The Mental Health Benefits of Sunshine

Now that another winter is behind us, the arrival of spring brings with it more than just blooming flowers and chirping birds. As the days stretch longer and we can feel the warmth of the sun, there’s a tangible shift in our mood and mental well-being.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the profound mental health benefits that sunshine offers, exploring how its therapeutic rays can uplift our spirits and help us thrive as we step out of the winter blues and embrace the brighter days ahead.

The Power of Sunlight

Sunlight plays a crucial role in regulating our mood, sleep-wake cycle, and overall mental health. Exposure to natural light stimulates the production of serotonin, often referred to as the “happy hormone,” which can help lift our spirits and improve our sense of well-being. Additionally, sunlight exposure helps to synchronize our circadian rhythm, promoting better sleep quality and energy levels throughout the day.

Tips for Getting More Sunlight

Morning Routine

Start your day with a dose of sunshine by taking a short walk or enjoying your morning coffee outside. Even just a few minutes of exposure to natural light can have a positive impact on your mood and energy levels.

Enjoying the sun outside | Oona Wellness Group

Lunch Break Strolls

Take advantage of the longer daylight hours by incorporating outdoor activities into your daily routine. Use your lunch break as an opportunity to go for a walk in the park or sit outside and soak up some vitamin D. Better yet, bring a colleague with you for some added social recharge.

Open Up Your Space

Keep your curtains or blinds open during the day to allow natural light to flood into your home or office. Position your workspace near a window to maximize sunlight exposure throughout the day. You can also crack the window a little for added fresh air throughout the day. Can you notice the smell of Spring in the air?

Outdoor Activities

Plan outdoor activities with your family or friends, such as picnics, hikes, or bike rides. Spending time in nature not only boosts your mood but also fosters a sense of connection and relaxation. Remember, we make TIME for the things that matter most to us and EXCUSES for the things that do not.

Family Bike Ride | Enjoying the sun | Benefits of Sun

Tips for New Parents

For new parents, juggling the demands of parenthood means getting sunlight may require some creativity, but it’s equally important for your mental health and well-being.

Here are some tips specifically tailored for new parents:

Morning Stretches

Start your day with some gentle stretches or yoga poses outside while your baby naps or plays nearby. Some mom and baby poses can also be done with your baby in tow or in a carrier. This allows you to get some sunlight and movement while bonding with your little one.

Stroller Walks

Take your baby for a stroller walk in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too harsh. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and sunlight while enjoying some quality time together. Better yet, consider hosting a local stroller walk in your community to connect with other moms and add in a much better social component.


Outdoor Playtime

Set up a safe outdoor play area for your baby where they can explore and enjoy the sunshine while you supervise nearby. Remember to apply sunscreen and make sure you and your baby have sun protection. Consider adding in a sensory component by removing your socks and shoes to connect to the earth.

Outdoor play time with baby | Oona Wellness Group | Mental Health

Let’s Get Some Sun!

As we embrace the longer, brighter days of spring, let’s make a conscious effort to prioritize sunlight exposure for our mental health and well-being. Whether you’re a new parent or simply seeking to uplift your mood and energy levels, getting outside and soaking up the sunshine can make a world of difference. Remember, there’s always a brighter day ahead, and our mental health team is here to support you every step of the way.

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Your Mental Health Matters

our team is here to support you at every stage of your journey

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Connie Butera (she/her)Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Connie Butera is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and member of The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). Connie’s focus in clinical practice is on community mental health and supporting the family unit as a whole. Connie’s experience lies in working with individuals struggling with various perinatal mood disorders (PMAD’s, PPD), postpartum stress, anxiety and...

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