Self-Care 101: Sunshine

GIRL. (or guy)

Did you know seasonal depression is real, and definitely not something I made up to get out of going to a boring Christmas function? I could never quite put my finger on why it was so hard for me to leave bed from October to March (give or take a few weeks), yet it was easy as pie once the warmer weather rolled around. For a while I thought it was just due to my association of summer with freedom, but now I know it’s a legit thing.

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As we slide into colder weather, our bodies are directly affected by the seasonal change,  i.e. minimal exposure to the sun, our serotonin levels drop. This is important, because serotonin regulates our anxiety and overall mood, and decreased serotonin has been tied to depression. With less sunlight exposure comes decreased Vitamin D, increased likelihood of specific types of cancer, and skin conditions such as acne. Of course, you shouldn’t go outside sans sun protection like hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses, but being in the light more often than not is better for our bodies than staying in.  If you are physically, or mentally, unable to leave the house consider taking Vitamin D supplements and increasing your time with the windows and blinds open. I know better than most that sometimes just leaving the house is far too much to ask. Still, I get closer to being well by cracking open the window.

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So, slather on some sunscreen, run around in your neighborhood, and soak up that good stuff! If you aren’t able to yet, then sit by the window and listen to the world as it wakes back up. Just remember that feeling better after a long winter takes time and create enough space in your mind to be filled up with some joy. Tough? Yep. Good? Definitely.

June Mood Board

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For most of my life the coming of summer has signified a new beginning. Spring is regularly considered the rebirth of the Earth and our own return to living rather than surviving brutal cold, but summer is my time for jumping into action. The warmth is constant, you’re free of the confines of a classroom, and you could for a few months transform into a brand new person courtesy of a good tan and band-aids. I feel unstoppable in the sun, almost super-charged by the smell of flowers and the feel of warm grass.

This mood board – something I love to do when I make the time for myself – is in honor of the power and beauty of the first official month of summer, June. My brother and father are June babies, so it holds an especially close place in my heart. Each image represents an aspect of this month I adore: adventure, celebrations, boldness, renewed bravery, and energy.

I also wanted to make this board to remind myself and you to get out and claim the day for what it needs to be. Whether it be slaying a dragon, or simply laughing in the sun, this month is ours. How are you celebrating your June?