do, then please do speak to your doctor, they may be able to suggest helpful solutions for your situation such as anti depressants or cognitive behavioural therapy or a SAD lamp. Find what works best for you, you are the best person to decide.
So, do you think you are solar powered? Do you require the sun to help you get on with your day, your week and life? Does it drive you and make you more productive?
I love the sun, I’m definitely chirpier when it is shining, everything seems brighter and possible. The sun is meant to continue shining for the next week at least, so I will enjoy it, whilst it is here and saviour the warmth and light it brings.
Once the sun dips and we cruise on down to autumn and winter, we ease ourselves out of the many hours of daylight as the earths position changes. When you are next outdoors in the sunshine, think about how you feel, what do you love about it?
Have a good week, enjoy the sunshine, stay hydrated and look after you!
Love Emma xx