CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – As we enter the last unofficial month of Summer there are some things we should be mindful of in order to preserve Optimal Mental health. Licensed Therapist Christian Smith, from Change Happens, Inc. in Chicopee, told us how sunlight can help fight stress and depression.
Levels of Serotonin
A neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood-are lower during the winter than the summer due to the amounts of exposure to sunlight.
- Low levels of serotonin directly correlate with seasonal affective disorder, which most often occurs during winter months.
– Sunlight shuts off the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced at night that makes you feel drowsy
– Sunlight that’s unhindered by sunglasses will reach the brain’s pineal gland more easily and signal it to stop releasing melatonin.
So while we have the summer still with us
– Get outside and enjoy these long days
– Going outside for 15 minutes at the same time every day, preferably in the morning, tells your body that it’s no longer nighttime.
– Time flies plan out your weekends for the rest of the month to get plenty of outside activity
– It’s not too late to start that exercise you’ve been contemplating, you won’t regret it come September
Prepare now for How you will stay active during the fall and winter months
– Begin developing a plan now – Practical, gym membership, look up fall activities, plan now for Columbus day weekend etc.