More and more I’m realizing the importance sunshine visits have on my overall well being. As much as I love to cozy up during a good rainstorm. I don’t think I could ever call home to a place where excessive grey skies and constant rains fall. So when sunshine is no where in sight (like the past 2 weeks) I start to feel quite low and head towards paths of depression.
We have all heard that sunshine is a natural source of vitamin D that penetrates through our skin. Providing nutrients for healthy bone growth. But our bodies require a recommended amount of at least 15 minutes of pure sunshine everyday for so many other things as well. Including brain function and our mood. So while there are much more severe things in life to feel down about than lack of sunshine. There are proven facts that support the importance of sunshine in our lives.
Now I absolutely love a good rain shower. I’ve even been known to rush home to experience the cozy ambiance it can bring to the place I call home. I turn on relaxing music, flip on a lamp or two, and light a few candles. It can be pure bliss there for a moment. I look at rain as natures way of slowing things down for a minute so we can take a breather, reflect, and replenish. Plus it provides the perfect setting to catch up on some reading or watch an old classic movie.
Naturally when we are rejuvenated from a nice restful moment we feel energized and ready to be productive. However for me when the sun is still not shining after an extended period of rainy days my mood can easily switch from restfulness to gloom in no time if I let it. So to prevent a rested self from becoming a self that can’t get off the couch. I must move on once rejuvenation has kicked in — rain or shine.
So what do I do when sunshine is no where in sight? Well after a year of excessive rain here and hurricane season yet again in our midst I have had to find ways to keep my spirits up until the sun shines again.
6 Mood Boosters When Sunshine is No Where in Sight:
*I work from home so my methods to stay motivated steer from such. However I know grey skies can get the best of us no matter our day to day lifestyle. Therefore my hopes in sharing what works for me just might be helpful to another that shares similar struggles in low spirits.
1. Shower, Get Dressed, and Make the Bed
A good PJ day now and then never hurt anybody — especially on a peaceful rainy day. But when dreary days turn into bummed days getting dressed and tidying up can easily be opted to skip. But skipping those simple lifestyle steps will only hinder the mood. And the temptation to just hop back into bed and surrender to that gloom that is brewing inside will be a bit tougher to fight. Plus who doesn’t feel better after a good shower and fresh clean clothes anyway?
2. Surround and Participate in Things that Inspire
Whether it’s brainstorming new ideas on paper, browsing Pinterest, or listening to an uplifting podcast. If it inspires and/or gets the creative juices flowing, do it. This can also very well be the perfect moment to serve others. Whether it’s at your local church, a nursing home, a favorite charity service, or even being that listening ear for someone that needs to vent. There is a whole other element of inspiration (and healing) that happens when we put ourselves aside and just be there for others in need. In return we just might break through on something really productive. Or better yet do something great and powerful for another.
3. Visit With a Loved One
Sometimes just a little visit with someone that loves you and accepts you is pure comfort and healing to the soul. Now I tend to not be all that great at this one since reverting to alone time tends to be my default. So I have to force myself to socialize if my mood is not shifting on its own. Whether I share my current struggles with that someone or simply just be with that someone varies. But I always walk away from the visit with a sense of re-fresh.
4. Change Environments
For a homebody such as myself I tend to neglect (or forget) about this one. I can easily go two weeks without stepping foot anywhere and be just fine. But there are days when I am struggling internally and just getting out and about will do the trick.
You may remember this impromptu trip our family took this past summer. That all steered from the kids and I being cooped up from weeks of non-stop rain. Of course a trip is not always feasible. But you would be surprised how fresh air on a covered porch, a little walk in between rain showers, or a drive to the local coffee shop can rejuvenate our spirits.
5. Vitamin D Supplements
Unfortunately I currently do not take any vitamins. I just haven’t gotten around to it. Lame but true. But being in my forties I am definitely feeling more than ever that daily vitamins are missing in my life. Thankfully during my recent yearly doctor checkup we talked multi-vitamin options that will best suit my daily nutrients. And vitamin D supplements will definitely be one of them. What multi-vitamins do you take and swear by?
6. Knowing “This Too Shall Pass”
I can’t tell you how many times that powerful little phrase from the Bible (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) has given the reassurance I needed to pull through. Because the good news is — those grey skies will pass and sunshine will indeed return again. Reminding myself of that truth instantly replaces my gloom with a good dose of hope in the midst of those storms.
The reason I chose these particular shots of me for this post is because I was struggling with some deep depression at the time. And excessive rain was not a factor. During that time I hadn’t been out of the house for weeks and just couldn’t really seem to snap out of it. The last thing I wanted to do was get dressed and take photos. But getting out and about for that shoot with one of my dear friends was so good for my soul and was literally the step that began my journey to sunnier days.
When sunshine is missing from our life literally or internally it can really be tough times. That wasn’t my first struggle with depression nor was it my last. But sometimes when I look beyond my own circumstance I then can begin to see all the beauty and blessings that surround me.
“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
God loves us and will always see us through to brighter days if we just seek Him. He truly delights to be in our presence. So talk to Him about your struggles. Listen for His guidance and assurance. And be sure to ask Him for one of His hugs. He always delivers the best hugs ever.
I am by no means a professional in mental health. These are just my own personal experiences through struggles of sadness. I pray that if anyone reading this has struggles with depression of any kind will talk to someone in efforts towards healing.
How do you lift your spirits when your surroundings are dark and gloomy?
Imagery #1 via Pinterest.