Winter is Over. Get Outside

Winter is over. At least according to the calendar, which claims March as the first month of Spring. If you have been staying in your cave like a sleeping bear, now is the time to get out.

Fresh air, daylight and exercise are crucial elements of your physical and mental well-being. You have to get outside. No matter how much you sweat in aerobics class or how fast you run on a treadmill, your body needs to see daylight and breath fresh air. Take out your calendar and add an appointment with yourself to take a walk outside tomorrow.

Get Enough Light

In winter in the Northern Hemisphere, we get less light. That affects our mood, and if it becomes bad, psychiatrists call it Seasonal Affective Disorder. I live in Denmark where our days are almost back to eight hours, but that still means the night is twice as long as the day.

You need to get as much light as possible. Some you get from being outdoors, but you might also be able to make more of the natural light you have available in your house or apartment. If you have blinds, pull them up during the day – even opened blinds block a lot of light. If you have window sills wide enough to sit in, make a point of sitting there and soak up some rays every day. Or you might be able to pull your favorite chair into an area of sunlight. It doesn’t have to stand in the middle of the floor all the time. But when you take a break, try to take it in natural light.

Your Health Needs Daylight

We’re down to a little over 7 hours of sunlight here in Denmark, so it’s dark when you leave for school or work, and dark when you return. Depression and anxiety is worse in the dark part of the year so it is important to get as much daylight as possible.

One positive effect of lockdown and working from home is that you are free to schedule your day. Take a long break at mid-day and go for a walk, a jog, or just sit outside with a warm beverage. You can make up for this time later in the afternoon. Most work doesn’t require daylight, but your health does.