Monday, October 14, 2013

MONDAY MUSINGS—FOLLOWING THE SUNLIGHT





My way of dealing less having less light as fall and winter months and stress is to take advantage of morning light. I've been having my first cup of coffee out on the porch with my pride of cats. My porch faces the southeast. The air is fresh and now that we’re in October, a bit brisk. I’m like a flower soaking up the rays. It sets my mood for the rest of my day. I’m not out long, maybe thirty or forty minutes, but the infusion of bright light and warm rays make me feel good.

One of the reasons is sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates our moods. The morning sunlight raises the levels of serotonin high enough to set a more positive mood and allows quiet reflection and mental focus. I've been under enormous stress lately, which is a negative, and it does affect my mood and my body. I look for simple and natural ways to offset the negatives. The sunlight also helps my body and mind with the release of endorphins—a natural, built in antidepressant. The sunlight bathing the skin with light also dilates the small blood vessels in the skin providing more oxygen and nutrients to the cells and is a positive way to calm my heart and blood pressure—not that I have hypertension, but stress and pain can increase blood pressure. Stress equals negative chain reactions in our bodies. Sunlight counters that. Vitamin D is absorbed from sunlight and it boosts your immune system, and sunlight encourages the growth of white blood cells that fight infections and other ills. Sunlight can help lower your blood sugars and pushes your body to store the glucose rather than release them to feed the whole fight or flight feeling.  

Being in the early morning sunlight is a positive for me. It’s a quiet time. I can put my thoughts in order to handle my day more effectively. Being with my animals, stroking the soft fur and being loved on also helps. They also make me smile and laugh with their antics. I walk out to greet my dogs and horses and it gives me time to breathe in the fresh air and appreciate the splashes of color still blooming in my yard or notice the trees that are starting put forth color in their leaves. Or catching the sparkle of dew on a spider web or the trail of cat prints in the grass. All good things that make me feel at peace regardless of what is going on in my life.

Throughout the day I take my breaks outside in the sunshine. I love late afternoon sunlight as well and especially after a long day at my computer. I try to take about fifteen minutes to sit and watch the golden sunlight bathe the back pastures and the surrounding hills. It gives me a few minutes to relax and reset my mind before having to start dinner deal with the night. I sleep better, too.

I’m like the sunflower following the path of the sunlight soaking in the peace and giving good things to my mind, body, and spirit. 

How do you handle the stress in your life? 


20 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

This is a great idea. I love to go on walks to release stress. And then I just plod through what's causing my stress.

Yolanda Renee said...

I swear just reading your post had the same beneficial benefits of the actual!
Truly, what better way to start a Monday than taking the time to enjoy the sunshine, reflect, and appreciate!

For me it's a walk too, and remembering my those quiet mornings at my favorite place in the world - my grandmothers house. Peace could only exist there - ever!

Thank you!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love morning moments, whether it be coffee on the porch or a nice morning walk. Lovely post.

Karen Walker said...

Going into nature helps me de-stress. Taking a bath does, too. Singing always makes me feel better. And if I can make myself dance around the living room, well, stress is gone. I love picturing you sitting on your porch with your morning coffee, soaking in the sun's rays.

Anne Gallagher said...

I miss being outside. I haven't been able to get out when I want to and I hear you on the mood swings. When I lived at the beach I walked all the time. Naturally.

But down here in NC, I just don't go anywhere, and during the summer it's just too hot to be out for any length of time. Unless I have to cut the grass.

And it's been raining for days so no sunlight today.

Julie Flanders said...

I love walking in the morning for the same reason. I love the quiet and the brisk air at this time of the year. It's cute to think of your pride of cats sitting there with you! I'm sure they enjoy the sunshine. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The horse photo is very nice!
We haven't had sunshine in a week. I think I've forgotten what it looks like.
And to unstress, I play my guitar.

glamour2whimsey said...

A nice long soak in hot water with flower bubble bath and candles is very relaxing for me.

glamour2whimsey said...

A nice long soak in hot water with flower bubble bath and candles is very relaxing for me.

Mason Canyon said...

That quiet time in the early morning when the sun is coming up and the air has just a nip in it, is a wonderful way to unwind and prepare for the day. Of course, it goes without saying there has to be a cup of hot coffee at hand. Anytime I can spend a few minutes in the woods surrounding the house, it helps to calm me down and get over whatever hurdle comes next.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Crystal Collier said...

Just reading that make me take a deep breath and relax some. Lovely.

To release stress I exercise. When I was younger it used to be biking. Now I hit the elliptical or take a walk around the lake in our back yard--that or sit down at the piano and pound out my frustrations. I think music has a healing quality as well. =)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Natalie--I do that too. I put it all into some kind of order and it's easier when I'm outside. The sun, air, and everything just makes facing it all easier...

Yolanda--I agree. What great memories of your grandmother's place. Being outside on a quiet morning almost puts you right back there. :-)

Optimistic--I like how you think. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Karen, singing works for me too. I sing all the time. My voice isn't what it used to be but I still love the feeling. Thanks, I love sitting out on the porch.

Anne--it get really hot and humid here too. Early mornings it's warm but not bad. I think it's getting to the outside before the heat rises. It's hard sometimes. In the hot summers I also go walking almost every evening when it's a bit cooler. My horses walk along with me as do the cats, lol!

Julie, the pride loves it and having me out there petting them. Early mornings are a wonderful time

~Sia McKye~ said...

Alex--That's my Doctari. Love my boy! Today, there wasn't any sunshine--well there was a brief snatch of watery sunshine. Getting lost in music is always nice and allows free range thinking as well.

Wendy--your bath time sounds divine. In my last house I had a huge old tub I could stretch out in. Modern tubs just don't fit my 5'9" comfortably. I want a garden tub. My mom has one with a big window overlooking the woods in the back. I enjoy candles and add some soft music...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mason--yes, exactly. When everything is fresh and clean and new. I also do much better during my busy day if I'm able to prepare for the day like that. The smell of the woods just relax the mind, doesn't it?

Crystal, biking in the early mornings--that would be great. I don't have a lake but I do find myself down by our hug pond frequently. I agree, music is healing and I can just picture you pounding away on the piano. Music is one of those things that can reset your mood and laughter is also a great healer.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I definitely find myself struggling to wake up/get up in the dark mornings - having your morning cuppa outside is a great idea, and I might try it!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I LOVE the light... It totally enhances my mode and gives me a positive outlook.

In my office the winter light is better. SO I can't wait until all the trees surrounding my se windows in my office lose their leaves. Then I will have COMPLETE light instead of diffused. I live on the park so the trees suck up all the light in the spring and summer.

Enjoy your time, Sia...

Kat Sheridan said...

Dashing through to wish you a very happy birthday! Hope you have a lovely, sunny day!

L.G. Smith said...

Yes, I totally agree we have to find natural ways to calm our mood. I go for daily walks, about two to three miles, depending on my energy. I have thyroid disease that makes me prone to depression so I combat it with exercise and sunshine. And it's free!! :))

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I marked this post to come back and read again. And I'm glad I did...good comments, too! I definitely have trouble staying my usual happy energetic self in the Fall. I made a challenge of making something every day and so far that is helping me. It keeps me creating and looking forward to the projects I'm working on. Thanks for the thoughtful post! Hugs, Diane