Let the Sun Shine
Thoreau writes in “Walking,” “I, who cannot stay in my chamber for a single day without acquiring some rust, and when sometimes I have stolen forth for a walk at the eleventh hour or four o’clock in the afternoon, too late to redeem the day, when the shades of night were already beginning to be mingled with the daylight, have felt as if I had committed some sin to be atoned for.” Pg. 736
Walking is available online and gutenberg.org under the Harvard Classics.
NOTE: When I read this passage I felt that Thoreau was speaking of me. I’ve always been an early riser. Once I wake, the sooner i get out of the house the happier I am. It may be one reason I moved to South Texas. I love the sunshine. If I go two or three days without sunshine I begin to get antsy. I recall extended periods of cloudiness when I lived in a northern climate and my joy when the sun returned. There is something to getting outside and letting one’s feet touch the earth and one’s eyes seeing the beauty that has always surrounded us.
Sun yourself in the morning. Sunshine helps wake you up, nourishes your body, and improves your mood. While too much sun can damage your skin, too little sun can cause vitamin deficiency and illness. Put on some sunscreen if you are a fair-skinned and head outside in the morning.
- Take a brisk walk.
- Eat breakfast outside if the weather permits.
- Get out of the sun if you feel dehydrated, dizzy, or disoriented.
- If you are prone to sunburns, stay out of the sun from 10am-3pm, when the sun is strongest.
NOTE: We easily fall into habits. Most of our habits help us to navigate the day. Our habits, however, can get us stuck in a rut. Think about how you start your day. Same old, same old, right? What if you got up 15 minutes earlier and went for a brisk walk? The slight change in a habitual routine may make your day a great one.
“Make your morning great. Wake up to something that makes you happy and the rest of the day will follow suit. When you wake up, try to spend a few minutes looking outside of your bedroom window. Having a connection with nature, or starting your day in a self-affirming way, are very important to having a bright and positive outlook.” Source
NOTE: It almost sounds too good to be true. It is. The attitude we take to the day is the attitude that will guide our thoughts and actions throughout the day. Why choose to be a hot burning coal when you can be the sunshine? One will drag you and all around you down. The other will lift you and all near you up. Shine On!!
“If you’re looking to improve your mood fast, walking outside is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do so. Exposure to the sun boosts serotonin production, which explains why some sufferers of depression notice a worsening of symptoms during the winter months. Less time spent out in the sun can lead to a drop in serotonin, resulting in depressed mood, anxiety, and low energy. . . . Spending a few moments in the sun during peak hours relieves stress and reenergizes the body and mind. Time outdoors will be all the more beneficial if you can sneak in a short walk, ideally somewhere close to nature.” Source
NOTE: I live in south Texas where we get lots of sunshine. When it’s cloudy for several days in a row I can sense a great change in the mood of the folks around me. When the sun returns everyone seems happier. I like the feel of sun on my shoulders when I walk. Sunshine has a therapeutic action on humans. It’s best to keep our sun exposure in moderation, but try to enjoy a few minutes every day in the sunshine, you’ll feel better.
Ditch the Technology and Get Outside and Sing in the Sunshine
Step outdoors for a few minutes to pull some weeds, sit in the sunshine, or just get some fresh air. Research shows that time outside can give you more energy, a better memory, and less anxiety. Even if you’re in a city, notice trees, flowers, and parks. Soak up nature to give yourself a boost.
“Behind the clouds is the sun still shining (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).”
We all have tough moments and tough days. Sometimes the tough times stretch out seeming to never end. Tough moments, tough days, and tough stretches all have a time limit. They’ll end. The clouds will break and the sun will shine.
“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.”
~ William Makepeace Thackeray
““Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Each day we have a choice as to how we choose to live the day. We can live it in the gloom and despair, wallowing in self-pity. Or, we can “live in the sunshine, swim the sea and drink the wild air.”