There is something about sunshine that always makes me feel happy and alive. I live in Queensland, Australia which is referred to as ‘The Sunshine State’. I love being near the ocean and feeling the warmth of the sun. Winter is particularly enjoyable as the sun shines but it isn’t quite as hot.
There is a down side to enjoying the Sun. In Australia, according to the Cancer Council of Australia, we have the highest rate of skin cancer – melanoma. We need to be aware of how to be sun safe. However in saying that, we do need sunlight to provide us with Vitamin D which our bodies need to keep bones and muscles healthy and strong. Vitamin D is essential as we age to avoid osteoporosis which is a condition that weakens the bones and causes them to become brittle.
There has been so much public awareness and education of being sun safe that we aren’t actually getting enough sunlight. More people are working longer hours in offices and many of us actually have a Vitamin D deficiency.
A sensible approach to being outside in the sun is all that is required – wear a hat, sunscreen and don’t go out into the sun in the hottest part of the day – usually in Australia between 11am and 3pm
The Sun is usually associated with happiness. People are often referred to as having a ‘sunny disposition’, they are upbeat and happy. The sun is depicted as having a smiley face.
So how does sunshine rejuvenate us?
- As mentioned above, it is the best source of Vitamin D and you only need a few minutes of sunlight each day.
- Sunshine is an instant happy pill – Go outside and stand in the sun for a few minutes – you feel alive don’t you? Sunshine has the affect of lifting our mood and making us feel happier. Sunshine can help to reduce anxiety and depression.
- Sunshine makes you healthier – spending time in the sunshine can improve our immune system. This is because it encourages our bodies to produce more white blood cells.
- Sunshine helps to make us feel optimistic about the day and our life. Nothing ever seems as bad when the sun is shining.